FAQs

Do I Need to Undress?

 

  • Osteopathic consultation – comfortable clothing and removal of all restrictive clothing should be fine. In some cases, removal of clothes down to underwear may be required. If this is the case, towels or treatment gowns are used for modesty

 

  • Massage consultation – underwear is kept on. It is usual to take off other clothing, to keep them away from the oil that is used on your skin. Towels are then used for modesty. Some ladies prefer to keep their bra on and this can always be accommodated by the practitioner, who will simply undo the bra strap to treat the whole back and then do it up again at the end.

 

Why is the first session different to subsequent consultations?

In the initial consultation, time is required to go through your history, presenting situation and ask clarifying questions (both the practitioner of your situation and you of the practitioner and process for instance). After the initial discussion, a thorough examination is also required. This identifies postural components as well as painful or uncomfortable areas and an assessment of the way your body moves, noting pain, tightness, weakness, and restrictions of motion. Further, additional medical examinations such as local orthopaedic (such as joint strength and sensation testing and special tests for the area); neurological, or even cardiovascular or respiratory examinations.

After all these tests, a discussion of your situation, important things found, working diagnosis and prognosis along with number and frequency of treatments expected to be required is necessary. Other important factors that may assist your situation such as postural support, exercises, nutritional factors and anything else required to help you attain your health goals. Once you have asked any further questions, a treatment plan is agreed upon and we can progress

After all this, in some cases time left is minimal or you, the client have become irritable due to important and necessary testing. In these situations, only a short treatment is conducted in this first session

A follow up consultation will always involve discussion about how you feel, what you noticed since the previous treatment and possibly further examinations. This process however, is shorter and most of the session will involve a hands on treatment, using a number of different treatment techniques.

Do I only come when I'm in pain?

In Western society we have become accustomed to only seeking assistance when something has gone wrong (or, in fact, often, many months after something has gone wrong and we can no longer cope with the pain/discomfort. Yes, in many cases an Osteopath can assist here, to get you healing and out of pain.

A major component of an Osteopath’s job is to facilitate your ability to heal and reduce/stop recurring injury/pain episodes. In order to do this, a maintenance approach requiring your commitment is necessary and consists of infrequent osteopathic treatment sessions, postural, nutritional and exercise advice and support.

It is becoming more and more obvious that a preventative approach to health care (and not a sick maintenance approach) is required for good health and wellbeing. An Osteopath can assist you for this approach also. Providing such advice as mentioned above, where appropriate as well as infrequent consultations to reduce/remove body strains before they become debilitating, aid maximal body function and to reduce the risk of injury, as well as to treat issues as they arise so as to speed up recovery or maintain functioning as long as possible (for example in chronic illnesses)

What should I expect from an Osteopathic Treatment?

Basically, an Osteopathic consultation involves a discussion about what is happening for you currently and your presenting issue as a whole; an examination of any areas of the body required to allow a clear picture of your situation; further discussion and questions (to or from the practitioner) as required and then a treatment portion where you will lie on the treatment table and the practitioner will place their hands on your body.

For examination and treatment, you will be required to remove any shoes, belt, restrictive clothing and the contents of your pockets (eg wallet and keys). This is likely to be all that needs to be removed, however, in some cases, removal of clothing is necessary to get a clearer picture of how your spine etc is moving, any scars or other factors. In such cases, towels are used for modesty and if anything is of concern, you need only raise the issue and a comfortable solution can be found.

While in treatment, many techniques will be used and areas that may appear unrelated to your pain will be addressed as needed. The practitioner will explain what is happening, however, if you are uncomfortable or concerned, please ask questions or let us know your concerns and we can alter things if necessary. You are in control at all times

After all these tests, a discussion of your situation, important things found, working diagnosis and prognosis along with number and frequency of treatments expected to be required is necessary. Other important factors that may assist your situation such as postural support, exercises, nutritional factors and anything else required to help you attain your health goals. Once you have asked any further questions, a treatment plan is agreed upon and we can progress

After all this, in some cases time left is minimal or you, the client have become irritable due to important and necessary testing. In these situations, only a short treatment is conducted in this first session

A follow up consultation will always involve discussion about how you feel, what you noticed since the previous treatment and possibly further examinations. This process however, is shorter and most of the session will involve a hands on treatment, using a number of different treatment techniques.

What does an Osteopathic treatment involve?

