Osteopathy uses the musculo-skeletal system to "decode" and assess certain body ailments.
Based on how osteopath practitioners touch or press on specific areas of your body, they can determine if your organs are functioning properly.
It's a huge part of disease prevention, because oftentimes osteopaths can catch problems in the early stages.
Osteopathy is something you can incorporate into your other health treatments, like acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, etc. for a holistic approach to bettering your health. In fact, the practice uses all of these modalities to assess your health as a whole. Osteopathy might look at your spinal alignment, the foods you eat, your emotions (bringing in the mind/body connection) and use all of those factors to promote optimal health.
Who can benefit from osteopathy?
The answer is simple: anyone.
Everyone suffers stress, emotional problems, physical pain, digestion issues... osteopathy can address all of those things.
Once you've uncovered the source of the pain or other issues in your body, you then have to learn how to "release" the root cause, which can range from physical entities like food to negative relationships.
Tune in as Vicky Vlachonis, osteopathic practitioner, joins Andrea and Lisa to share more about what osteopathy involves, as well as how this practice can help heal your pain and promote your best health.
RadioMD Presents: Naturally Savvy | Original Air Date: March 25, 2015
Hosts: Andrea Donsky, RHN & Lisa Davis
Guest: Vicky Vlachonis
Your organic search is over. Here's Naturally Savvy with health experts, Andrea Donsky and health journalist, Lisa Davis.
LISA: Years ago, I went to see an osteopath and it made such a huge difference. We are so thrilled to have Vicky and, Vicky, I'm going to ask you to say your last name for me because I do not want to butcher it.
VICKY: Vicky Vlachonis.
LISA: Vlachonis. What a beautiful name. Well, Vicky we are so thrilled to have you on the program. We're excited to talk about your book, The Body Doesn't Lie: A Three-Step Program to Releasing Chronic Pain. Reflect, Release and Radiate. Love it. So glad you're here with us on Naturally Savvy.
VICKY: Hi, how are you?
LISA: We're wonderful. How are you?
VICKY: I'm good, thank you.
ANDREA: So, Vicky, tell us a little bit about what osteopathy is.
VICKY: So, as an osteopath, we use the musculoskeletal system as a decoder ring to diagnose and understand different body dysfunctions. So, based on how our patients react to treatment, certain touches, we can tell if certain organs are functioning, if there's a blockage. It's more about prevention. So, even before an illness shows up, sometimes there are little signs and signals that we pick up.
ANDREA: Now, how would somebody work that? It's, basically, they work it into their regular routine if they're seeing, let's say, an acupuncturist or a chiropractor? Is it something that you add in to your regular routine of check-ups? Or, how would someone integrate that into their regular lifestyle?
VICKY: Yes. Exactly. You want to use acupuncture, osteopathy, massage, all these different modalities in a way to look at the structure because in osteopathy we believe that structure governs function, so we want to check the realignment. If, for example, somebody comes in with neck pain or low back pain, we want to really look into what is the source of the pain like in my book, The Body Doesn't Lie, and reflect. I take a whole picture and look at what the person is eating; how they're feeling; if there's a spinal misalignment. So, yes, they might be going to an acupuncturist or having a massage therapist, but it's also great to check if their feet are flat; how their whole spine aligns; the whole picture. What they're eating; if they're seeing a registered dietician, to check what food could be causing more pain in their life and, therefore, increasing inflammation or making them more stressed or more angry and, therefore, again, our emotions, live in our nervous system. So, we talk about the mind/body connection, but, actually, it's one in the same. I see a lot of clients with pain and when they're feeling pain, those emotions need to be unlocked through their tissues as sometimes we say.
LISA: I completely agree. It sounds like bio-energetic in a way.
VICKY: It's similar. I think, again, going back to structure governing function and understanding the skin and the muscles and the tissues and muscle energy and how our body reacts and if there's good blood flow, oxygen, circulation, again, the rule of the archery supreme. So, is there good blood flow? Is there good circulation? Oxygen.
ANDREA: You know, Vicky, I've had osteopathy done before and I absolutely love it and what I love about it so much is that it's so gentle. Like, you lie on a table and you're working, primarily on the neck, and you can talk to this, obviously, much better than I can, but as someone who has had it done, I find that it's one of those therapies that is so relaxing, but yet, it gets so much done.
