Throughout my childhood I sampled the handywork of many Osteopathic and Chiropractic practitioners in the UK and in the USA who my Osteopath Father introduced me to. The approach that I admired the most was one of sensitive consideration and deft technique. This tended to be the character of the practitioners of greater experience. There was great variation in their styles and abilities, just as there is now. Manual physical therapy is an art to be perfected by the few, rather than the many.
In 1976, aged 23, I enrolled on a marvellous four year, full-time course at The European School of Osteopathy in Maidstone, Kent. The School's syllabus was shaped by varying influences from the dedicated and talented tutors who made it all possible by passing on their skills to us. Their technique methods were individual, their Osteopathic comprehensions also unique. The common thread was as I had always been taught: establish the symmetry of mobility and muscle tensions then to stretch that which is short, to soften that which is tough, to mobilise that which lacks movement and to strengthen that which is weak.
I was totally inspired by those four years and continue to be to this day, always learning from each and every patient who entrusts their condition to me.
Osteomyology, what is it? It is a unique combination of manual techniques that gives equal attention to the soft-tissues and the skeletal structure.
Why am I an Osteomyologist? In 2000 I left the Osteopathic profession along with many other Osteopaths in protest at the structure of the regime that still persists to this day. I have continued on as an Osteomyologist since then, expanding my knowledge and refining my diagnostic and technical skills.
My treatment methods include deep massage of muscles and connective tissues. I also use joint manipulation and stretching of joints through precise passive stretching techniques. This reduces muscle spasm, increases mobility and creates a healthier state in which damaged tissues can heal more efficiently. My methods are tailored to take into account the differences between each persons’ condition and sensitivity.
Myo-articulation. This is one of my own techniques, developed over many years. This reverses deep tension patterns swiftly. It is particularly effective when applied to the forearm muscles in cases of RSI and hand/elbow injuries.
If there is carpal bone derangement of the wrist present, I can very specifically locate and ‘undo’ adhesions and re-align these delicate little bones of the wrist. I will ‘track’ the tension patterns along the arm and identify shoulder, ribcage and neck involvement. I release the tension in these areas using a variety of techniques such as articulation, massage and manipulation where necessary.
Long-lever articulation is a method of stretching the muscles and ligaments. It can also be used to mobilise a specific joint. It is often similar to having your Yoga done for you. It is entirely passive on the part of the patient. It can be applied equally to the neck as it can to the hip joint.
Micro-massage/Triggerpoint work is applied as a pressure point. It is a very precise pressure, accurate to a couple of millimetres. I find the deep points which will release the soft tissue in trouble by feeling my way in to the areas in pain or deep tension and spasm.
The body is malleable clay, hard and soft, wet and dry. Muscles, tendons and ligaments, all respond to a manual approach. It is via this principle that we find and resolve physical problems.
Restoring the symmetry of the spine and ribcage whilst increasing the flexibility of rigid areas is essential for long term health. Trauma patterns remain for life, the body takes a ‘snapshot of the aftermath of distortions that the body goes through by ‘freezing’ the traumatised areas. Where these compensations are demanded in areas which are resistant, the pattern will lock in to that area.
Incorrect breathing patterns can also be corrected through treatment and education. Such patterns have a harmful effect on the posture as well as on general health.
Tailored exercises are given when areas of muscle function are weak and wasting, or where a condition needs to regain co-ordination. I also educate patients with regard to postural, ergonomic and life style factors.