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Osteopaths – Are They Your Doctor or Your Fitness Trainer?

Osteopathic medicine is actually a branch of medicine. They are licensed to practice medicine and even surgery. They are doctors.

However, since osteopaths follow the philosophy of looking at the human body as an entire system, they can be great fitness trainers as well. They have great knowledge of anatomy and health science.

They know how muscles, bones, and joints work. They know how much a body can take. They follow science when they treat and diagnose a patient.

To be an osteopath you have to earn a degree in clinical science and then do a postgraduate study in osteopathy. They go through similar things that other medical doctors undergo in order for them to earn their doctor’s degree.

Aside from all the clinical and scientific knowledge, osteopaths must have good communication skills and be able to engage easily with people.

But osteopath follow a less invasive way of treating their patients. They will encourage natural healing with little or with no usage of drugs/medicines. They believe that the body has a natural healing capability and that their role is simply to encourage it.

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By gently manipulating the muscles around the body blood circulation is increased.

Some of the techniques of osteopaths bear close resemblance to the arts of healing in Asia. Where physicians will heal the body by simply allowing a greater flow of “Chi”.

This knowledge and understanding make osteopaths great doctors for healing physical injuries from sports, arthritis, back pains, pregnancy-related pains and other chronic pains.

Their knowledge of the human muscles and bones makes them good fitness trainers since they can advise on what exercises a person can do without the risk of injury.

If a patient has been injured due to physical activity an osteopath can help in the rehabilitation by scheduling exercises that increases flexibility and decreasing pain.

They can be good guides to better physical fitness because they will take care not to injure with too much physical strain.

The combined science and knowledge of osteopathic medicine are good for people who are suffering from obesity, people who have osteoarthritis and people with chronic back pains.

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3 Ways to Beat Obesity with Osteopathy and Physical Training

A lot of people suffer from obesity. It’s an ailment that is treatable. However, obesity due to its nature causes increased injury rates. The chances of injury during falls are greatly increased; sprains/strains can also happen a lot.

And fractures in the lower extremity due to the weight impact can have a devastating effect. Joint dislocations and inflammations can also happen.

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And there are some people who are having trouble beating obesity. Just going on a diet does not solve the problem. Physical activities and better personal fitness are also very important.

The body must develop a better metabolism, better blood circulation and better oxygen intake in order to start losing significant amounts of weight.

Increasing blood circulation, reducing muscle and bone stress

An osteopath can help in all these areas. With gentle massages the muscles can be made more efficient, allowing blood to flow into the nerves thus increasing the overall blood circulation throughout the body.

And joints are manipulated to a wide range of motions creating more flexibility and reducing bone stress.

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An osteopath can also provide better guidance on what physical activities to undertake. They can help develop a plan of exercises that will cause little strain to the joints preventing joint pains making the activities more enjoyable and tolerable.

Increasing physical activities and developing better metabolism

As more physical activity is being undertaken the body will start to develop a better metabolism. And with continued osteopathic treatments, the patient will start to develop more confidence.

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Together with a good diet obesity will be slowly treated and eventually beaten. Osteopathy looks at the entire body as a whole system while employing techniques that do not require drugs or surgical procedures.

The treatments have very little or have no stress impact on the body but have a huge impact on its improvement.

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2 Types of Stress That Are Bad for You

Stress has been a topic in medicine for decades. And despite how much evidence and stories are being presented, our societies, in general, have not come up with a workable solution.

Stress affects your body and mind at the same time. And stress gets to you without you knowing it. People around you will see it but you won’t mind it being there.

Stress is not like a gaping wound on your shoulder. If you had one then you’d be rushing yourself to the nearest OR and get it stitched. But the crazy thing about stress is that people will put more importance on broken bones, lacerated muscles, high blood pressure, and diabetes than getting the stress out of their body and their lives.

Both your osteopath and your personal fitness trainer can help relieve your stresses.  In osteopathy, the body as a whole will be taken into account. An osteopath will work with your muscles and your bones to make them more pliable and resistant to stress. Stress is basically the tension that you feel in your body and in your mind.

By working to flush out these tensions your body will then start to heal naturally without the need for medicines or drugs. The body itself has its own healing abilities and by simply allowing the body to heal on its own, allowing the natural immune systems to fight the illnesses then the body becomes stronger and more durable.

