What is visceral osteopathy and how can it help you?
Illness – heart and lungs
Heart disease is one of the main causes of disability in the elderly. It is often associated with breathing difficulties and lung problems.
Heart and lung problems may be aggravated by tension in the chest. The chest area is one of the first to tighten up when we are worried or under stress. Tension causes muscles to tighten and reduces the ability of the chest to expand fully in breathing. This can constrict the heart and lungs, and make them more vulnerable to disease.
Gentle osteopathic treatment is used to release tension in the diaphragm and muscles of the chest. This encourages and restores normal breathing movements and helps the heart and lungs to work to their best potential.
Effects of surgery
Some surgery leaves behind excessive scar tissue, and this can be the cause of problems within the abdomen or pelvis. It is sometimes possible to release some of these effects with osteopathic treatment.
Dentures and plates
Dentures and plates can cause structural problems in the head and neck.
Normally there is a slight movement between bones of the face and head. An upper plate or denture has the effect of holding the bones of the upper jaw rigidly together, preventing or severely limiting the natural movement between them.
Strains may also be set up through the face as a result of dental extractions, ill fitting dentures, old or worn dentures (which cause a loss of height through the face), or from eating unevenly due to loss of teeth.
Face or neck pain, headache, congested sinuses, ear problems or eye strain.
Plates and dentures should be removed at night to allow the face to free itself off for some hours during each 24 hour cycle.
Osteopathy as you get older
For the relief of:
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Neck and back ache
- Congested sinuses
- Heart and lung conditions
- Circulatory conditions
- Knee, hip and ankle arthritic pain
- Digestive disorders
- Teeth and face problems
Osteopathy during and after Pregnancy
Osteopathic treatment can be beneficial in:
- Easing some of the physical discomforts of pregnancy.
- In some cases helping threatened miscarriage to settle.
- Preparing for the demands of labour.
- Helping the mother to recover after birth.
Discomforts of Pregnancy
Osteopathy can help to ease some of the discomforts of pregnancy including:
- Nausea and vomiting: Osteopathy can help by releasing debilitating physical strains caused by vomiting and restoring musculoskeletal harmony and balance. Treatment to improve the circulation to and from the liver can help reduce nausea.
- Heart Burn: As the uterus expands, it distorts the diaphragm contributing to heartburn. Osteopathic treatment can often reduce tension and relieve heartburn.
- Breathing Difficulties: Postural changes through the lower ribs and spine can impede the action of the diaphragm and make breathing difficult. Osteopathic treatment to improve function of the whole rib cage allows full use of available lung capacity.
- Varicose Veins and Haemorrhoids: Tension within the pelvis or diaphragm area can increase resistance to the return of venous blood to the heart from the lower half of the body. This can cause or aggravate varicose veins in the legs and haemorrhoids. Osteopathic treatment to release tension in the pelvis and diaphragm regions is helpful in the prevention and treatment of these conditions.
- Aches and Pains: Aches and pains are common during pregnancy, as the body changes shape to accommodate the increasing size and weight of the uterus. This involves considerable changes to posture. If the mother has existing back problems, or strains in her body from past accidents or trauma, it may be more difficult for her to accommodate these changes, and she may suffer more discomfort as a result.The ligaments of the whole body soften during pregnancy due to the action of hormones. This allows the bones of the pelvis to separate slightly during the delivery to facilitate the passage of the baby’s head through the pelvis. Unfortunately this softening affects the whole body and makes it more vulnerable to strain during the pregnancy. Poor posture may cause backache, neckache, headaches, aching legs and undue fatigue. Osteopathic treatment is helpful in assisting the body to make postural changes easily and makes the pregnancy much more comfortable.
Preparation for Labour
An important part of preparation for childbirth is to ensure that the mother’s pelvis is structurally balanced and able to allow the passage of the baby down the birth canal.
Trauma to the pelvic bones, coccyx or sacrum at any time in a mother’s life can leave increased tension in muscles and strain within ligaments and bones of the pelvis. This can limit the ability of these bones to separate and move out of the way during labour, and thus limit the size of the pelvic outlet.
Osteopathic treatment is extremely effective at releasing old strains within the pelvis, thus giving the best chance of an easy and uncomplicated labour.
In most cases osteopathic treatment to ensure that the pelvis and uterus are correctly balanced and aligned can help with discomforts of later pregnancy, and can often help the baby turn into a better position.
Treatment after Birth
Birth can be traumatic for both mother and baby, and osteopathy is effective at helping both to recover.
- Mother: The mother’s pelvis is vulnerable to lasting strains from the forces involved, particularly after a difficult delivery. Some of these strains can have a profound effect on the nervous system, and contribute to postnatal depression. After giving birth, the body not only has to recover from the changes it made during pregnancy, but also from the effects of delivery. All this is going on whilst doing the very physically and mentally demanding job of caring for the new baby. Caring for a baby can place enormous strain on the back, during such activities as nursing in poor positions, lifting car seats especially in and out of the car, reaching over the cot, or carrying a child on one hip. Unresolved childbirth stresses in the mother can contribute to ongoing back problems, period problems, stress incontinence, constipation, headache and more. Osteopathic treatment can help the mother return to normal both, physically and mentally, after the birth by releasing strains from both pregnancy and labour. This allows her to relax and enjoy her new baby.
- Baby: The baby can suffer long-lasting effects from the moulding process during birth, and an osteopathic check up is recommended.
Is Osteopathy safe during Pregnancy?
Osteopaths are highly skilled and undergo a minimum of 4 years training. Gentle osteopathic techniques are very beneficial and perfectly safe at all stages of pregnancy.