Osteopaths are primary health care practitioners who recognise the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine which facilitates healing by focusing on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs work together.
Osteopathy is a holistic form of healthcare, where the focus is on improving or restoring the health and well-being of the individual, helping the body’s overall ability to adapt and respond to physical stressors. This approach means that osteopathy can support the body through many chronic conditions alongside conventional medical care, and while it won’t cure the disorder, can help alleviate or ease many associated problems.
Osteopaths can identify dysfunction in the body using skilled evaluation and diagnosis including a broad range of hands-on techniques. Treatments involve techniques like stretching and massage, along with mobilisation and manipulation of joints depending on the unique needs of the patient on that particular day. This means that no two osteopathic treatments are ever the same.
Osteopaths in New Zealand are held to a high standard by the regulating body The Osteopathic Council.
The difference between osteopathic and conventional training is that the focus is on the body as a whole, instead of breaking the body down into separate parts. The human body is constantly working to maintain a state of balanced function and unity. Just like a machine, if one component is out of place or faulty the whole machine is affected.
So, osteopaths not only seek to discover WHAT is wrong, but also WHY is is not right. We appreciate that each person is unique so we are always looking to understand all factors that contribute to a persons physical state including their lifestyle, medical history, diet, emotional factors and injuries, present and historical.
From the moment Osteopaths begin their training the start to develop a highly honed sense of touch which allows them to pick up on dysfunction in the body with the gentlest of touch.
Osteopaths are trained to identify conditions that require medical referral and work with other health professionals including GP’s, specialist and radiologists in order to provide the best care for their patients. We are also registered ACC providers accessible without a referral from your GP.
Any osteopath in New Zealand has completed five years of university training in anatomy, pathology, physiology, general medical diagnosis, osteopathic techniques and clinical training as part of a their degree. They must undertake more than 1,000 hours of training in osteopathic techniques and at minimum if 1,000 hours of supervised clinical experience.
What To Expect On Your First Visit
When you visit your osteopath no two treatments will be the same, osteopaths have a vast array of techniques and skills that they can tailor specifically to suit the patient on that day.
An initial consultation takes 60 minutes, here's what to expect:
A thorough discussion of any pain and other symptoms, and your medical history. The more information I have the better I can help you.
A physical assessment which will likely include observation of your movement, testing your range of motion, some orthopaedic and neurological tests. You may need to remove some of your clothing for this.
Depending on your condition treatment may involve some hands on massage, stretching, joint mobilisation and manipulation, possibly some taping.
You can expect to get some education so it's good to come expecting to learn something. I may have some advice for you around lifestyle or give you some exercises to help with rehabilitation. For best results you really should listen to me.
Most commonly, treatment is over a few sessions at least, with many patients scheduling regular appointments over several months as part of their healing or rehabilitation process.
It's also common (and very useful) to visit your osteopath even if you don't suffer from any particular issues as it's great for overall health & well being to get regular tune ups.
You can also check out the fees schedule here.