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Osteopathic Techniques

Osteopathic techniques focus on the principle that the body structure and function are dependent on one another. When structure is altered via the musculoskeletal system abnormalities occur in other body systems and vice versa. This, in turn, can produce restrictions of motion, tension, tissue changes and asymmetry in the body. Skilled palpation and a detailed knowledge of anatomy, physiology and biomechanics can guide the practitioner to be able to assess and restore balance within and between all the systems of the body; musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, neurological, cranial and visceral. In health, the body seeks to maintain a balance within and between these systems. Osteopathic techniques involve a wide array of manual approaches to reduce and resolve strains, stress and dysfunction in all areas of the body.

Oscillation techniques are commonly applied using rhythmic motions under gentle traction to move tissue fluids (edema) and to relax hypertonic muscles and myofascial (fibrous tissue) layers. This manual procedure also promotes circulation of the lymphatic fluids.

Myofascial release is designed to treat primarily the myofascial structures. Using a direct technique, a restrictive barrier is engaged for the myofascial tissues; the tissue is loaded in three dimensions until release occurs. In treating with an indirect technique the dysfunctional tissues are guided along a path of least resistance until free movement is achieved.

Craniosacral therapy involves gently working with the dura membrane that covers brain, attaches inside of the skull and continues down the spine to the tailbone or sacrum, protecting and supporting the central nervous system. This central nervous system controls the functioning of every organ, muscle and nerve in the body. This systematic approach to patient diagnosis and treatment utilizes the body’s inherent movement emanating from the central nervous system and the fluctuation of the cerebrospinal fluid. This gentle, manual technique treats the whole person, emphasizing the head and spinal regions.

Visceral Manipulation is a gentle manual therapy that aids your body's ability to release restrictions and unhealthy compensations that cause pain and dysfunction. “Viscera" relates to the internal organs of the body, such as the liver, kidneys and intestines. Visceral Manipulation does not focus solely on the site of pain or dysfunction, but evaluates the entire body to find the source of the problem. This therapy re-establishes the body's ability to adapt and restore itself to health.

Osteopathic techniques may also involve Zero Balancing which addresses the relationship between energy and structures of the body using finger pressure and gentle traction on areas of tension in the bones, joints and soft tissue to create fulcrums, or points of balance, around which the body can relax and reorganize. Zero Balancing focuses primarily on key joints of our skeleton that conduct and balance forces of gravity, posture and movement. By addressing the deepest and densest tissues of the body along with soft tissue and energy fields, Zero Balancing helps to clear blocks in the body’s energy flow, amplify vitality and contribute to better postural alignment

Other osteopathic techniques may involve Muscle Energy where the patient is directed to use his or her muscles from a precise position and in a specific direction against a counterforce applied to restore motion, decrease muscle/tissue changes. Orthobionomy or Counterstrain techniques may be utilized where a manual procedure involves movement of the body passively away from the restricted motion barrier, towards the position of greatest comfort. At this point, passive, asymptomatic strain is induced. This technique is used for relief of somatic dysfunctions that are too acute or too delicate to treat with other procedures.