This article is presented by William Jarrige and Anouk Sanchez, manual practitioners, thesis candidates for the osteopathy practitioner program at the Canadian School of Osteopathy-Manual Practice-Vancouver.
Here is the last article of the series about the osteopathic practice. We selected the five most popular questions that people ask us.
Osteopathy, does it hurt?
A patient’s comfort during consultations is very important. When a patient is relaxed, he or she is more receptive to the treatment. So, no, osteopathic practice does not hurt. However, it is possible that despite all precautions, the osteopath may have an effect upon sensitive areas.
The treatment has an impact on the body up to several days after the consultation, and in some rare instances, the patient may feel a discomfort and even pain. In these cases, we recommend our patients contact us immediately to meet them as soon as possible to help them better integrate with the treatment.
How many treatments will it take for me to feel relief?
On average, three or four treatments over two months are needed before actually feeling better. And although after the first treatment you may feel greatly relieved, it is important to understand that the osteopath practitioner needs to deliver at least two treatments in order to provide wellbeing that will last over time, especially if you have never been treated with osteopathy.
For patients who experience chronic pain for many years, a long term follow-up may be required. In these cases, one visit per month is recommended to the patient, or as appropriate.
Does osteopathic practice make the back or joints crack?
Osteopath practitioners’ schools explain to their students how to adapt each technique according to the osteopathic lesion found in the patient. And sometimes, the technique causes a dry sound in the joint.
However, some osteopath practitioners develop their practices in such a way that they no longer use such techniques that produce a sudden sharp sound. But if cracking is not heard, this does not mean that the osteopath is bad. In fact, some patients prefer this type of osteopathy. To each patient their osteopath, and to each osteopath their osteopathy.
What training does it take to become an osteopath practitioner?
In B.C., like in the rest of Canada, there is no legislation to regulate osteopath practitioners. As a result, anyone can practice as an osteopath practitioner. But rare are those who dare to do so without any training. In fact, most osteopathic practitioners are registered with a professional association which only accepts members who completed training that complies with WHO recommendations: five years of study with an additional research project presented before a jury. Most schools across Canada offer this training, but a few schools benefit from the lack of regulation. Therefore, when you meet an osteopath practitioner, do not hesitate to ask him or her directly about their training. The best way is to meet a therapist who was recommended to you by a relative, friend or acquaintance, because in the end, it is a practitioner’s experience that matters.
Should I see a doctor before consulting an osteopath practitioner?
Generally, and especially when a sudden acute pain is experienced, it is best to see a doctor before consulting an osteopath practitioner. Thus, if additional tests are needed to diagnose precisely, a doctor may request them.
Over time you will get to better know your body and its needs. Obviously, if you have a cold, a doctor will bring you some comfort with medicines while an osteopath will not be able to do so.
However, if in your yoga practice you identify an imbalance of your pelvis such that a hip is more restricted in its mobility, then, osteopaths, with their holistic approach, will have better tools than doctors to restore a good mobility in your joints.
Remember that there are plenty of alternative medicines which complement each other. And if one of them is very effective at a specific time for a particular problem, maybe next time, another type of therapy will be most suitable. Learn to discover your body by exploring the different therapeutic modalities which you have access to, and over time you will know what therapist you need to relieve you from a temporary disorder.
We hope that through reading of these articles, you learned a little bit more about the osteopathic practice. And if you have more specific questions about your case or your children’s case, don’t hesitate to call us or to send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will be happy to answer your questions.
See you soon in our practice!