(based on my first ever visit to see one)
If you’re giving this Osteopathy thing a go for the first time, there will be things that you need to do, remember and/or be prepared for as you get ready to embark on your treatment. Thankfully, for most of us, pronouncing or spelling it correctly isn’t one of them.
1. Arrive early to your session. Chances are it was something stress-related that took you to the Osteopath’s office in the first place, so being late and flustered isn’t going to help that situation. It’s also going to be quite an intensive session, so you’ll need to allow your practitioner to have the full amount of time available with you in order to treat you properly and to fully discuss your needs with you, both before and after your treatment.
2. Wear something sensible. I gave birth 6 months ago, and since that day, I’ve (understandably) rarely been out of leggings and mum-bras. Seeing as my issue was in my neck, I didn’t think I’d need to remove any garments during treatment and could happily sit there in the Osteopath’s office in my maternal glamour. Fair enough, the email sent prior to my visit did say to wear appropriate underwear, but I’d assumed that this was a generic email for those sporty people who visit with injuries in all manner of hidden places. At present, I am not one of those sporty people! My assumption was wrong, because my Osteopath needed to take a good look at my posture to analyse what was wrong with me – and how to fix it. Ladies – a sports bra/top is a good idea, whether you’re sporty or not.
3. Prepare to feel self-conscious. I did, and the info just given in point Number 2 probably explains why! Your visit to see an Osteopath is a clinical situation, so please don’t go in there expecting it to be fluffy robes with dimmed lights and soft music as per your usual ‘back, neck and shoulders’ at the day spa. It feels strange, standing there stripped to the waist as a stranger walks around you, asking questions about your lifestyle, whilst every now and then stopping to mould you into a position that highlights just how awful your posture really is right now, but it’s an essential part of your diagnosis. Your Osteopath is a complete professional though, and they’re not lying to you when they see they’ve seen it all before.
4. Don’t expect your treatment to work overnight. You will undoubtedly leave your session feeling considerably better than when you first walked or hobbled in, because your Osteopath will not only work on your problem areas but will also remind you to relax and instruct you how to remedy certain situations along the way. Having said that, most people who go to an Osteopath do so because they need help to solve ongoing problems that have come about as a result of lifestyle factors (posture, habit, sporting pursuits for example), and therefore, their treatment is going to take time. If this is you, prepare to be back in that office on a regular basis before you see long term improvement.
5. Listen to your Osteopath’s advice. Whilst there will be parts of your session that will encourage silence, your practitioner will give you information throughout to explain what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and how you can help yourself in managing the situation once it’s all over. It might be advice to be mindful about your posture, or advice against performing certain physical tasks. Whatever it is, listen to – and follow – that guidance.
Oh and for a bonus Number 6, get the thought out of your head that Osteopaths are all back-cracking sadists. On this particular occasion, mine was, but that’s for another blog.
Movement and Wellbeing Clinic
Tel: 0161 209 3980
BY: Ed Madeley
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