“Improve the way your body moves, inside and out; enhance the way it functions”
Osteopathic Medicine is a primary healthcare modality, whereby an extensive scientific knowledge of anatomy and physiology is applied using specified physical movement techniques, aligned with the practitioner’s intelligence and skill, for the purpose of assisting reduction of pain or dysfunction within the body systems.
Osteopaths do not simply concentrate on treating the problem area, but use manual techniques to balance all the systems of the body, to provide overall health support and improved wellbeing.
The focus of Osteopathic clinical practice is on total body health by treating and strengthening the body’s structural balance (including bones, joints, muscles, ligaments) to support the function of the nervous, circulatory, lymphatics and organ systems returning to and maintaining optimum function.
We have both highly qualified Osteopaths at our clinic in Surrey Hills, along with a team of Osteopathic interns who are available for treatments at a reduced fee.
Osteopath, Clinical Nutritionist B.App.Sc.(Comp Med), M.Ost, M.CN, MOA Member of Osteopathy Australia
Osteopath. BHlthSC/BAppSc(Osteo), BComm(Hons.)/LLB(Hons.), MOA Member of Osteopathy Australia
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a form of healthcare which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopaths focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit.
Is Osteopathy Safe for Children?
Osteopathy recognises the particular stresses on the body children experience as they grow from babies to teenagers, and has developed an approach to work with children of all ages.
Osteopathy is an established system of diagnosis and hands on treatment in which a caring approach to the patient and attention to individual needs are of primary importance. In particular, it is focused on the inter-relationship between the structure of the body- bones, joints, muscles and ligaments; and the manner in which the body functions within the structural framework.
Osteopathy takes a holistic approach to health and emphasises the importance of the musculoskeletal system (the physical body) in an individual’s health and wellbeing.
Practitioners do not solely treat just one joint or muscle, recognising that the body is a complex system, which requires an understanding of how each individual joint moves within an entire system.
Osteopaths utilise a wide range of techniques from gentle indirect myofascial and ligamentous methods, joint articulation and manipulation, and soft-tissue massage. Each treatment is specific to the patient’s needs, with gentle and appropriate treatment methods being applied for all age groups, and those with complex medical conditions. This safe and effective hands-on treatment can be beneficial for many conditions including body aches and pains, growth and development imbalances, stress-related nervous system conditions, sleep difficulties, digestive complaints and bio-mechanical changes related to pregnancy.
If one part of the body is restricted, the entire body must adapt and compensate for this, eventually leading to possible reduced function, movement restriction, inflammation, pain, and other compensatory health complaints. Osteopathic treatment assists the body with pain minimisation, reduced stress and greater mobility providing the body with the opportunity to grow, repair and maintain health, without limitation.
Osteopaths assist the body’s capability to strengthen, repair and prevent further compensations, by supporting the other internal systems to be functioning well in union. It is not only general mobility and structural stability that is improved with Osteopathic treatment, but the opportunity for the other body systems such as the vascular circulation, central nervous system, lymphatics and visceral organs to function more effectively.
“It is the object of a physician to find health, anyone can find disease” Andrew Taylor Still M.D., D.O.
Osteopathic philosophy gives a holistic approach to health and emphasises the importance of the musculoskeletal system functioning well optimal for health and wellbeing. The aim of treatment is to support the body’s self-healing capacity.
Dr Still’s philosophy of treating the whole person continues today with Osteopathic practitioners applying treatment principles that the structure of the body will relate to how it is functioning.
Family Wellness Group Osteopathic practitioner’s focus on working with you to create an individualised treatment plan, recognising that each person is different requires specifically designed care. We believe that the more you understand about your body, the better equipped you will be to make the most of your busy life. We pride ourselves on emphasising education during your consultations, to help you better understand the path of progression to your improved wellbeing.
Osteopaths utilise a variety of hands-on physical therapy treatment techniques, depending on specific areas of further qualification and the patient’s needs upon presentation to the clinic, at each consultation. These include techniques such as; Biodynamic Cranial Osteopathy, visceral technique, joint mobilisation and articulation, soft tissue and muscle-energy techniques, joint manipulation, myofascial connective tissue release, functional technique, lymphatic drainage, the strain-counterstrain method, stretching, self awareness and rehabilitation advice, including dietary and lifestyle modifications to improve health.
Osteopathic practitioners at the Family Wellness Group have further qualifications in post-graduate courses specific to Paediatric and Obstetric care as well as other individual therapy fields. They have also completed and continue to study Biodynamic Osteopathy in the Cranial Field, a gentle therapy whereby hands-on evaluation considers the inner health and function of all organs and tissues of the body, and increases the understanding of how other physiological changes in the body (influenced by energetic, emotional, mental and spiritual states) contribute to the health and wellbeing of the individual. Biodynamic treatment skills add a degree of precision and a holistic focus that transcends traditional approaches of other manual hands-on techniques. This very light technique approach allows the potential for the practitioner to treat on a much deeper level to enhance a patient’s overall health and wellbeing. With the patient being more in balance, the stress/strain is taken off the symptomatic areas, allowing them to heal more effectively and efficiently.
