When Can an Osteopath Help?
Interview with Matthew Stevens, Body & Soul’s Osteopath and Medical Massage Specialist
B&S: Can you explain a bit about what an osteopath does?
M.S: Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine that focuses on total body health and the musculoskeletal system (joints, spine and muscles). Treatment aims to help the body’s nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems to function better for optimal wellness. An osteopath treats pain and injury, but can also provide supportive treatment for many conditions by maximizing the body’s ability to heal itself. For example, a cancer or cardiac patient will be treated by specialists in certain areas, but osteopathic manipulation can help the patient get the most out of those treatments and achieve holistic well-being.
B&S: Tell us about osteopathic treatment.
M.S: An osteopath treats the whole person, not just a specific condition. We specialize in how the musculoskeletal system affects functioning of the body’s systems. By restoring proper functioning and alignment, we simply help the body to heal itself. We all experience many injuries and small traumas (even emotional trauma is very tied in with our physical being) throughout life and the body has great healing capacity. But, the body is geared to survival, so healing may help us get “up and running” as fast as possible but not really heal properly in the long term. This means we may have an injury that hasn’t corrected itself, or the way we’ve healed may affect other areas of the body over time. Here in Shanghai, in particular, many of us are overworked and live a fast-paced lifestyle that may lead to fatigue and pain. The osteopath’s goal is to rebalance the body and help work out these alignment issues that may have developed from a big injury or numerous small traumas and lifestyle.
B&S: What are some conditions patients might be surprised that an osteopath can help with?
M.S: There is a lot of evidence of how osteopathy helps children with learning disabilities and behavioral issues. The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine has done a lot of work with complementary treatments for ADHD and behavioral problems. Problems like asthma, sinus problems and headaches, digestive issues and sleep problems often benefit from osteopathic manipulation’s ability to restore balance to the body and help its systems work most effectively. This also means that an osteopath can help those undergoing treatment for many conditions to heal more quickly and efficiently, as well as have less pain and more energy.
Matthew Stevens is specialized in integrative manual therapy, combining osteopathic treatments with medical massages as well as with some TCM techniques. He offers consultations at our Hongmei Road Clinic – Hongqiao and Four Seasons Cinic - Jing’an. Contact us to schedule an appointment with him.