What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a gentle manual therapy that seeks to balance the body by finding and treating the cause of discomfort, so that the body can function at an optimal level. It treats many areas of the body including joints, muscles, organs, circulation, and the nervous system. Osteopathy can treat numerous ailments such as acute and chronic pain, tendinitis, heart burn, headaches, sciatica, digestive issues, back pain, neck pain, swelling, posture and more. Osteopathy has always been at the forefront of medicine. Since its inception, osteopaths have developed many techniques that are used by other professions today, such as adjustment, cranial osteopathy (a.k.a. craniosacral therapy), muscle energy, strain counterstrain and visceral manipulation.

Osteopathy has a long history going back to the mid-19th century when Andrew Taylor Still started practicing in the American mid-west. The first osteopathic school began in 1892 in Kirksville, Missouri. Since then it has spread around the world, remaining most popular in North America, Europe and Australia.

Osteopaths have two separate designations: Osteopathic Physician for those students graduating from schools in the United States, or Osteopathic Manual Practitioner for those students graduating in Ontario, Canada. In the United States, osteopathists have equal rights as medical doctors. Osteopathy has been in Canada for over 100 years, although early practitioners were trained in the United States. The first osteopathic college opened in Montreal in the 1980s and in Toronto in the 1990s. Since then, osteopathy has grown in Canada, with a handful of schools in the GTA and dozens in the rest of the country.

Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment

Osteopathic manipulative treatment, or OMT, is the adjustment of joints in the body. This technique can be used on any joint in the body. It is used as one of many techniques when deemed necessary by the osteopath. Often the range of motion of joints can become limited through injury, poor posture, sedentary lifestyle and/or repetitive strain. Adjustment is a quick, easy and harmless way to correct the imbalance.

Visceral Manipulation

Visceral manipulation is a technique that examines the functional and structural imbalances of organs. It focuses on the relationship between the motion of an organ and the surrounding supporting structures, such as membranes, fascia and ligaments. Visceral manipulation gently re-establishes proper communication between the organs and the nervous system to relieve the body of symptoms of pain, dysfunction and poor posture.

Fascial Release

Fascia is connective tissue that is found throughout the body. Fascia surrounds muscles, organs, ligament and bones. It is a support system that holds and separates different components of the body. Fascia can constrict movement of the various fluids of the body, such as blood and lymph. It can also limit movement of muscles and joints. Fascial release is a technique that focuses on loosening the fascia so that the affected areas work properly again in a balanced state.

Muscle Energy

Muscle energy is a gentle technique that uses the force of the body’s own muscles to make corrections to joints.

Cranial Osteopathy

Cranial osteopathy, or craniosacral therapy, is a gentle technique that balances the rhythm of the cranium and sacrum, which are affected by the flow of the cerebral spinal fluid that runs through the nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). Since this vital system influences the development and performance of the brain and spinal cord, an imbalance or restriction could potentially cause any number of sensory, motor or neurological disabilities. These problems could include headaches, chronic pain, eye difficulties, scoliosis, motor-coordination impairments, learning disabilities and other health challenges.

The positive effects of craniosacral therapy rely to a large extent on your body’s natural self-corrective activities. The therapist’s light, hands-on approach simply assists the hydraulic forces inherent in the craniosacral system to improve your body’s internal environment and strengthen its ability to heal itself.

Osteopath Practitioners


    Henry Janzen, RMT, DOMP

    Osteopathic Manual Practitioner

    [vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Henry is a 2000 graduate of Sutherland-Chan Massage Therapy School and...

    Marie-Ange V-F Cherchel, M(Ost)

    Osteopathic Manual Practitioner

    [vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Born in Martinique, Marie-Ange graduated from the British School of Osteopathy...