Osteopathy is part of manual medicine. It treats the human body holistically, as an integral whole of all systems – recognizing and accepting the interdependence between the body, mind, and psyche – both in a state referred to as health and in a diseased state. Osteopathy assumes that the human body has the ability to self-regulate, self-heal, and restore homeostasis. A disease of one organ or its vicinity affects the entire body. Therefore, the cause of the disease, as well as its consequences, may often lie in a completely different area of the body than the pain. Thus, narrow specializations in treatment and therapy focused only on the site of discomfort do not always bring the expected effect.

Why osteopathy?

It should be emphasized from the outset that osteopathy is not an alternative to medicine, but an integral part of it. In the United States and Western Europe, it is already a prevalent and respected method of therapy. An osteopath is characterized by extensive knowledge in the field of physiology, anatomy, biomechanics, and general clinical knowledge. In the treatment process, an osteopath relies on the awareness that the human body has the ability to self-heal and, through therapy, removes blockages and disturbances impairing this ability. Often, an osteopath intervenes in areas where classical medicine or physiotherapy does not yield the expected results. It is not uncommon for spinal or peripheral joint pain to recur, and patients return to their physiotherapist or doctor with the same problem after some time. Sometimes, the treatment is completely ineffective. Therefore, it is obvious that the osteopathic healing approach will not strictly limit itself to the structural system (musculoskeletal system). There are also situations where osteopathy becomes an alternative to surgical procedures.

The osteopathic examination does not differ in the patient’s perception from an orthopedic or neurological medical examination. The therapy itself is completely safe and involves skillfully using hands to diagnose and locate blockages and dysfunctions that contribute to the appearance of various symptoms in the patient. The goal of osteopathy is to unlock all existing dysfunctions.

Who is an osteopath?

The basic principles of osteopathy were formulated in 1874 by American military surgeon, Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. To become a specialist in this field, one must first obtain a medical doctor or physiotherapist degree through five-year master’s studies. Afterward, osteopathic studies, which also last for five years, must be pursued. These studies culminate in a clinical examination and the defense of a diploma thesis, after which a diploma recognized worldwide is obtained. Thanks to such advanced education, an osteopathy specialist gains the necessary knowledge to have a broader perspective on musculoskeletal abnormalities and the functioning of the whole body. The osteopath has an excellent understanding of human anatomy and physiology, including the structure and function of all organs and the principles of their interaction. This is crucial because many musculoskeletal conditions originate from the improper functioning of internal organs. Therefore, the foundation of the entire osteopathy training system is learning how to properly diagnose patients.

What does a visit to an osteopath look like?

A visit to an osteopath begins with a detailed interview with the patient. Osteopaths are interested not only in pain symptoms and test results but also in the patient’s lifestyle. An experienced osteopath observes their patient closely – how they move, how they get up, and what their body posture is like. The emotional state of the patient is also important. Only the combination of all gathered information allows for the proper diagnosis and the selection of the optimal therapeutic method. Among these methods, the osteopath may utilize techniques based on the musculoskeletal system, visceral system, cranial system, or gentle fascial techniques. The visit lasts approximately 60 minutes, and the number of visits depends on the individual case of the patient, usually ranging from a few to several visits. There are cases when an osteopath resolves the patient’s problem already during the first visit.

Who is osteopathy for?

It is difficult to create a comprehensive list of indications for a visit to an osteopath. This is because it includes all musculoskeletal problems, back pain, headaches, recurrent migraines, undiagnosed abdominal pain, urological and gynecological disorders (including pain syndromes related to pregnancy and post-pregnancy changes, scars from cesarean sections, menstrual pain).

Patients of an osteopath include newborns (birth injuries, muscle tension abnormalities, psychomotor disorders), preschool and early school-age children. Another group includes active athletes (professional athletes are often under constant osteopathic care), as well as older individuals who have experienced stagnation and limited mobility in their bodies over many years.
A separate group of patients consists of pregnant women and those in the postpartum period because this period can lead to significant strain on the body and resulting pain symptoms. It is worth visiting an osteopath after pregnancy to accelerate the body’s self-regulation mechanisms.
A large group of patients consists of individuals with pain, including postoperative patients who can also benefit from osteopathic treatment.
As you can see, osteopathy is a field that is based on extensive knowledge, and its scope of practice is extremely broad.

At MIRAI, the person responsible for the field of osteopathy is Ewa Bizon.