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Osteopathy is a manual medicine comprised of an enormous body of techniques. It is considered to be both art and science.

Osteopathy was founded in the late 1800s by: Dr. Andrew Taylor Still and John Martin Littlejohn, an American doctor and a Scottish physiologist. Since then, osteopathy has entered the curriculum of many U.S. medical schools and become its own profession separate from conventional medicine in many other countries.

Osteopathy is a growing profession in Canada and at BNHC we have been aware of its benefits for years. It is a crucial part of the health care services we provide.

Using hands-on techniques, osteopathic manual practitioners work on interconnected stresses and strains to help your body correct imbalances. We start with an extensive case history and assessment. As with every type of BNHC treatment, the osteopathic approach works from the intrinsic health and vitality of the patient – because the body is always striving to self-heal and self-regulate.

Your body's systems do not work in isolation – in addition to being connected to all other systems, they are affected by your environment and mind. Imbalances in one area or structure often create compensations or impaired function in another.

Osteopathic techniques, which involve refined and specific manual therapy based on the anatomical and physiological connections within the body, are applied to each patient in a unique way. They include:

  • Visceral – working with internal organs
  • Cranial – working with bones, membranes and fluid systems within the brain
  • Fascial – working with connective tissue systems
  • Musculoskeletal – working with joints and muscles

Any age, many conditions!

Osteopathy can benefit a variety of patients – any age, and a wide variety of conditions. Treatment can be aimed at:

  • preventative care
  • reduction/elimination of symptoms
  • support of conventional medical treatment

Osteopathy for adults

Osteopathy for adults ranges from illness prevention to the treatment of acute (short term) and chronic (long term) conditions. Following are example of conditions commonly treated with osteopathy:

  • back, neck, shoulder, joint pain
  • sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome
  • GIT disturbances (ex. IBS, constipation)
  • menstrual pain and irregularity
  • stress-induced health problems
  • various neurological and auto-immune conditions 
  • headaches and migraines
  • fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome
  • acute trauma or injury
  • unresolved long-term discomfort/pain
  • sinusitis, TMJ
  • environmental toxicities and Lyme 

Osteopathy for the elderly

Yes, the aging process affects the body’s systems! But our bodies are impressively adaptable. Things may take a little longer to heal in an elderly patient, but health and healing forces are always present. Examples of conditions treated in the elderly include:

  • arthritis, joint pain and stiffness
  • rheumatologic disorders
  • circulatory conditions
  • frozen shoulder 
  • sciatica, neuropathies
  • tinnitus, dizziness, vertigo
  • post-surgical care
  • pain/dysfunction due to problems 

Osteopathy for babies and children

The birth process can be one of life’s most stressful events – for both mother and child!

Considerable forces from the contracting uterus affect the baby in the passage down the birth canal. Very fast or lengthy deliveries and the use of forceps or ventouse/vacuum can increase the strains experienced.

Osteopathic practitioners use gentle, non-invasive rebalancing techniques with babies and children. Through treatment, osteopathic practitioners encourage harmonious function and development of the growing body’s systems, helping children to develop to their full potential. Examples include:


  • colic, unsettled babies 
  • difficulty feeding, weak suck 
  • torticollis
  • congestion in eye/nose areas 
  • difficulty gaining weight
  • constipation, reflux, wind
  • cranial molding
  • failure-to-thrive 


  • acute/chronic ear infections
  • asthma, eczema, allergies
  • chronic immune problems, including recurrent tonsillitis, sinusitis, cough, cold
  • headaches, migraines
  • muscle/joint/back pain
  • supportive to orthodontic treatment
  • musculoskeletal conditions 
  • learning/concentration difficulties, ADHD
  • sleep disturbances
  • developmental delay, including speech and coordination /dyspraxia
  • injury/strain from falls autism
  • special needs spectrum, eg. cerebral palsy
  • epilepsy/seizures 

Osteopathy during and after pregnancy

Pregnancy and labour can be stressful on the body and can result in transient or long-term problems.

During pregnancy, osteopathic treatment can help alleviate the mother’s symptoms and encourage the best possible environment for the baby’s development. In addition, osteopathic treatment of the pelvis to release new and old strains can facilitate an increased chance for an uncomplicated delivery.

After birth, a difficult delivery can lead to issues of pain and associated problems, and could potentially contribute to postnatal depression.

Some examples of pregnancy/labour conditions that osteopathy helps with are:

  • back pain: in pregnancy, post-delivery, post epidural
  • discomfort during pregnancy: nausea, heart burn, breathing difficulties, fluid retention, varicose veins, leg and hip pain
  • pelvic discomfort, sciatica
  • preparation of the body for labour
  • post-labour rebalancing of the mother
  • post-caesarean scarring
  • post-delivery trauma to the pelvis including pubis, sacrum, and coccyx
  • post-delivery problems: stress incontinence, headaches, neck/shoulder pain from feeding and lifting


Osteopathic Manual Practitioners


Tal Cohen >


Cassia Rocha

Cassia Rocha >
B.A., B.Sc. (Hons) Ost., D.O. (UK)

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