There are a lot of similarities in the way a chiropractor or osteopath might treat a patient. Both Osteopathy and Chiropractics started about the same time 150 years ago in the mid west of the USA. The aim of both therapies was to improve movement within the body to allow it to function at its best.
Osteopathy was built on the principle that the blood supply carried nutrients and immune system to all areas of the body. Therefore if there was any compression or restriction of the blood supply to an area it would stop functioning as well and possibly become diseased. This is why the whole body is assessed on the first treatment to see what areas of the body are functioning well or not. Whereas Chiropractics believe nerve function is most significant and the spinal cord was the most important factor for health therefore looking for dysfunction of the spine was the most important thing.
Large changes have occurred in both the professions due to a greater knowledge and understanding of anatomy, physiology and biomechanics. Due to this expansion of knowledge there has been a huge increase and evolution in techniques available to use. There are many overlapping techniques like structural manipulation of the spine ‘adjustments’ and massage of muscles that we have in common. Within in each profession, the individual’s way of working can be very different with some chiropractors working more like osteopaths and vice versa.
Due to the similarities in the therapies I would always recommend choosing your therapist on what you need, what suits your body and getting to know what the different practitioners are like. It can be just down to how well you get on with the individual or not. Call up your local practitioners and work out who will work best for you.
Many of my clients who have seen a chiropractor before me say that I am more gentle than what they have experienced before and prefer having a longer session for each appointment. Please call or email if you would like more information about this topic or about what Osteopathy can do for you.