A personal fitness trainer can also help in a somewhat similar way. Thru exercises and cardio-vascular training, the body becomes stronger. A stronger and healthier body would also mean a better immune system.

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However, osteopaths are also great fitness trainers and have greater training on how the muscle works, how bones are affected.

It is advisable to seek help from an osteopath when dealing with stress-related symptoms.

Physical Stress

There are common symptoms of stress on the body – headaches, muscle tension or pain, chest pains, fatigue, change in sex drive, sleeping disorder and many more.

And when we are feeling these symptoms, we ignore them and associate them with something else. For example, when we are feeling some chest pains – our immediate reaction to it is that we’ve eaten too much steak.

We do not consider the possibility that we are eating because of stress and that the chest pains were brought on by stress.

In osteopathy, stress symptoms are relieved by working on your muscles.

Osteopathy can help the human body to heal and regulate itself by taking out the barriers to recovery and encouraging a rebalancing of the body’s internal environment via muscle manipulation.

An osteopathic physician will work on the areas along the spine where our autonomic nervous system is, we will then encourage a rebalancing between the sympathetic and parasympathetic components of the body.

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We can also work on the symptomatic areas using techniques to help reduce muscle tension and soreness, and restrictions within the digestive and respiratory systems of the body. There are also simple exercises that can be done at home to help maintain the body’s equilibrium and manage the physical effects of stress.

Emotional Stress

It’s basically a combination of anger or irritability, anxiety and depression. And these emotional stresses can manifest into behaviors. Like a sudden drop in sexual drive, over-eating, rapid heartbeat, insomnia or sleeping disorders, stomach upsets and fatigue or low energy.

Now in cases of emotional stress osteopaths would then recommend you to a specialist.

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2 Disorders That Osteopathy Can Treat

Osteopathic Treatments does not really just focus on back pains. There are other disorders that are best treated with osteopathy. The fact that osteopathy has a holistic approach and a far less invasive approach compared to other treatments makes it better for a patient to seek the help this way.


Since osteopathy works on the muscles and the joints then it is also one of the best ways to treat arthritis without the need for drugs. And arthritis is really painful to a lot of people. It is an ailment that can hit just about anyone. You could be strong with a well-developed physique but still, develop arthritis.

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Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints. The main symptom of arthritis is the pain and the stiffness that you feel in your joints. And arthritis gets worse as you age. The pain will force you out of your activity.

If you like to golf, well, when you have arthritis you won’t be able to hold on to your club.

The two most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is one of the reasons why adults everywhere become disabled with pain. This is most common in the 45 and above age group. However, there have been many cases where osteoarthritis develops in young people as well.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition of the joints. This is where the smooth cartilage lining in the joint is torn away. The damage to the cartilage lining causes friction and inflammation, therefore, causing pain and stiffness.

Without treatment, the cartilage becomes more and more damaged and bone spurs may develop. This will further the problem – causing more symptoms.

Your osteopathic doctor will focus treating osteoarthritis by releasing the tension around the affected muscle and joint. This will encourage blood flow and better lymph flow. This increase in flow will greatly reduce pain while also increasing flexibility.

And since the osteopath will also work on the entire body it will also result in the improvement of the overall circulation.

The techniques that will normally be employed will be gentle massages and articulation, stretching of the joints and then they will advise you of exercises that you can do at home to further increase strength and flexibility.

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Sport Injuries

Almost everyone plays sports. Sports are a huge part of many people’s lives. And the wide range of sports activities is a means to keep fit and also as a hobby. And the injuries that happen are because of people playing too hard or when people do not do the proper warm-ups and stretching beforehand.

And age can also be a reason why injuries happen. Young people put in greater effort while playing sports and older people do not take note when the demands are too much for them.

Sports injuries are common but they are treatable. With the right treatment, injuries can heal quickly and rehabilitation is easy.

Osteopaths can help treat sports injuries and can also help the players perform better. They can help restore the structural integrity of a joint or muscle while helping the player develop better mobility thus improving performance.

An osteopath will encourage the damaged joint and muscle to a wide range of motions. This will help reduce pain and stiffness. The increase in motion will also improve blood flow. An osteopath will also look for the source of the pain rather than treating pain with a pain reliever or muscle relaxant.

