Osteopathic Methods

Osteopathic Methods and their Advantages

If you only have a hammer everything becomes a nail’, hence osteopaths use different methods depending upon the treatment required.

When structure is altered via the musculoskeletal system abnormalities occur in other body systems. This, in turn, can produce restrictions of motion, tenderness, tissue changes and asymmetry.

The goal of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine is to address the somatic dysfunction either by directly treating the lesion, or by manipulating the body in such a way that allows the musculoskeletal system to correct itself – this would be called an “indirect” technique.

Soft-Tissue Technique

Its purpose is to move tissue fluids (oedema) and to relax tight muscles and myofascial (fibrous tissue) layers associated with somatic dysfunction.

Myofascial Release

This procedure involves unwinding techniques of deeper structures, primarily the myofascial structures and fascia (connective tissue that surrounds the muscles, organs and other structures).

Articulatory Treatment

Low velocity, moderate to high amplitude springing focused on joint mobility.

High Velocity Low Amplitude (HVLA) or Thrust Technique

In this form of manipulation a high velocity/low-amplitude thrust is used to restore specific joint motion. With such a technique, the joint regains its normal range of motion and re-sets neural reflexes. The procedure reduces and/or completely nullifies the physical signs of somatic dysfunction; tissue changes, asymmetry, restriction of motion and tenderness. A technique with which most people are familiar (also known as the “cracking” or “popping” technique).

Osteopathy in the Cranial Field

Cranial Osteopathy is a gentle treatment which releases tensions held within strains. The Biodynamic approach to the cranial field uses fluid dynamics to treat and restore whole body normalization. It is a system of treatment that utilizes the intrinsic motion of the cranial and neurological system to treat the whole body; one of the most difficult techniques for practitioners to master, and for this reason, one of the more controversial within the osteopathic profession.

Lymphatic Technique

This manual procedure is designed to promote circulation of the lymphatic fluids and can be used to relieve upper and lower respiratory infections. Rhythmic, usually passive, movement of patient to increase flow of lymphatic fluid

Counterstrain/Functional Technique

A holding & balancing technique of joints & structures.


All Osteopathic techniques endeavour to achieve greater range of motion, decrease in pain and symptoms and a general feeling of wellbeing.

The techniques can be used individually or in combination, always aiming at restoring the body to optimal health.