Osteopathy Services in Downtown Toronto

About Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a natural medicine that aims to restore function in the body by treating the causes of pain and imbalance. To achieve this goal the Osteopathic Manual Practitioner relies on the quality and finesse of his/her palpation and works with the position, mobility and quality of the tissues.

The goal of treatment is to relieve pain, improve mobility and restore health and vitality. A treatment plan is formulated by understanding the relationship between the structures of the body and how well it functions and knowing the connections between all the tissues, fluids, organs and systems of the body. Osteopathic practitioners study for years to develop very sensitive palpation skills. Many gentle tests and techniques are used to find and treat the root causes of dysfunction and not just chase the symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions About Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a non-invasive and holistic manual therapy, i.e., hands on therapy that aims to address the root cause of dysfunction by assessing and treating the entire body.

The osteopathic perspective focuses on the interrelationships of all the systems of the body, not just the musculoskeletal. It focuses on optimizing the connections between the fascial networks, the movement of fluid (i.e., blood, lymph, interstitial fluid, etc.), the organs and viscera, and the structural body to allow for the body to express its own inner health potential.

We assess the entire body in its current state, but also inquire about the previous health history all the way back to birth. Everything the body goes through plays a role in changing the way it is adapting and therefore how it is currently living. We aim to seek out the restrictions and areas of dysfunction that are preventing the body from being able to express health.

This is always a fun one; everything! We do not treat body parts, or conditions; we treat people. And when you treat people, and help them and their physiology to better express itself, any dysfunctional pattern or pain should begin to normalize. Therefore, as wild as it sounds, if anything is going wrong in the body, there will be an osteopathic perspective on how to approach it!

Osteopathy is unregulated, meaning there is no government sanctioned college. However, there are two associations that in effect, act as regulatory colleges and only cover treatments from practitioners who belong to the OOA or the OAO. To belong to one of those, practitioners are required to have successfully completed competencies in the practice that are in line with WHO recommendations in terms of other regulated health professionals. There are many therapists that offer osteopathy, but some do not belong to these associations. Because of the lack of regulation, it is important to choose your practitioner carefully.
That said, the practice of osteopathy is a gently and non-invasive one, and though there are risks with any form of manual therapy, osteopathic practitioners are trained to use risk assessment and risk management when needed. Generally, treatments are not painful and relatively low-risk.

Conditions commonly treated include:

• Pelvic floor problems, including coccyx pain
• Sprains and muscle strains
• Back or neck pain, whiplash
• Chronic pain syndromes
• Headaches, migraines
• TMJ (jaw) pain
• Digestive functional disorders (e.g., IBS, chronic constipation)
• Infants with colic, torticollis, reflux.

After a treatment, one can tend to feel lighter, and taller, but also perhaps calmer and more Zen. This is due to the common stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system, our ‘rest and digest’ system. We often live in a stressed state, so this is an immediate benefit of treatment that helps the body regulate in many ways.

This comes from an osteopathic perspective, as I am not a trained physio. But from my perspective, osteopathic treatment focuses on restoring the position, mobility and vitality of important structures of the body, and the harmony of the systems of the body to promote auto regulation and homeostasis. Physiotherapy tends to focus on rehabilitation from acute injury/surgery, identifying muscular imbalances that may be contributing to pain/dysfunction and preparing exercise plans for active recovery.

Our Osteopathic Manual Practitioners

Laura Disenhaus - Physiotherapist | Dundas University Health Clinic

About Laura Disenhaus

Licensed Physiotherapist Osteopathic Manual Practitioner