What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a drug-free, non-invasive form of manual therapy that aims to improve health across all body systems. Osteopathic Manual Therapy follows a set of principles and emphasizes the interrelationship between the alignment of structure and the body’s function. Intrinsically, osteopathy believes in the body’s ability to self-heal and self-regulate.


Introduced by founder Dr. A.T. Still in the 1870s, osteopathy has grown exponentially in popularity through its success with patients of all ages and backgrounds. It is a science, a philosophy, and a practice that focuses on facilitating the health of joints and soft tissues through non-invasive manual therapy, helping to strengthen the body’s framework. By working with the interrelated systems and functions of the human body, osteopathic manual therapy can help return the body to normal health.


Osteopathic treatment entails gentle mobilizations of various joints and soft tissues throughout the body, aiming to positively affect the body’s nervous, endocrine, digestive, respiratory, vascular, urogenital, and lymphatic systems. Manual osteopaths use a variety of principle-based techniques to reduce or remove restrictions and balance asymmetry, thereby helping to restore normal physiological function. Techniques such as myofascial release, muscle energy, oscillatory osteoarticular release, strain-counter strain, cranial-sacral therapy, ligamentous articular release, and more, are used collectively throughout treatment.


Restrictions or obstructions can be found superficially within the myofascial layer, intermediately within the neuromuscular layer, or deep within the interarticular layer, which may cause compression or tension on nerves, arteries, veins, and lymphatics. When one experiences stress, physical or emotional trauma, scarring, or inflammation, the fascia that surrounds all structures of the body loses its pliability, becoming tight, restricted, and a source of tension to the rest of the body.


Osteopathic treatment is meant to be relaxing and inhibitory. Without the use of high- velocity or aggressive adjustments, treatment appeals to the nervous system, allowing the body to integrate the correction. This approach leads to longer-lasting results, increasing the patient’s vitality and placing the patient in a better position for the body to self-heal and self-regulate. Various treatment approaches help to ease pain, reduce swelling, reduce tissue tension, and promote healing.


Each treatment is specific and unique to each person. The goal of treatment includes improving the quality of life, reducing symptom expression, and speeding the restoration of normal function while reducing the impact of illness on home and work life.

What does osteopathic assessment look like at The Armoury?

At The Armoury Clinic, our primary goal is to ensure you feel safe and comfortable throughout your visit. Your osteopathic assessment will be conducted by our skilled manual osteopath, who will take the time to understand your unique health concerns and needs.


Initial Consultation
The assessment begins with a thorough discussion of your health history, including any current conditions and previous medical treatments. The manual osteopath will discuss your symptoms, medical history, lifestyle, and any specific concerns you may have. This initial consultation allows your manual osteopath to form a complete picture of your health status.


Hands-On Assessment
During the initial consultation appointment, a hands-on assessment will be performed. This involves a careful evaluation of how your body moves, identifying any restrictions or imbalances. The manual osteopath will gently assess the fascia, muscles, and joints to understand their condition and how they interact.


Individualized Treatment Plan
Based on the findings from the hands-on assessment, an individualized treatment will be administered. This may involve gentle manipulation techniques aimed at alleviating tension and restoring proper function to the fascia, muscles, and joints. This occurs with the osteopathic knowledge of functional anatomy and collective mechanics, to free the nerve, artery, vein, and lymphatic vessels from any restrictions.


Ongoing Care and Evaluation
After the initial treatment, the manual osteopath will discuss a tailored treatment plan designed specifically for your case. This plan will outline the recommended frequency of visits and any additional strategies to support your health and well-being. At each subsequent appointment, your progress will be carefully re-assessed to ensure that your treatment goals are being met and to make any necessary adjustments.


At The Armoury Clinic, your health and progress are our top priorities. We arecommitted to providing personalized care and continuous support to help you achieve optimal health and well-being.

What does osteopathic treatment look like at The Armoury?

An osteopathic session typically involves gentle mobilizations of various joints and soft tissues to positively affect the nervous, endocrine, digestive, respiratory, vascular, urogenital, and lymphatic systems. Manual osteopaths use various techniques, including myofascial release, muscle energy, oscillatory osteoarticular release, strain-counter strain, cranial-sacral therapy, and ligamentous articular release. These techniques aim to reduce restrictions, balance asymmetry, and restore normal physiological function.


