Osteopathy FAQ

Q: What is osteopathy?

A: Osteopathy is a hands-on manual therapy that assesses and treats the body, clearing up the mechanical influences that are negatively impacting structure and function. By creating space in the body and aligning hard and soft tissues to work accordingly, the body is able to send the correct signals to the injured area to self-regulate and heal. This understanding is aligned with Dr. Andrew Tylor Still and his view of the body, and how the law of nature is always at work, in and around us. Classical osteopathy is taught at the CAO, along with the integration between new clinical research and the study of functional anatomy, in depth, to aid the body to a better balance, no matter the case, scale of injury or history of dysfunction. Osteopathy works with the body and current life circumstances to find balance and preserve health.


Q: What should I expect from an osteopathic treatment? 

A: Generally, appointments are around 20 – 25 minutes but expect to spend 30 minutes in and out of the clinic. Osteopathic treatment is active and requires that you participate in the treatment by following directions given to you by the Osteopath, helping your body work to create space. You will be fully clothed during treatment and it’s ideal to wear something comfortable, such as track pants and a long sleeve shirt. Please remove jewelry prior to treatment. All clients coming for an osteopathic appointment will be filling out a new health history and consent form. Please arrive early for your appointment to fill out these forms prior to your appointment start time.


Q: Is there any assessment involved with treatment? 

A: Osteopathic treatment is a customized treatment that assesses the body to find the root cause of the problem. Assessment is a mandatory part of treatment so the osteopath can address issues with the least invasive methods to get the best results possible. This keeps the nervous system calm which is best for the osteopath to objectively determine changes from treatment. Your first treatment needs to be on the mild side of application to see how your body handles the osteopathic treatment approach, as this is a different therapy then traditionally known therapies in Ontario (i.e massage, chiro or physio therapy). With gentle manipulation, osteopathy eases the body into a better mechanical alignment, given your circumstance. Big changes felt right away are usually not stable ones. The body knows what to do when we are able to move better. Feeling sore and or “worked on” immediately after treatment is not the goal of osteopathy. 


Q: Do I need a medical referral from a doctor to book an osteopathy treatment? 

A: No, you do not need a doctor’s note to make an appointment. However, if you are under a doctor’s supervision with an extensive health history and or recent major health issues, please get clearance for Manual osteopathic treatment from your doctor before booking an appointment. As required, copies of medical reports and/or diagnostic images may help inform treatment and are welcome and will be kept confidential in your file. 


Q: If I am non-ambulatory, can I access treatment at the clinic?

A: HMTC is currently located in suite 5 which is in the basement of the building that does not have an elevator. If you cannot use the stairs, please call the clinic and other options may be provided. 


Q: Are osteopathy treatments covered by my private health benefits?

A: Osteopaths who have taken the extra step to become a member of a recognized association have a billing number and will be able to submit a receipt to the companies that cover osteopathic treatment. Please check with your provider to confirm you have coverage. All fees are due upon treatment payable to HMTC. A receipt will be provided for you to submit for reimbursement. We do not directly bill. 


Q: Can I get an emergency same day appointment?

A: Same day appointments are available for emergency cases when Stephanie is at the clinic.  Emergency cases such as acute and chronic – “flare ups”, muscle strains and ligament sprains or a slip and fall that does not involve a potential fracture. Please call or email the clinic and the osteopathic manual practitioner will return your inquiry  ASAP. If no one answers please leave a message. *Note* If you have sharp, sudden, unexplained pain in any part of the body, suffered a car accident, sport injury or head trauma, please go to your closest emergency center to be evaluated.   


Q: Can children benefit from osteopathy? 

A: Yes, anyone can benefit from osteopathy, no matter the age, e.g., 4-12 year old’s, change and adjust really quick, meaning the appointment will be under 20 minutes in length. 


Q: I am scheduled for surgery, is osteopathy okay to get pre- surgery? 

A: Osteopathy can  help the body be in a better working order before your surgery, which will mean a better recovery. If you are scheduled for surgery for any removal of cancer cells, or you are getting radiation or chemo-therapy, osteopathy is contraindicated, meaning you cannot get osteopathic manual therapy until you are cleared by your doctor. 


Q: Is osteopathic manual therapy good for post surgery? 

A: After surgery, please follow your Doctor’s recommendations for manual therapy. If they have recommended physiotherapy, please complete the treatment plan before booking an appointment.


Q: Can pregnant women get osteopathy? 

A: After the first trimester of pregnancy you are able to receive osteopathic manual therapy. Postnatal therapy is okay to receive, but given the status of the body postnatal, treatment has to be different based on the body healing from 9 months of change. The hips and pelvis would be too soft for any adjustments, so we let the body heal the way it knows how. Osteopathic manual therapy postnatal would be beneficial for the upper body and the strain from breast feeding and carrying the baby.       

One last thing! 

Q: Where can I get more information about osteopathy? 

A: Read more on osteopathy and Canada’s largest Osteopathic Association.