Manual osteopaths identify, assess, and treat the body’s structures and rhythm using a gentle, hands-on approach. This fundamental technique is called osteopathic palpation. Manual osteopaths develop a very sensitive sense of touch to master osteopathic palpation. Osteopathic palpation is what makes manual osteopathy different from other forms of therapy.
Soft Tissue Technique
The practitioner uses soft tissue manipulation in many different ways. In general, they use it to evaluate the condition of tissues and to help the body’s fluids (such as blood and lymphatic fluid) flow smoothly. Keeping fluids flowing smoothly reduces harmful fluid retention and makes the body’s immune system more effective. Fascia is tissue found in all parts of the body. It connects all of the body’s structures at both superficial and deep levels. Practitioners evaluate the fascia to find areas of restriction, and then use soft tissue manipulation to make sure the length and tension of the fascia are properly balanced. Throughout the treatment, manual osteopaths keep checking on the state of the body’s tissues. If one technique isn’t working to correct a restriction, they use another approach instead. Above all, manual osteopaths try to restore health without over-treating.
Manual osteopaths use this technique to reduce muscle spasms near a joint, ease neurological irritations around a joint, make joints more mobile and to reduce pain and discomfort. The articular technique involves gently moving 2 joint surfaces. Before doing this, Manual osteopaths carefully prepare the soft tissues around the treatment area. They also move the patient into a position that will minimize, or eliminate the energy and force needed to perform the maneuver. Many patients find this technique less forceful than joint manipulations.