An osteopath sees the patient in a holistic way. He or she works with their hands and treats the patient with different techniques, which can be broadly categorized into three groups. Structural techniques (working on muscle and joints), visceral techniques (working on the muscle and fascia around the organs) and cranial techniques (working on the cranial bones and the sacrum)

The 3 different types of osteopathic techniques

Structural techniques

These techniques are used to treat the musculoskeletal apparatus. Osteopaths believe structure governs function, and so any structural problem will have an influence on the function of the body. In various ways the muscles and joints are mobilized and movement is improved. The osteopath will choose the best techniques for your body, to help the structure and therefore the function of the body move back to a healthy state.

Visceral techniques

These are techniques that involve gentle work on the fascia, and muscles around the abdominal organs, and bowel (which is a muscle) All organs move and are under the influence of the midrift (diaphragm) which moves up and down. Good diet and breathing (using the diaphragm whilst breathing) are of huge importance. Problems in the spine can originate from the organs.

Cranial techniques

Cranial techniques use very gentle techniques in which the osteopath’s highly trained sense of touch is used to identify and correct mechanical disturbances and limitations, both in and around the joints for the skull, and throughout the body.