The gentle massages in the soft tissue will increase the lymphatic drainage and decrease the tension and stress in the affected joint. Nutrients will be free to flow into the affected area increasing the natural healing.

An osteopath will achieve these treatments without the need for drugs or surgical treatments. Just by the use of touch and physical manipulation, the muscles will feel less tension.

Stretching and massaging will increase the blood in the nerves helping the tissue recover and heal.

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2 Reasons Why Your Child Should Start Osteopathy & Personal Fitness

We need to prepare our children for what lies ahead for them. One of the ways to prepare them is for them to develop a strong immune system and develop bodies that are physically fit.

Now children can get injured or get sick easily enough. But these injuries and ailments that they get are actually part of growing. For each new injury, they develop better muscles and mentally they remember to avoid getting injured again. Ailments like colds and coughs are illnesses that must be cured naturally.

For the body to develop a strong immune system it should be given the chance to develop those immunities. Immunities are developed when the body overcomes viruses. With each newly developed immunity, the system becomes stronger.

postimage 2ReasonsWhyYourChildShouldStartOsteopathyPersonalFitness babystand - 2 Reasons Why Your Child Should Start Osteopathy & Personal FitnessFitness for kids

As parents, we should encourage our children to be more active physically. Encourage them to train with us when we do exercises. Cardio exercises are very good exercises that children can do. Limbering exercises should also be encouraged.

The muscles and the bones should be strong but at the same time limber and flexible.

Now it is very possible for children to develop injuries due to incorrect training or incorrect recovery method. Most of the time when our children participate in sports, injuries happen during training and during games.

And with the wrong treatment injury becomes chronic. And this can be a devastating effect on both the child’s self-esteem and physical health.

Osteopathy for kids

Children’s and baby’s skeletons are still very soft. Osteopathic treatments are gentle massages to encourage blood circulation and improve the joints. The aim is to encourage better blood flow and flexible muscles.

Joint pains sometimes happen when the child has a growth spurt. A gentle massage and stretching on the joints can relieve the pain. Your osteopath can then offer advice on how to properly train and improve rehabilitation.

For adolescents, back pain can happen with bad posture. And scoliosis can also develop – this is where the spinal cord develops a curvature. Osteopathic treatments can correct this curvature without the need for an invasive surgical procedure to correct it.

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2 Reasons Why Pregnant Women Should Work with Osteopaths

Two very common things are associated with pregnancy, the increase in weight and backaches or back pains.

Let’s start with weight.

Eating healthy during pregnancy is critical to the baby’s growth and development. In order to get the nutrients that you and your baby need, you must eat from a variety of food groups, including fruits and vegetables, bread and grains, food with protein sources and dairy products. You basically will need to consume an extra 300 calories a day.

Fatigue and feeling sleepy are also very common in pregnancy, especially during the 12-weeks. Hormonal changes and imbalance that are taking place in your body will make you feel tired and sleepy.

You will also feel emotional and nauseous at the same time. And food cravings can happen too.

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And since you have already increased your food intake and with the constant snack in unhealthy dosage, it’s easy for a mother to gain weight. And with the emotional feelings that a mother gets – the mix can cause another stress. The stress of thinking of getting fat and obese.

And because the mother has already neglected to exercise and keep her body muscles limber and flexible – backaches will start.

And again, this is the result of not keeping limber. It’s also the result of hormonal imbalance and the changes in the body.

During pregnancy, the mother creates a hormone called relaxin. Relaxin is the hormone that allows the ligaments in the pelvic area to relax and for the joints to become looser. This is to prepare the mother for the birth process.

The relaxin hormone can also cause ligaments that support the spine to loosen and this will lead to instability and back pains.

So, pregnancies are very trying times for the mother.

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Reason Number One

The philosophy behind and techniques developed in osteopathic medicine focuses on the unified function of the entire body.

Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO, is the founder of osteopathic medicine. And he believed that the human body and its systems depended on one another to function. And that to maintain the body and its proper alignment will improve the body’s function and its ability to maintain itself.

Osteopathic manipulative treatment focuses on diagnosing the whole patient — how stress is affecting both the body and the mind. And not just focusing on the back pain for example.

This way of treatment is applied to care for pregnant women. When the maternal body is undergoing changes and hormones are imbalanced.

As mentioned previously, the body produces the relaxin and progesterone hormones. These are hormones that change the body of the mother.

