What To Expect During Your Treatment

Initial visits can last up to one hour and follow-up visits up to 30 minutes. After a thorough history is obtained, the patient receives an Osteopathic structural and functional examination. The patient is then usually treated while lying on their back and occasionally in a seated position. At times the patient may be asked to change positions or to participate in some way in the treatment process. Accommodations are always made to make the patient as comfortable as possible.

Treatment using Osteopathy in the Cranial Field involves a gentle hands-on approach to free the areas of the body in which motion has become restricted. Your physician may make contact with areas of your body that you do not associate with your injury or pain, including your feet, your tailbone or your head. As osteopaths, we recognize that the body needs to be assessed and treated as a whole because of fluid and tissue continuity. During the treatments, patients may sense a deep state of relaxation (sometimes resulting in sleep), a wide range of other feelings and sensations, or they may feel nothing at all. The patient’s perceptions during treatment do not necessarily equate with treatment response.

On occasion, different techniques or modalities may be used, based on what the osteopath feels is most appropriate for you at that time. These may include gentle soft tissue techniques, such as counterstrain or myofascial release, or thrusting techniques, which DO’s call “high velocity-low amplitude” technique. All of these modalities are performed with very little force. Whatever techniques are used, the principles upon which the treatment is based do not change. We are still looking for the health within our patients and are working to support the innate capacity for healing within them. Therefore, we will always discuss what we are going to do with you before we apply any new modality of treatment and we will apply it with respect for your comfort and for the needs of your system. There are rarely, if ever, contraindications to the use of Osteopathic treatment, even though there may be a particular technique that might not be appropriate for an individual patient based upon their condition or their preferences.

What To Wear For Your Treatment

Patients are treated fully clothed, except for shoes. Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing, or bring some with you, when possible. For women, pants are preferred. Please refrain from perfumes and strong fragrances, as some of our patients are chemically sensitive. It helps to be as relaxed as possible before your treatment, so please refrain from consuming stimulants such as coffee and nicotine right before your treatment.

What To Expect After Your Treatment

Typically, patients feel very relaxed and peaceful after a treatment. Occasionally patients experience one or two days of feeling tired or mildly sore. This is normal and can indicate that the treatment process is continuing and that the injury pattern or dysfunction is starting to heal. The time it takes one to heal is dependent on many factors, but in general, the more chronic the issue, the longer it may take. We would usually expect to see some signs of improvement within the first 4 to 5 treatments.

What To Do After Your Treatment

Because Osteopathic treatment alters the dynamics of tensions held by the tissues and fluids, we recommend that patients “take it easy” for the first two to three days after each treatment. In other words, get adequate rest, limit or eliminate high impact or intense work-outs, avoid excessive alcohol or caffeine, and keep well hydrated with water. Your osteopath may give you other recommendations that are specific for you.

Osteopathic Care As Part Of A Complete Treatment Program

Your osteopathic physician will collaborate with other members of your health care team (other physicians, as well as physical therapists, acupuncturists, counselors, etc.) as needed. Your osteopath may also recommend any of a variety of other complementary healthcare modalities, such as dietary changes, nutritional supplements, homeopathy or therapeutic exercises, as part of your overall treatment plan.

It is also preferable, although not absolutely necessary, to schedule other types of constitutional treatments, such as massage, acupuncture, PT, OT,and homeopathy, more than 72 hours before or after Osteopathic treatments. The reason for this recommendation is that the normal healing process takes about 72 hours to fully mature, so this timing allows your system adequate time to fully respond to each treatment before the next is introduced. But please do not let this become another source of stress in your life.