Osteopathy is quite literally the backbone – pun intended! – of what we do here at The Maas Clinic. Our clinic founder and Lead Clinician Laurens Maas is trained first in osteopathy, and as such it informs everything we do here, and every treatment plan we create.
So… what is osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a brilliant and broad practice, one which we are diving into in detail here. We hope you’ll enjoy having a read!
Osteopathy addresses the fundamental connections within your body: your bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue. Whatever your body is doing from your eyes downwards, your eyeballs always have to share a common horizon line. In order for your eyes to share that common horizon line, your body will stack up however it can to facilitate that. Even if it means an imbalance. If you are architecturally out of balance, you will use your muscles and joints in a way which causes inflammation.
The more mechanically inefficient your body is, the more pain and inflammation you’ll experience. This is because nerves stretch in one area, which causes ‘crunched’ nerves in another. Scoliosis – curvature of the spine – is a result of this, and can exasperate inflammation further.
Osteopaths are trained to correct these skewed alignments, so that not only is your horizon line straight, but the rest of your body is too.
The law of balance
Osteopathy uses the law of balance to inform its practice.
A balanced skeleton is a happy skeleton.
In order for a skeleton to be balanced, the spine must be straight.
Osteopaths specialise in ensuring that your body is properly aligned. They notice how one area of your body needs adjusting, so that another can straighten out.
We like to joke that it’s impossible to win a game of Jenga against an osteopath for this very reason! Osteopaths see the balance of things in a more complex and detailed way than most.
Good and bad spinal habits
“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.”
This ‘secret of adulthood’, as shared by author Gretchen Rubin in her book The Happiness Project, is one we endorse wholeheartedly when it comes to osteopathy.
Indeed, broadly speaking, your daily habits have a much larger impact on your spinal health, than what you choose to do once in a while. How you sit, walk, the shoes you wear — these all have an impact on your spine.
Slowly but surely good – or bad! – habits will have a noticeable impact on your spinal health.
It is important to equip yourself with the knowledge as to what is beneficial for your spine, and what can damage it.
Good habits for your spine include:
- regular osteopathy appointments
- good posture
- supportive shoes
- walking (with good shoes!)
Bad habits for your spine include:
- carrying a heavy bag consistently on one shoulder
- bad posture
- ill-fitting and/or unsupportive shoes
- a sedentary lifestyle
- an indifference to your body’s balance
The benefits of osteopathy are vast.
On a fundamental level, osteopathic treatment can help to halt or reverse the effects of gravity and degeneration.
From a visceral point of view, organ function can be greatly improved.
Oxygen — your body’s life force! — is supported by a balanced skeleton. In turn improving circulation and the supply of nutrients to your body.
Furthermore, people who are properly aligned benefit from excellent cardiovascular function and get better results from exercise.
Ultimately, good skeletal structure = good function.
Osteopathy treats the body holistically, whereas cranial osteopathy focuses on the head, though it can extend to other areas of the body too.
Cranial osteopathy is a gentle practice, which uses tender hand pressure to manipulate bones, particularly in the head.
Cranial osteopathy can be used to treat a number of issues including birth trauma, migraines, scoliosis, sleep issues and much more.
Osteopathy at The Maas Clinic
Laurens Maas, our Lead Clinician, specialises in mechanical and visceral osteopathy.
As any of our clients can attest to, an osteopathy appointment with Laurens will soon expand to include a totalistic look at your health. Such is the holistic nature of our outlook here at The Maas Clinic.
Laurens looks at the body holistically, taking into account emotional health, lymphatic function, visceral function and total body alignment.
Osteopathy is the perfect core practice for us here at The Maas Clinic and Functional Medicine is an extension of the fundamentals of osteopathy.
Though you may have found a way to get through life with an imbalance (humans are amazing at adapting), it doesn’t mean that you are fundamentally ‘OK’.
If you want to achieve longevity and great health, you need to focus on creating a better life in the present moment.
Osteopathy can help with that, by bringing balance back into your life.
Here at The Maas Clinic we devise treatment plans designed to create balance and symmetry for our clients on a mechanical, visceral and emotional level.
We are passionate about unpicking our clients’ health concerns and it is our number one focus to help our clients to achieve their optimal health.
If you think that you may have an osteopathic issue we can help with, we’d love to hear from you.