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Reason Number Two

Osteopathic doctors will encourage their pregnant patients to do limber exercises since the OMT treatments have already begun to relieve the back pains. And this will now allow the patient mother to go back to exercises that can further help the mother during pregnancy.

Exercising can also relieve stress and help the body’s metabolic function. Food intake would no longer have the same impact as before. With a more controlled diet, the mother will then be relieved from the stress of overeating and of getting fat and obese.

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3 Reasons Why Osteopathy & Personal Fitness Can Help Your Back Pains

Back pains are one of the most common ailments that we get in our lives. We will all experience it at some point in our lives. We could be happily waving at our neighbors and then suddenly we are holding on to our backs as pain receptors are over flooded.

Back pain is often described as a normal thing, just another part of being human. We shrug it off and move on. However, there are people who experience back pain a lot and have already sought the help of doctors, medications have been given already and for some, popping a small pill has become normal.

Of course, when you have back pain it feels like a normal thing and it is. The human muscles can only withstand so much before it gives out. And normally we recover from these pains quickly enough. But it stops being normal when back pain continues and become a chronic issue.

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Treating the source of the injury

The common way of treating back pain is to have a bed rest. And if you have ever tried this, then you know that it can sometimes make your pain worse. This happens because the origins of the pain are not really being addressed.

Some people would advise you to stay still or stationary to reduce the risk of feeling more pain or worsening the injury, but the limiting movement will actually increase the likelihood that back pain will continue and become chronic.

Treating the whole body

Taking a whole-body approach and not just focusing on certain areas are the best ways to alleviate back pains. Normal daily movement, improving mobility and light exercises are more effective for most people with back pains rather doing stuff that strengthens a specific muscle group.

Treating yourself with light exercises

Short sessions of movement or exercise on a regular basis will allow you to avoid additional strain and it will maintain good blood flow allowing tissues to heal naturally.

A more relaxed back muscle is sometimes better than strong ones. Doing gentle stretches and flexibility exercises to keep your back muscles limber – giving you a more relaxed back.

By doing slow gradual stretching this will encourage your muscles to relax and soften. It helps to make your movement to be more natural.

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3 Ways to Keep Your Muscles and Bones Healthy

There are many ways of keeping the body healthy and some of the best ways are to treat symptoms without the need for drugs. Pain, for example, can be controlled naturally. The human body has a way of dealing with injuries and pain.

There are ways of increasing the healing capacity of the body or improving its immune system.

A holistic approach to the treatment of the body

While other forms of treatments only focus on specific problems or specific areas of the body, osteopathic techniques look at the relationship between all organ systems of the human body as well as bones, muscle tissue, and the overall function.

Osteopaths can treat a variety of problems and address a lot of symptoms that relate to stress for example. And coupled with good personal fitness even at your home the body can be developed to function better and that includes recovering from injuries or illnesses.

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Improves Your Immunity

According to The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, osteopathic treatments have been shown to increase lymph flow.

And it was suggested that it may also increase levels of something referred to as slgA (An Immunoglobulin A (IgA) also known as antibody. An antibody that plays a critical role in the immune function of our mucous membranes.)

An increase in the slgA is present in people with high levels of emotional and psychological stress. This increase in slgA can protect us against the higher risk of upper respiratory tract infections.

A study way back in 2001, where it was published by The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, was conducted involving volunteers that gave their saliva as samples to measure slgA levels before 20-minutes of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT).

The conclusion showed that there was some positive effect and some increase on slgA levels in volunteers that were experiencing high stress.

As mentioned already personal fitness comes into play when it comes to the immune system. It has been observed that a person with a good physical condition can withstand and recover from injuries quicker and can also resist illnesses due to better immunity.

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Reduces Back Pains

Many osteopaths specialize in back pains, and there have been many cases where OMT can help alleviate these pains. There are many people suffering from back pains, people who are working in offices and those working in the field – like farmers or construction workers who do backbreaking labor.

And the studies have shown that OMT treatment has shown a significant reduction of back pains, back pains that have not shown any improvement with the treatment of drugs.

Now it’s amazing to think that some of the OMT techniques have a close resemblance to the techniques being employed by physicians in Far East Asia. The technique of manipulating the muscles and bones for example to increase the lymph flow is similar to the techniques of increasing the “Chakra” or “Chi” flow of the body.