Treatment may incorporate a number of different treatment techniques as well as treatment to multiple areas (often including ones you might think are not involved in your issues). Please understand that we often feel pain or become injured in an area of the body that is actually compensating for another area of the body that is not working correctly (has an imbalance, problem or blockage), let us call this location the initial insult. The area(s) of pain or injury therefore, will only resolve completely and no longer have future “episodes” when the area of the initial insult is resolved.

Subsequent treatments may appear similar or different. While they will be based on the agreed treatment plan, the specific approach may vary depending, among other things on: response to previous treatment(s); day to day variations in your body vitality; and alterations in strain patterns present on the day, as the body ebbs and flows and also “improves”.

How long it a Consultation?

Osteopathy:

An initial Osteopathic Consultation at Blossoming me is 45min to 1 hr

A follow up Osteopathic consultation is 30-45 min

Massage:

Your choice of 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours

For the initial consultation, we allow an extra 15 mins to go through your history together, So 1hr 15min or 1hr 45min respectively.

How many consultations are required?

This is not a clear cut answer…

If coming as part of a health maintenance process or health coaching, then once a month or every few months even could be enough

If treatment is for a chronic issue and you haven’t had consistent regular treatment previously, it may take 3-5 closer sessions to get things functioning more effectively (in some cases, even more) and then a less frequent arrangement that works within your circumstances can be arranged

If treatment is for an acute injury, a few treatments close together may be all that is required to get you out of pain and functioning more effectively or you may choose after this initial phase, to continue treatment, with less frequent sessions of: for example: rehabilitation exercises, postural assistance, nutritional information, in order to completely as possible rebuild strength, flexibility, movement, function and resilience.

What is the difference between an Osteopath, Chiropractor and Physiotherapist?

How are Osteopathy, Chiropractic & Physiotherapy different – how do I choose who to see?

A common and understandable question is “what is the difference between an osteopath, a physiotherapist and a chiropractor?” And then, “which one do I see”.

While that seems like a simple question, it is a bit complicated. First, we are not only looking at the basic differences between the three professions and their individual philosophies, methodologies, attitudes and strengths but also the different personalities and attitudes of each individual practitioner. And then, to add to that, you, the client will have personal preferences, attitudes, and connections with the practitioner

All three professions aim to provide a minimally invasive and natural approach to health, most specifically of the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, tendons, ligaments…).  All three seek to optimise your body function and solve your pain (commonly back pain, neck pain, headaches, migraines, injuries and much more). The difference is in their varied philosophies of how to best work with a client to resolve the issue/pain.

As a client, you will have (even if unconsciously) preferences for what you want in a health practitioner… types of techniques used, location of practice, been referred by someone, experience, gut feel when you meet them, how they communicate with you…

As all three are highly trained health professionals and can in most cases treat many of the same complaints, the most important factor in determining who to see, it how you feel about them

  • Do you feel comfortable with how they communicate with you?
  • Do you feel that they have good knowledge and experience in the situation that you require assistance with?
  • Are you happy to travel to wherever they are located
  • You can confirm that they have the correct relevant training and registration
  • Then, once you saw them
    • Were you comfortable
    • Did they answer your questions well enough
    • Did the post treatment experience go as they suggested it would (or is there a good reason it didn’t)
    • Did the treatment or series of treatments help?
      • Often you will need to allow 3-4 treatment sessions to really know if it is helping effectively
    • IF YOU DID NOT GET THE RESULTS YOU WANT – DON’T GIVE UP –  first, discuss this with the practitioner! If, still not, Try someone else!
    • Every practitioner, in the same “modality” or not, is different, we all bring yourselves to our work, so keep looking till you find the right person for you
    • Sometimes, you will feel you are happy with this practitioner for a certain type of situation, but not happy with results for a different type of situation; so you may end up seeing different practitioners for different situations… as long as you are getting assistance and you improve to your satisfaction, this is fine

Are they:

  • Trusted
  • Knowledgeable
  • Friendly
  • Able to provide the best quality treatment for your situation
  • Some things to consider
    • Are they a member of their association?
      • Shows they care and are committed
    • Do they have a particular area of interest that aligns with your situation
      • May have better experience with your area of need
    • Were you referred by someone you trust as they were helped by this practitioner/clinic?
      • Trust and confidence that they can help, or will say if referral is required
    • Have you already got a rapport with them say from previous satisfactory treatment?
      • Trust and confidence that they can help, or will say if referral is required
    • Length of initial and follow up treatments
      • Some are very short, ours are 30min +
    • Ability to claim from health funds
      • Shows registered properly and can benefit you financially
    • Will the practitioner be treating more than 1 client at a time
      • You want the practitioner focussed on you
    • Does the clinic expect upfront payment packages?
      • That is, packages are not uniquely designed for you and your situation and or require you to pay upfront for the whole package
        • They may be trying to get you to see they more often than is necessary (actually illegal)….