Osteopathic treatment positively affects the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems, to deliver a more balanced body and better health overall. This combined with suitable dietary and exercise prescription enhances patient’s wellbeing, and leads to a positive approach to individual health responsibility.
An osteopath focuses on your whole body, including the soft tissues (such as muscles, ligaments and tendons), the spine and nervous system, and may use a variety of different hands-on methods.
Osteopathic treatment is applied after discussing past medical history and completing a physical examination. Osteopaths at the Family Wellness Group have detailed knowledge of Anatomy, Physiology, Embryology, Developmental Processes, Pathology and Biomechanics; combining the information to plan an optimal treatment and technique approach. Your Osteopath use physical therapy techniques to assist your body to return to balance, and will provide you with helpful advice on how to manage your injury/condition. This may include:
- Information on understanding your diagnosis, nature of your condition, prognosis of improvement, and future management plan
- Pain management tools (e.g. icing, heat, medication advice/referral, ergonomically, positional/anatomical relief, stretching, or rest)
- General lifestyle and ergonomic advice (things you can and can’t do at home, during exercise, or at work)
- Rehabilitation/Exercise prescription
- Workplace ergonomic advice
- Dietary advice
- Communication with workplace employer for required time off or alternate duties
Osteopathic treatment assists the body with pain minimisation, reduced stress and greater mobility providing the body with the opportunity to heal itself.
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Postural strain and Imbalances
- Pregnancy support
- Stress/ Anxiety- Nervous System support
- Sleep problems/ Insomnia
- Digestive Problems
- Circulation problems
- Fluid retention
- Shin Splints
- Heel/ Foot pain
- Tennis Elbow/ Golfer’s Elbow
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Repetitive Strain Injuries
- Muscle injuries
- Home and workplace injuries
- Sports injuries
In Australia, all Osteopaths complete a minimum of five years university qualification education in anatomy, physiology, pathology, general clinical diagnosis, osteopathic treatment techniques, management and rehabilitation. They are also trained to perform standard medical examinations of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems, offering therapy for many conditions including back and neck pain, growing pains, sports injuries, headaches, whiplash, postural problems, sciatica, knee and heel pain, shin splints, occupational injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome. University graduates hold either a Bachelor Double-degree or Masters qualification, and are required to be registered with the Osteopathic Board of Australia (OBA), which functions under the guidance of the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency (AHPRA). The Family Wellness Group also offers a clinic internship program for Senior Osteopathy students excelling with their studies, who are simultaneously completing clinical training under the supervision of registered Osteopaths at university-based teaching clinics.
Osteopathy is one of ten regulated healthcare professions in Australia and Osteopathic practitioners are required by law, to maintain ongoing professional development and education every year to continue registration for clinical practice. All practitioners at the Family Wellness Group place high importance on exceeding the standard requirements of further study, to ensure that we can provide innovative and safe healthcare treatment aligned with current research trends.
Osteopathy is regarded as gentle approach to infants and children’s health by assisting growth and development with physical treatment. Osteopaths at the Family Wellness Group are highly qualified and experienced, using safe, non-manipulative techniques for infants and children. Clinical consultations consist of a comprehensive past and current medical history for mother and child, which assist in establishing the examination and treatment process.
How can an Osteopath assist my baby?
The tissues of the baby’s body are designed to able to absorb most the stresses of birth (e.g. bones and cartilage adapt through overlapping and bending as they go through the birth canal). The trauma of twisting and squeezing through the birth canal can cause some abnormal strains and tension to both baby and mother. Other factors such as abnormal/long labours, inducement, and forceps may also cause abnormal stress on the infant. Factors after birth can also cause abnormal strains and tension (e.g. falls and postural strains) These influences may lead to mild to moderate dysfunctions in various anatomical and/or physiological structures, which can also give rise to abnormalities in anatomical and/or physiological function, causing health issues to arise.
Osteopaths at the Family Wellness Group pride themselves on their knowledge of anatomy, physiology and the embryological forces that enable growth and development; integrating this with their understanding of structure and function to assist your child, restoring the body’s natural balance to support health. Practitioners apply this knowledge to assess and treat infants and children through thorough history taking and examination.
The Osteopathic assessment and treatment approach to infants and children is to be dynamic with how the child is on the day and look, listen and feel with the infant/child in their comfortable position (this may be on the treatment table, being held by the osteopath or being held by their parent).
