How does a first osteopathy appointment look like
Updated: May 28, 2022
First: the interview, so called anamnesis. I ask what made you come to see osteopath, history of your symptoms, traumas, diseases, how does your lifestyle look like (sleep, stress management, nutrition).
I ask about all the parameters that your body can possibly struggle with (sleep disorders, headaches, digestive issues, muscle pain etc.). After a detailed interview I move to different kinds of palpation (manual) tests. These tests and result of each of them leads me to knowing deeper and more detailed feedback from your body. Basically this testing process could be put into excel or diagram as it is very logical and evidence based. Then… I go through the thinking process (lol). I correlate my palpatory findings within the body with the symptoms from the interview. This part I call Dr House mode. Then I move to the treatment part, that is mostly pain- free(!). After that we talk: what’s the diagnosis (most possible root cause of your symptoms), what’s a treatment plan to implement - if there are other tests (blood/ stool/ imaging) needed or maybe functional medicine consultation is required to follow the treatment process, maybe recommendations to visit other therapist (physician/ Chinese medicine therapist etc.). You are also told how can possible post- treatment reaction feel. Often my patients are provided with lifestyle recommendations including implementing breathing methods, supplements, subtle changes in diet or exercise. For more detailed diagnosis on the biochemical level and recommendations on lifestyle changes, functional medicine consultation is needed
How to prepare for an appointment?
- do not eat minimum a 1 hour before
- try to avoid jeans or any stiff clothing
During the whole treatment you stay in your clothes. Only on rare occasions there is a need to take off a part of your clothing (e.g. when working locally with low extremities sometimes I ask to take off the pants).
Also, be aware of the time needed to bring the balance in the body. As often is much demanded from osteopaths to have one- time- appointment- effect, it is impossible for the body to get back to health, especially working on chronic issues, just by one- time treatment. As it comes to my practice, I usually give myself 3-4 appointments to "push the body into right direction" and treat main lesions. After that patient moves to long- time management treatment, that may include visits every 1-2 months or lifestyle changes that require time for effects to be visible and felt (e.g. probiotic therapy or nutrition changes) before the next check-up. Naturally it depends on the patient and is VERY individual.
What you need to know is the time break between the appointments - in osteopathy we expect body to take it time to 'digest' all the input given by therapist during the treatment so usually minimum of one week break in-between the treatments is needed. If possible, e.g. when the adaptation mechanisms of the body are in good condition - you may expect to be asked to come for a next visit in 2 - 3 weeks. Humans' anatomy takes time to heal and it is a good thing!