mental well-being

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Stress Management with Osteopathy

Postby KRJOsteopath on Tue May 15, 2018 5:04 pm

I would like to propose an additional therapy that could be useful in stress management: Osteopathy. Stress manifests in the body by altering autonomic nervous system balance: stress hormones increase sympathetic activity (the ‘fight or flight’ response), and a decrease parasympathetic activity (the ‘rest and build’ system). Sympathetic activation increases heart rate, breathing rate, adrenal output, and other markers of stress reaction. Hormones also play a big role: when we become stressed, our cortisol levels increase. Recent studies have demonstrated that Osteopathic treatment has the potential to counter the physiological response to stress, returning measurements of sympathetic activation and cortisol levels back to normal. In this study, the measurements were taken when healthy subjects were relaxed, after they had been exposed to stress (a math test!), after they had been given either a fake/sham treatment or an osteopathic treatment. The Osteopathic treatment group got less stressed during the test, and recovered faster (markers returned to baseline) than the sham treatment group (Fornari, M., Carnevali, L. and Sgoifo, A., 2017) . Another study showed that Osteopathic Treatment decreased subjective measurements of state anxiety (Fernández-Pérez, A. M. et al., 2008), and a third study showed that when the sympathetic system was activated physically, applying just two minutes of Osteopathic treatment counteracted the effect, and restored balance in the autonomic nervous system (Henley, C. E. et al., 2008). Has anyone tried Osteopathy for stress management? What are your thoughts?

Fernández-Pérez, A. M. et al. (2008) ‘Effects of Myofascial Induction Techniques on Physiologic and Psychologic Parameters: A Randomized Controlled Trial’, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 14(7), pp. 807–811. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.0117.
Fornari, M., Carnevali, L. and Sgoifo, A. (2017) ‘Single Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy Session Dampens Acute Autonomic and Neuroendocrine Responses to Mental Stress in Healthy Male Participants’, The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 117(9), pp. 559–567. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2017.110.
Henley, C. E. et al. (2008) ‘Osteopathic manipulative treatment and its relationship to autonomic nervous system activity as demonstrated by heart rate variability: a repeated measures study’, Osteopathic Medicine and Primary Care, 2, p. 7. doi: 10.1186/1750-4732-2-7.
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Re: Stress Management with Osteopathy

Postby perrahansson on Tue May 15, 2018 5:35 pm

I use osteopathy on a regular basis, for several reasons. I’m a skier and mountaineer who needs both my physical and psychological health to be perfect to perform in the mountains. Ostheipathy keeps me on top in both those aspects. Stress release and possible hormonal balance due to reduced levels of cortisol after treatment is just anecdotal evidence from my experience but as a persons who also struggles with depression I due believe that osteopathy helps with this as well.

Best regards, P
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Re: Stress Management with Osteopathy

Postby Martinzhor on Tue May 15, 2018 6:45 pm

I am a mountain endurance athlete who spends a lot of time at high altitude. I also work at high altitude site (3800m). The combination of training and altitude puts my body into stress. I tend to fall into states of severe physical and mental fatigue/exhaustion. I have used osteopathic treatment for stress release and hormonal balance restoration with positive results.
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Re: Stress Management with Osteopathy

Postby MrModoflieshigh on Tue May 15, 2018 8:20 pm

Thanks for sharing this valuable data. Seems like we all feel that osteopathy treatment make us feel better and relaxed. Having several studies supporting these feelings beefs up the arguments in favour of osteopathy as a multi purpose treatment. Spread the word!
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Re: Stress Management with Osteopathy

Postby Coalescence on Wed May 16, 2018 10:44 am

As a certified neurobiofeedback therapist, I daily support patients balancing their neurovegetative system through training heart rate variability and different modalities such as muscle tension, galvanic stress response, cerebral blood flow and skin temperature. I am currently also training as a craniosacral osteopath as another fantastic tool directly aiming at promoting parasympathetic activity and targeting nervous plexus along the body. Patients treated either way (neurobiofeedback or craniosacral therapy) report instant well-being and relaxation and monitoring their neurophysiology before/after a craniosacral treatment supports an improved balancing of their autonomic functions (
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Re: Stress Management with Osteopathy

Postby JeniferWilliams on Fri May 25, 2018 10:29 am

Very helpful information, I would love to follow some tips from it, thanks for sharing such valuable thoughts.
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Re: Stress Management with Osteopathy

Postby matthewtweedie on Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:53 am

thanks for sharing such a useful information with us :)
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