Do alternative medical therapies work?

In pain? If conventional methods fail, visit an osteopath. The Women24 team gives the treatment a ‘thumbs up’. Do you?

In search of answers, I visited Dr Guy Ashburner, an osteopath. (On behalf of the osteopathic profession)

Our first appointment was mostly talk and lasted for roughly 45 minutes. After exploring my health with a series of non-invasive questions, Dr Ashburner explained more about the practice, and I learnt that:

• Osteopathy is a ‘hands-on’ manual technique that focuses on harmonising all the systems of the body.

• An osteopath finds and treats the underlying cause of a problem, instead of ‘sorting it out’ with drugs and medication.

• The therapeutic interventions – which are similar to massage therapy – facilitate our body’s own recovery.

• Osteopathy treats anything from headaches, migraines, back, neck and pelvic pain; to stress, fatigue, pregnancy and posture-related problems.

• By receiving osteopathic treatments patients are also likely to notice an increase in energy levels, a reduction in stress, improved sleep and a boosted immune system.

My next visit was almost an hour long and included a back and neck rubdown. I swear, I felt like an entirely new person afterwards.

But while my ‘ailments’ are not debilitating, my colleague Caro de Waal has more severe problems, and claims to have also had great success through osteopathy:

“I have had a neck/shoulder problem for over 5 years which started out as bad headaches that were so intense; I thought I had a brain tumour. I first visited a Physiotherapist because that was what my doctor suggested and I did that for 2 years solid. It helped in the short term, but it wasn’t helping the root of the problem.

Then, over one Christmas holiday period, I got ‘rotator cuff’ –a severe muscular shoulder problem where you literally can’t move your head – and decided to see a Chiropractor.

I thought this was the answer and while the therapy helped in the beginning, it too became obsolete. He even told me that I would NEVER be pain free. But I refused to believe it and went on a mission to find ‘the cure’. I went to a kinesiologist, who referred me to an osteopath and I have not looked back since. She took one look at me and knew what was wrong. And even though I am not 100%, I am ten times better than I have been in years!

“I believe in osteopaths completely. Because they look at both the bones AND the muscles, they get a better picture of the problem at its base.”

By: Meagan Karstens