What and why osteopathy?


Ever wonder what osteopathy is and why you would do it? I had the privilege of working with and getting treatment with Osteopathic Manual Practitioner, Patrick Suwala at The WOMB Milton the other day!

In the 8 years since The WOMB opened in Milton, I’ve seen every osteo that we’ve ever collaborated with. And what I’ve noticed is that each one works a bit differently. Some work more from an energetic perspective, others from an orthopaedic perspective.

I was very excited to work with Patrick this time because he is fairly fresh from osteopathy school. He has such a positive and new perspective on treating aches, pains, injuries, and body systems that aren’t working well. Bonus is that he and the other osteos help the body to restore the tissues to their normal function!

For my session, Patrick started with assessing my standing posture to see how my body holds itself upright in space. He noted whether there are any asymmetries from front to back and from side to side. Interestingly enough, my pelvis was rotated left, my shoulders were declining to the right side and simultaneously rotating to the right as well. Hmm…could that be stemming from my old tailbone snowboard injury?

The treatment started with me seated on the table, where Patrick turned my body left and right. In the places where he felt the tissues of my body restricted, he held them there. This helps them release and then prepares the fascia (connective tissue around organs and muscles) and other tissues for treatment later on.

Shifting to laying on my back, the treatment moved towards my legs and pelvis, or the “foundation of the house” as Patrick described. This is where he looked for asymmetries in the soft tissues that were causing the rotation of my pelvis. They also cause compensation patterns up into my shoulders. He worked through my obliques, abdominal muscles and lengthening the tissues in my back that attach to my pelvis.

After those areas were worked on, I lay on my stomach to treat my lower and upper back. Patrick said that this position would help to integrate the changes of my pelvis and lower legs into my shoulders and eventually my head and neck. Here, Patrick spent time releasing soft tissue tension in and around my shoulders, that he noted earlier in the standing position. He said it was very likely my shoulders were affected by how my spine was sitting on an asymmetric pelvis. Oh boy! Let’s fix that!

We finished the treatment with me laying on my back, where Patrick gently rotated and moved my neck around to find any remaining tensions to clear up.

Overall, the treatment was very gentle, calming and almost made me fall asleep! I love how when I come off the treatment table after an osteo treatment, that I am able to move with more ease and freedom and even better – without pain.

That was my experience – but that’s not the limit to what osteopathy does! Osteopathic manual practitioners also treat pregnant people experiencing challenges during their pregnancies (everything from morning sickness to back aches to swelling). They also treat babies who have challenges like gas issues, reflux, tongue ties, flat head and delayed milestones.

There isn’t anything you can’t explore with osteopathy! Try it out!

Angie Stenback, Cofounder and Director of The WOMB

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