Our aim is to improve the health of our patients. That may sound obvious, but it hides something deeper in the osteopathic approach. The aim is not just to reduce the pain or discomfort that a patient is currently suffering – though that is part of it, certainly – but to improve overall health. That involves looking for the factors that have predisposed you to your current problem, and doing what we can to change them so that the problem is less likely to recur. It also involves a thorough assessment of the way your body is working as a whole, and what can be done to improve it.
The Influence of Posture
So, a (literal) pain in the neck may be the result of a longstanding postural imbalance. In this example, until the posture is addressed (and changed) the neck problem is likely to recur. Changing the posture to relieve the strain on the neck could involve working on the feet, or knees, or hips, or low back and pelvis, or the shoulders, or the jaw, or many more areas, or any combination of them… Or it may involve changing the set-up of your computer, or changing patterns of work or exercise… It may involve changing the way you breathe, or improving the tone of your abdominal muscles, or improving your balance… The possibilities are almost endless, and our job is to identify the most appropriate treatment for each individual (and unique) patient.
By improving the way your body is working overall we aim to improve your general health. The principle is that your body will be under less stress and will be better able to fight off infection and illness. It will work more efficiently, so you will fatigue less and cope more comfortably with the stresses of everyday life. In short, you will be healthier.
Putting You in Control
A further aim is to put you in control of your own health, so, as far as possible, we will work with you to find ways that you can manage your own health without needing further treatment. In other words we are always aiming to say “goodbye” to you, permanently! That isn’t always possible, and some patients may benefit from regular maintenance treatments to help manage a long-term condition, but we will still aim to ensure that you are able to do as much as possible of the maintenance yourself, and make the treatments as widely spaced as possible.
Our practice is centred on you, the patient. Its focus is you, your needs, your priorities, and everything about the way the practice runs should reflect that. If you feel that there are ways it could be improved, then please let us know.
It is your health and your body that is being treated and you are in charge of it. We will work with you to improve your health, but you have the right to decide what treatment you will or will not have; treatment will never be imposed upon you against your wishes, and you are entirely free to stop the treatment at any point. You should also feel free to ask any questions at any time. Anything you say in the treatment room is strictly confidential.
We will do our best to work with you and help you. However, we are only human – we cannot always help everyone. If we are unable to help you, or if we feel a different practitioner or type of treatment would suit you better, we will tell you and try to help you find someone more appropriate. The relationship between patient and practitioner is an important part of the treatment process, and if you simply don’t like us or our style of treatment, we will not take offence – we will try to help you find someone who might suit you better.
We actually welcome complaints! If we don’t know that there is a problem then we can’t put it right – either for you, or for future patients. So if you think something is wrong, or that we could do something better, please let us know. We have a complaints procedure and a copy is available HERE.