The treatment is intended to be relaxing and inhibitory, appealing to the nervous system without aggressive adjustments. This approach helps to ease pain, reduce swelling, and promote healing by allowing the body to integrate corrections. Each treatment is specific and unique to the individual, to improve the quality of life, reduce symptoms, and speeding the restoration of normal function.


Osteopathic treatment has a logical sequence and rhythm, working through the body layer by layer. This rhythm helps in integrating and stabilizing changes, making the treatment more effective and responsive. The overall application of a methodology and rhythm in treatment enhances the cumulative effect, leading to better-quality diagnoses and outcomes.


The primary pathway of communication in the body is the bloodstream, with the nervous system playing a central role. Osteopathic treatment often focuses on the health of the blood supply to the nerves, as this determines the health of the tissues they innervate. By treating these areas, manual osteopaths can have a positive influence on muscle reflexes and vasomotor tone, improving overall body efficiency.


In summary, osteopathic treatment is thorough and concise, involving assessment, holistic treatment of the patient, and allowing the patient to integrate the changes. As the osteopathic adage goes, “Find it, fix it, leave it alone.” A typical osteopathic session can take up to 20-30 minutes.

When should I see a Manual Osteopath?

A person should consider seeing a manual osteopath when they experience musculoskeletal pain or discomfort that affects their daily activities and quality of life. This can include chronic back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, or joint pain, as well as acute injuries such as sprains or strains.

Osteopathy is particularly beneficial for those who suffer from repetitive strain injuries, headaches, and migraines that may be linked to musculoskeletal issues. Additionally, individuals who feel persistent tension or stiffness, especially in areas like the lower back or neck, can find relief through osteopathic treatment.


Manual osteopaths can also assist those recovering from surgery or dealing with postural problems, helping to improve mobility and function. Pregnant women often benefit from osteopathic care to alleviate the physical strains of pregnancy. Furthermore, athletes and physically active individuals might seek osteopathic treatment to enhance performance, prevent injuries, and expedite recovery.


Essentially, anyone experiencing physical discomfort that limits their movement or causes pain could benefit from an assessment and treatment by a manual osteopath, who focuses on improving overall body function and promoting self-healing through various hands-on techniques.

Do I need a doctor’s referral for osteopathy at The Armoury?

No, a doctor referral is not required to seek osteopathic care from our manual osteopath at the Armoury.

Does The Armoury do direct billing for osteopathy?

Yes. For most insurance companies, our reception team can do direct billing for osteopathic care. However, in specific cases when it is not allowable by your insurance provider policy, we can assist in providing receipts and facilitating your reimbursement, with payment required at the time of the appointment.

Can I see a manual osteopath before seeing a doctor?

Yes, you can see a manual osteopath before seeing a doctor.

However, while manual osteopaths are skilled in treating various musculoskeletal issues, some conditions require seeing a doctor first. For instance, severe injuries, infections, or systemic illnesses often require medical evaluation and treatment that only a doctor can provide.

If you are uncertain about your condition, a manual osteopath will carefully review your health history and assess it to rule out any red flags. This thorough process ensures that you receive the appropriate care and may uncover fascinating intersections between osteopathic and medical treatments!

What training do manual osteopaths have at The Armoury?

At the Armoury clinic, our manual osteopath is trained to meet the highest international standards for osteopathic education, ensuring their patients receive top-quality care that is recognized by all insurance companies in Ontario, including Manulife and Sunlife.


The clinic’s manual osteopath is a member of Osteopathy Canada (OSTCAN), which mandates rigorous educational and training requirements. To be a member of OSTCAN, a manual osteopath must complete a minimum of four years of osteopathic education, amounting to at least 4200 hours. This extensive training includes a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice and training, adhering to the Type 1 standard as outlined by the World Health Organization’s ‘Benchmarks for Training in Osteopathy’.


This ensures that patients at The Armoury Clinic receive care from highly qualified manual osteopaths whose training meets the highest international standards, providing assurance of insurance coverage and high quality treatment.


For more information on Osteopathy Canada