A gentle approach to treatment is always applied to infants and children. An osteopath will look and feel for mild strains and stresses through palpation of soft touch to various body tissues and structures, and apply gentle physical treatment techniques aim to restore structure and function. Practitioners
How can an Osteopath assist my child?
Most children can withstand many falls and strains but occasionally an excessive or traumatic incident can create abnormal strain on a growing body. This includes recurrent immune compromise; digestive illness and postural dysfunction placing repeated stress on their body. Osteopaths are trained to assess and treat abnormal strains, walking patterns, sports and general developmental injuries, and are also trained to recognise any abnormal symptoms that may require referral for further investigations or intervention such as medication or surgical consultation.
Osteopathy can assist with management of:
- Irritability excessive crying & difficulty settling
- Digestive issues (e.g. reflux, wind, colic, excessive vomiting)
- Feeding difficulties (attachment/ latching and suckling)
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Plagiocephaly/ Head shape asymmetries due to birth or developmental changes
- Movement difficulties of joints or limbs (head position, neck strength, posture through development)
- Recurrent infections (e.g. cough, wheeze, recurrent ear infection, sticky eye, runny nose)
- Motor skill delay
- Birth Trauma/ Torticollis
- Hip Dysplasia
- Flat feet
- Stress/Anxiety/ Hyperactivity
- Growing pains/ joint pain
- Bed wetting
- Constipation/ Diarrhoea/ Digestive pain
- Sports injuries
- Jaw position for dental alignment and growth
- Postural Imbalance/ Repetitive Strains
- Growth-related developmental injuries (e.g. Osgood Schlatters, Osteitis Pubis, Severs Disease)
Pregnancy, Pre-natal and Postnatal Treatment:
How can Osteopathy benefit during Pregnancy?
Your osteopath can help prevent or manage a wide range of pre-and post-natal conditions, either solely or in conjunction with other health care practitioners. Osteopaths can assess and assist with the management of many common complaints associated with pregnancy and the post-natal period including:
- Lower back pain and sciatica
- Hip pain
- Neck, shoulder or middle back pain
- Poor sleep
- Shortness of breath
- Fluid retention
- Headaches/ Migraines
- Numbness and tingling in the hands
- Aching legs or feet
- Incorrect positioning of the foetus
- Pelvic floor weakness/ Incontinence
- Painful intercourse
Treatment during pregnancy
Osteopathic treatment is safe, gentle and effective therapy for mothers and babies. Your osteopath will carefully select the most appropriate treatment techniques to assure the safety and comfort of you and your growing baby.
During pregnancy, your body undergoes tremendous change to accommodate the growing foetus. Apart from the obvious physical changes like expansion of the abdominal region, hormonal releases can affect the function of your body’s internal systems. The added weight as your baby grows in utero creates an altered centre of gravity as well as ligaments softening through hormonal changes, and muscles having to compensate to maintain structural support. These factors can add strain to your body, triggering problems such as back pain, sciatica, insomnia, fluid retention, high blood pressure, fatigue and shortness of breath. Your osteopath can offer advice about managing these symptoms and demonstrate home-based techniques to reduce impact of stress on your body during your pregnancy, birth and post-partum.
Your practitioner will provide treatment to encourage your body’s natural adaptation processes of pregnancy and birth- optimising your ability to adjust and maintain good health with minimum of pain and discomfort.
The birth process influencing health
During birth, the baby’s movement through the birth canal can be influenced by a range of factors. If the mother’s pelvis is restricted or twisted, this can hinder the delivery, and safety of both mother and baby. By restoring and preserving pelvic position and movement, Osteopathic treatment can contribute to a successful birth, healthy baby and optimal recovery for mum.
Postpartum, your practitioner with advise you when to return for a check up assessment for both mother and baby, in order to prevent and manage problems such as pelvic and low back strain, adnominal muscle separation, pelvic floor weakness, mastitis, incontinence, interrupted sleep, upper back and neck pain related to feeding, fatigue and depression. As well as treatment to relieve discomfort and dysfunction, your practitioner can provide advice on caring for your own health while also prioritising the essential needs of you baby.
Focuses of Osteopathic treatment during pregnancy aim to:
- Reduce pain and body discomfort
- Enhance and maintain biomechanical structure & function
- Improve blood/fluid movement and flow
- Increase joint range of motion
- Encourage movement and stretch superficial and deep tissue structures
- Increase joint cellular nutrition
- Stimulate circulation
- Relieve pressure
- Restore tone and relaxation of muscles
- Increase fascial connective tissue elasticity
- Improve general well being
Allied Health services at the Children’s Wellness Group are recognised by all major health funds under their private health insurance extras cover, as well as Osteopaths also providing treatment services for patients under Medicare’s Chronic Disease Management Plan for qualifying patients who obtain a referral from their GP prior to clinic consultation.