Revelstoke Osteopathy: How the practice aids the elderly

Revelstoke Osteopathy's William Jarrige and Anouk Sanchez discuss the benefits of osteopathy for the elderly in their latest column.

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Anouk Sanchez and William Jarrige of the Revelstoke Osteopathy Clinic. Photo: Agathe Bernard

This article is presented by William Jarrige and Anouk Sanchez, manual practitioners, and thesis candidates for the osteopathy practitioner program at the Canadian School of Osteopathy–Manual Practice–Vancouver. We are the owners of Revelstoke Osteopathy, the new clinic located at 111 Second Street East in Revelstoke. This is the seventh installment in a eight-part series exploring osteopathy.

Since the beginning of the article series we’ve said that everyone can benefit from osteopathic treatment. If you say that you are too old for osteopathy … you are mistaken!

With age, our cells’ ability to renew themselves decreases. Pain appears, and the body bends and contorts into positions to adapt, but in the long therm this creates more pain. Eventually, we do not know how to stand properly, our body is unbalanced and falls become and issue. Do not expect the osteopath practitioner to make your wrinkles disappear, but by rebalancing your posture, it will improve physical comfort, decrease the risk of falls, and decrease pain in your joints.

Practitioner William Jarrige treats a patient. Photo: Agathe Bernard
Practitioner William Jarrige treats a patient. Photo: Agathe Bernard

The osteopath does not only work on your musculoskeletal system. As we have seen in previous articles, the visceral sphere plays a key role in posture.

The kidneys, because of their proximity to the spine, greatly influence the posture. The osteopath can improve the mobility of the kidneys and reduce tension in the lower back when kidneys are the cause.

Increasingly, we hear about the links between the intestinal flora and diseases such as type 2 diabetes, autism, colon cancer and obesity. So much so that some doctors now advise their patients to undergo a fecal transplant to cure certain diseases.

Neurologists often call our viscera as our second brain. Researchers were able to change a mouse’s emotional state by changing their intestinal flora. The osteopath practitioner therefore does not neglect the intestines in his practice. Reducing fascial tension between the viscera and acting on their innervation increases the blood supply to the area and reduces inflammation of the organs.

But this can have an impact?

A quick anatomy lesson: At your navel, just in front of the spine, two large veins from your legs join to form the inferior vena cava, which then join the heart. The origin of the tensions in this region is very diverse — such as injuries, falls or past surgery.

So if there is a lot of tension in the viscera, there may be congestion that prevents a good venous return, thus promoting the development of varicose veins or heavy legs. The osteopath improves your comfort by promoting venous return to your legs without touching your legs!

To reduce inflammation, the osteopath will act to innervate tissue.

By working on the nerve plexus and para-spinal ganglia, the osteopathic practitioner balance the sympathetic innervation and parasympathetic. By reducing this inflammation, your intestinal flora can better regenerate, you will feel less bloated and your lower back will be more mobile and flexible.

Of course your diet has a crucial role in the development of your intestinal flora and a nutritionist can help you correct your bad habits and advise you on possible food supplements. Chinese medicine can also be an excellent combo with osteopathy, helping by acting on your meridians and doing background work on the energy and vitality of your various systems.

This article ends our series and now you know a little more about this therapy that we are passionate about. We look forward to seeing you in our office. We strongly encourage you to write to us your questions as our last articles will cover the five most popular questions. No question is a bad question!