Osteopathic Manual Therapy with Alison Ritchie

Alison Ritchie, RMT has been practicing at Broadway Wellness since 2012, and has returned this month from maternity leave.  Alison is in year five of the Osteopathic Manual Therapy program, and is presently incorporating her osteopathic skills into her massage therapy practice in Vancouver, BC.  What is Osteopathic Manual Therapy? Osteopathy is a term you might hear around, but know little of it’s definition.  Alison Ritchie has written a thorough definition here, read on:

Alison_Ritchie2I chose to study Osteopathic Manual Therapy as a way to advance my massage therapy practice. I am currently in my fifth year of study and have changed my practice to incorporate what I have learned thus far, building on my skills as a RMT.

Central to the practice of Osteopathy is the belief that the body has an innate or natural ability to self-regulate and to heal. The key factor that allows this healing to occur is the ability of the body to circulate its’ fluids (blood, lymph, cerebrospinal fluid). Obstruction to circulation is the focus of osteopathic assessment and treatment. This includes generalized twists, curves or pulls within the body as well as specific bones, organs or tissues that are misaligned, tight or over active. Over time, the body loses its’ ability to efficiently self-regulate and to self-heal. This loss may be due to the aging process, the prolonged influence of gravity on posture, trauma, accident, illness, surgical scarring, childbirth, repetitive activity, or the cumulative effects of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual stress. In most cases, patients have some combination of these. The result of these experiences may manifest as a local problem or more frequently, the symptoms are experienced far from the site of the original problem. Thus, the Osteopathic Manual Practitioner assesses and treats the whole body through precise clinical methodology. This process involves:

  1. interviewing the patient
  2. performing an osteopathic assessment (position, mobility and quality)
  3. treatment of the primary findings of the assessment

An Osteopathic treatment will then combine four main types of treatment:

  1. Osteo-articular adjustments (joint alignment)
  2. Cranial-sacral application
  3. Visceral normalization (organs)
  4. Fascial release (including General Osteopathic Treatment, Strain Counterstrain, Muscle Energy and Reciprocal Membranous Tension)

Patients who can benefit from Osteopathic Manual treatment include:
– History of trauma (eg. Car accidents, falls, blows)
– Athletes (eg. Repetitive strain injury, imbalance, biomechanics)
– Sedentary occupations (eg. Desk jobs)
– High levels of physical or emotion stress

Alison is available at Broadway Wellness on Mondays, Fridays, and most Saturdays. She is also currently welcoming new clients. Bookings can be made by phone, email, or through our online booking tool.

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