Osteopaths view the whole person as a complete integrated unit. They look to treat pain and dysfunction by examining areas such as poor posture, joint restriction, tendon inflammation, muscle tension and fascia stiffness. They then use specific ‘hands on’ techniques like massage, joint mobilisation, muscle stretches and fascial releases to help the body’s natural reparative processes restore equilibrium and reduce pain.
Osteopathy was founded in America by Dr Andrew Still (1874). Since then it has grown in popularity. In New Zealand, like other countries worldwide the osteopathic profession is now governed under legislation which recognises it as valid form of healthcare. These laws help ensure public safety as only fully trained and registered clinicians are permitted to practice osteopathy.
Osteopaths treat babies that are irritable or uncomfortable. During birth enormous pressures are put on a baby’s body which may give rise to difficulties with neck movement, problems with normal baby functions like feeding, burping and settling. By identifying tensions and strains in a baby's body the baby osteopath can gently apply specific, soft touch techniques to release them.
The body is amazing at adapting to demands placed upon it during pregnancy and birth. However, these changes may give rise to pain in areas such as the back, groin, shoulders neck and possibly headaches. Osteopaths identify and treat the areas of dysfunction to help support the mother in her pregnancy and to help her to be comfortable and relaxed as she cares for her baby once it is born. Osteopaths are able offer postural advice relating to breastfeeding, baby positioning and wearing, and post-partum postural support and strengthening.
The use of acupuncture dates back at least 2,500 years. However, only since the 1970s has its use become more widespread in the west. As more research has been added, the understanding of how it influences the body has evolved.
Western medical acupuncture is based on a growing catalogue of recent research. Current research points to the theory that needles stimulate specific nerve fibres in the body to reduce pain by influencing neurological pathways in the spinal cord and brain. It promotes local blood vessel dilation and stimulates the release of ‘healing and immunity’ hormones such as white blood cells and anti-bodies into the deeper tissues. It may also increase Endorphins and Serotonin which collectively are associated with reducing pain, regulating sleep, appetite and producing an improved sense of wellbeing or happiness.
While mainly thought of as a traditional Chinese method of treatment, its use is recorded as far back as Ancient Greece and Egypt. Cupping involves placing a vacuum cup on the body, this creates a negative pressure which stimulates and stretches the underlying tissues. This is thought to create positive blood flow and break fibrous adhesions that may have formed within the muscle fibres. Cupping has received more media attention recently since Olympic gold medallist swimmer Michael Phelps endorsed its use.
Electroacupuncture (EA) puts a mild electrical impulse into acupuncture needles that are inserted into the body. Research suggests this activates additional neurological pathways in the spinal cord and brain which are responsible for pain inhibition. Electroacupuncture is also thought to promote the release of beneficial chemicals and hormones to the injury site. However, it may influence a larger area and have a more concentrated effect than just needles alone. Electroacupuncture is most useful in cases of chronic pain such as tendon injuries or chronic pain syndromes. Patients typically report a mild tingling sensation during treatment.
Vibration therapy involves the application of a handheld device that transmits vibrations of certain intensity and frequency to the body. It is thought this may increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage at the injury site, helping the healing process occur more quickly and efficiently. Perhaps the most relevant application of vibration therapy is in the breaking down of scar tissue within the body. It is theorised the vibrations disrupt the structural bonds within scar tissue and encourage the body to reorganise the muscle fibres appropriately. Vibration therapy has been used by many players in the National Basketball Association (NBA) such as the professional athlete Karl Anthony Towns.
Sports tape (K Tape) was originally invented for Sumo wrestlers by a Chiropractor called Dr Kenzo Kase over 25 years ago. It has since grown in popularity and has been used by people from all walks of life, most notably by the professional footballer, David Beckham. It provides support and stability for muscles and joints while still allowing a comfortable range of motion. Pain sensors lie in the first two layers of the skin. It is thought the tape lifts the superficial layer allowing increased blood flow and reducing inflammation and pain. It can be used to support issues such as poor posture, damaged ligaments, unstable joints and pregnancy posture pain. Nick has undertaken additional training in sports taping and the basic principles can easily passed to patients to so they can tape themselves at home.
It is important for our clients have the appropriate tools and knowledge to look after themselves and help prevent further injury. At our clinic we spend time with each patient, carefully observing their posture and anatomical movement and positioning. Both Nick and Felice have undertaken additional training in Pilates while Nick has also completed numerous physiotherapy courses in strengthening and rehabilitation. We are able to prescribe stretches and strengthening exercises when appropriate, to improve posture and overall body functionality and help you look after your body.
Check our availablity and book yourself an appointment online, or feel free to get in contact with us directly and we can find a time that suits you. Leading osteopathic providers in the Warkworth area.