How to Find an Osteopath and What to Expect From Your Each Session

Osteopathy is a way of treating and preventing health problems by moving and massaging your muscles and joints. It is based on the principle that your general health depends on the way in which your muscles and joints work together.

Finding an Osteopath in Toronto

If you are considering osteopathic treatment, it is important to find an osteopath who has the right training and qualifications. Two groups of professionals practice osteopathy in Toronto – osteopathic physicians and osteopathic practitioners.

Osteopathic practitioners have extensive education and training in osteopathic practice. They usually possess a Diploma in Osteopathy (D.O.), a bachelor’s degree in osteopathy (BSc Hons or BOst) or a master’s degree in osteopathy (MOst). There are over 1,300 osteopathic practitioners practicing in Canada.

Osteopathic physicians are graduates of an osteopathic college or medical school in the U.S. They usually possess a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree. Estimates suggest that there are about 20 osteopathic physicians practicing in Canada.

Receiving Osteopathic Treatment

Once you have found an osteopath, you will need to arrange your first consultation. When you visit an osteopath for the first time, you should expect to answer some questions about your health and lifestyle. The responses you provide will help your osteopath to determine the cause of your symptoms. Your osteopath will then examine you, which might include measuring your blood pressure, checking your heart rate and testing your reflexes. They may also wish to contact your physician to check that they are happy for you to have osteopathy.

To have osteopathy treatment, you will usually need to undress so that your osteopath can see and manipulate your joints. They will then use their hands to locate problem areas and treat them using massage or manual manipulation. The aim is to improve blood flow, reduce swelling, alleviate pain and restore movement in your problem areas. Following treatment, your osteopath may offer lifestyle advice and recommend exercises that you can perform in your own home.

Your osteopath may suggest that you visit their clinic several times to get the most benefit out of your osteopathic treatment. In many cases, they will space your treatment sessions a week or two apart so that your body has time to recover. As your problem starts to improve, they may schedule your sessions further apart.

Sources:
Who Provides Osteopathy?, osteopathyontario.org
Osteopathy, www.nhs.uk