Archive for the tag - osteopath

What is Osteopathy?

When Luc Vaillancourt, Osteopathic Manual Practitioner, invited me in for an osteopathy session at Toronto’s Inspired Life Health Care Center, my first reaction was to Google “osteopathy.”

So what is osteopathy? According to Luc:

Osteopathy is a manual medicine, using soft manipulations and techniques to re-balance the body… Osteopathy believes that a well balanced body has the inherent capacity of healing itself. If the blood flows freely and nourishes the cells with new oxygen and nutriments, it helps clean the body of dead cells, the nerves work properly, muscles are used at their maximum capability, etc.

I was curious, and took up Luc on his offer. Being in very good health, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to gain anything from the visit. I was wrong.

Luc used a number of techniques to manipulate my body. None of them were painful, and it was actually quite relaxing. Most interestingly, I learned that I have a very slight spinal curvature, known as scoliosis. It’s a very mild case of scoliosis, but something of which I was entirely unaware. Moreover, Luc shared that I have flat feet, and that my right leg is slightly longer than the left. Who knew? Turns out, the shortness of my left leg isn’t structural – it’s simply because of muscle tightness. Luc was able to use a series of very deep stretches and manipulations to return my left leg to its proper length.

So what’s the big deal about a slightly shorter leg? As a runner, I’m on my feet a lot. And although a slightly shorter leg might seem trivial, years of running with uneven impact could translate to an injury down the road. In my case, a visit to the osteopath – and the lengthening of my shortened leg – may have helped prevent that future injury.

Though many of Luc’s patients have existing conditions, he recommends that everyone pays a visit to their local osteopath. “You bring your car in for a tune up,” Luc says, “And you should do the same with your body.” Osteopath visits are sometimes covered by more progressive insurance plans, and generally run from $75 – $150 for a one-hour session.

Have you ever been to osteopath? Let me know about your experience in the comments below!