 

As I am an Osteopath, I have not studied in depth the philosophies of the other modalities, thus cannot provide a deeper discussion on Chiropractic or Physiotherapy

Below is a short summary of some research into Chiropractic and Physiotherapy to help you in understanding the differences between all three.

Chiropractic

Is a science based health care approach that is based on the understanding that the body is a self healing and self regulating organism.

They focus on the idea that health is based on correct functioning of the nervous system and that “subluxations” in the spine will lead to poor function, pain, injury and disease. Thus, their aim is to improve the functioning of the nervous system, this is done mostly through chiropractic adjustments, mostly of the spine and pelvis

Australian Chiropractors require a five year university training in the medical sciences. As a 3 year degree and 2 year masters and are a regulated health profession via Government Registration.

 

Physiotherapy

Is a profession based as a clinical health science. Commonly they are muscle focused and work to assist people with movement disorders and injuries, often using rehabilitation exercises, some hands on techniques including massage and equipment such as ultrasound and tens machines to reduce inflammation and pain. They use a minimally invasive, natural approach that is evidence based. Their focus is exercise, motivation, equipment adaptation and education.

Australian Physiotherapists require a four year university degree in physiotherapy or a health science degree (also including a physiotherapy course component). They are a regulated health profession via Government Registration.

Physiotherapists can work in private practice or in health care systems in hospitals

 

Osteopathy

Is a science based health care approach and form of manual medicine that recognises that the structure of the body affects the way it functions and that the way body functions, will also affect its structure. Further, our guiding principle is that fluid flow is of utmost importance. Where there is stagnation, inflammation or poor function, disease will follow.

Our aim is to take a holistic approach so as to assess and treat the whole body, understanding that the way one part functions will affect the way that another, possibly distant part functions. Further, other factors including lifestyle, diet, sporting and leisure activities and work (type/hours/posture/stress) as well as social components and general life stresses are all important and discussed to allow an understanding of how each may be involved in the presenting situation. This can allow us to provide advice in how to minimise the situation in your daily life, and allow pain relief, preventative measures and management skills.

As a manual medicine, we use our hands to treat you. Using many different techniques including mobilisation of joints, massage, trigger point therapy, stretching, manipulation and more, we treat muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons. We can also work with the organs to some extent. Further, we provide advice on posture, exercises, nutrition and other education to allow you, the client to take control of your situation and steer the course of your improvement.

Our aim is to restore the body’s balance, improve mobility and in doing so, optimise function.

Australian Osteopaths require a five year university training in the medical sciences. As a 3 year degree and 2 year masters and are a regulated health profession via Government Registration.

What sorts of issues does an Osteopath Treat?
  • Muscuoloskeletal Injuries
  • Menstrual pain
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain (if simple)

An Osteopath may be able to assist you with a wide range of issues

Is Osteopathy an “alternative” health approach?

Osteopathy is not an “alternative health option”, it is a 5 year university trained education, monitored and overseen by Government registration and requires many hours per year of continued education to stay up to date. Registration status is easily confirmed online.

In their training, osteopaths cover all the medical sciences (anatomy, physiology, pathology, pathophysiology, pharmagology) and as such are also trained to perform standard medical examinations of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological systems

Do I need a referral from my GP?

No referral is needed to see an Osteopath

If you suffer from a chronic medical condition and require complex care, you may be eligible for Chronic Disease Management (CDM) assistance. A GP must complete a form…

What is a Primary Healthcare Practitioner?

A primary healthcare practitioner is a health professional for whom you do not require a referral from your GP to see and is also trained and qualified to recognise conditions that require medical referral. So an Osteopath will refer you for images, further tests or to other practitioners if/as required, however, this may still require the assistance of your GP. Then together the Osteopath and GP can monitor your situation and work together to bring about resolution

What study is needed to be an Osteopath?

Osteopathy requires

  • 3 year health and medical science degree
  • 2 year masters in Osteopathy
  • Many hrs of practical experience, that is, treating real patients in a clinic, alone but with qualified supervision.