VICKY: I think that's exactly it. Again, our sympathetic nervous system, so our, as I said, our emotions are born in our nervous system and the system that physically runs up and down our spine and branches into every organ and limb helps with our sympathetic system, so, it's always all our stress, our get up and go, our fight or fright and so many of us overuse this system and the idea is gently, to calm down the body and get the body to rest and digest and get the power sympathetic nervous system, basically. Relaxing our facial muscles; relaxing our body so we're able to slow down our heart rate. We're able to decrease our cortisol, our stress hormones and look at, again, the whole picture. Reflect. What is causing pain in your life? It could be physical, but maybe there's an emotion connected to your neck and it could be fear and it could be anger or it could be low back pain and you haven't been to a doctor to check your ovaries or your intestine is blocked or constipated. So, we're looking at each section of the body as a little decoder. It tell us, "Okay, my neck is in pain, but maybe I'm low in vitamin D or I haven't been to the doctor to check my bone density and I have family history of osteoporosis." I always say, "Pain uncovers the truth." But pain is a signal from the body that something is not right.
LISA: You know, I'd love for you to get more into the release because that's where I think it makes such a huge difference. We hang on to so much in our body and when you're able to let it go, it's like you can suddenly breathe. You will notice that the pain does improve.
VICKY: Yes. So, in release, the second stage of The Body Doesn't Lie, again, once you've uncovered the source of your pain, you have to have the courage and discipline to release it. Releasing what's causing pain, and it could be releasing the inflammation through what you're eating and getting rid of, those sugars or those hidden sugars, in the cows milk or the growth hormones or maybe trying to reduce wheat that causes bloatedness; or it could be even releasing and getting rid of negative people in your life that are causing more stress. So, releasing all relationships. Relationships with food. Relationships could be your boss; it could be your husband. Something is not working, so releasing it and in the program, what I give is just simple tips of medication or have a salt and pepper bath soak; and Epsom salt bath 10 minutes every night to just help you let go of the stress of the day. Or, even trying a massage with self-healing trigger points. I've added some self-healing trigger points in the book which we can do alone, so instead of reaching out for a pill, why don't you smell some peppermint oil or try this trigger point in your hand that will help you release your headache or help you sleep better before reaching out for a sleeping pill? Have that bath. Sit in the bath for 10 minutes. Reflect on what needs to let go—to be able to radiate and go into the third stage of revitalizing your body and encouraging all the natural health processes. That's why the third stage is called "radiate". Not only because you're living a pain-free life, but you're growing and you're able to develop your physical and emotional strength. I feel it's more about also becoming productive and stronger in all relationships, even once you feel that radiance and you've found your passion, your purpose and you've let go of what's causing pain in your life, you can help other people and give back.
LISA: Oh, that's so beautiful. Gosh, I'm really excited about your book. I think this is the way to go and I think when people have a guide like this, it can make such a difference in their life. I'm dealing with an injury right now. Luckily, it's not chronic, but it's been really getting me down. I've talked about it before on the show. So, being able to do these steps, I think, would really be helpful to me and so many people out there.
VICKY: Great. I'm here to help. Again, we could go into it.
LISA: Come on over. I'll give you my address.
VICKY: I'll come over.
ANDREA: So funny. Vicky, we have about maybe, you know, a minute and a half left, if that. I just want to get an idea of what type of supplements you use. Do you recommend supplements as an osteopath? Is it something that you believe people should incorporate into their daily life? You know, things life fish oil or things like probiotics. What are some of the things you recommend?
VICKY: Fish oil and probiotics. I always kind of look into the research. So, I always call into my UCLA colleagues at the Digestive Diseases Department and if they've done research on probiotics. I personally use the Renew Life probiotics which is 50 billion. Again, probiotics will help just get that flora, move the gut, improve that gut flora because all the research now, with the microbiome and the actual research of the bacteria in the gut is even linking diseases of the future and inflammation. So, I love the Omega 3 fish oils. I love the Barlean swirl which I add in my smoothies and definitely believe in the probiotics. Again, if there's research behind it, I'm all for it.
LISA: Yes. We love Barlean's, too. We work with Barlean's really closely. Great company. Well, thank you, Vicky. We're out of time for today. Wow. That went by really fast and thank you for being able to be on the show so last minute. We really appreciate it.
You can learn about Vicky at her website at VickyVlachonis.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @VickyVlachonis.
I'm Andrea Donsky along with Lisa Davis. This is Naturally Savvy Radio on RadioMD. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @YourRadioMD and @Naturally Savvy.
Thanks for listening everyone and stay well.