Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a referral from my GP?
Many patients are referred to osteopaths by their doctors, other health practitioners or personal trainers. However, as osteopaths are primary care practitioners, you can make an appointment directly without a referral.
If you have been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition and require complex care you may be eligible for Chronic Disease Management (CDM) assistance. The GP must complete a special form to refer you for treatment.
What do I need to bring?
Bring along any X-rays, scans or test results that you may have.
Should I arrive early for my first appointment? It’s advisable to arrive a little early for your first appointment, as you will need to fill out additional or initial paperwork. Under the law, an osteopath needs to obtain your approval to treat you, so you will probably be asked to sign an ‘informed consent’ form.
What should I wear?
Regardless on the area of your body requiring treatment, you will be asked to undress to your underwear. It’s important that you feel comfortable, so you may want bring a pair of shorts to change into.
Can I bring a friend or relative?
Yes – if you wish, you can have someone present throughout your consultation and treatment.
What happens with my first consultation?
You will be asked questions about your problem and symptoms. I may also ask questions about your medical history, any medications you are taking or other factors that may not appear to be directly related to your problem. If your medical condition changes during the course of your osteopathic treatment, you should let me know.
Next, I will conduct a full osteopathic examination and if necessary, clinical tests. This may involve diagnostic, orthopaedic or neurological tests, postural assessments and activities or exercises, which will help determine how best to manage your condition.
The examination will include passive and active movements, such as me lifting your arms or legs. As part of the examination, you may also be asked to bend over or stand in your underwear. Be sure to wear comfortable, flexible and appropriate underwear.
I take a holistic approach to treatment, so I generally will look at other parts of your body, as well as the area that is troubling you. For example, if you have a sore knee, I will also look at your ankle, pelvis and back, as well as your posture and weight bearing to assess how your whole body might be affecting the knee.
At the end of the consultation I will also provide education and advice to help you manage your condition between treatments. This may include giving you exercises to do at home or work.
Is osteopathic treatment painful?
Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy, it is a hands-on treatment which may include massage, stretching, repetitive movements, mobilisation and/or manipulation.
Most osteopathic treatment is gentle and should not cause undue discomfort. If your injuries do require hands-on treatment of painful and tender areas, I will exercise care to make you as comfortable as possible.
Some people experience mild soreness for a day or two after treatment, similar to that felt after mild exercise. If this soreness persists or increases significantly, call me to discuss your concerns.
How long will my treatment take?
Your initial consultation will take one hour. This will enable me to take a thorough history, examine and treat you. Follow-up treatments are usually shorter, they take 45 minutes.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments you need depends on the condition and person I am treating. I aim to keep your appointments to a minimum. I will be able to tell you within a short period of time whether I can treat you or if I need to refer you to someone else.
Generally you would expect to see some changes in your symptoms after one or two visits; however, some long-term or chronic conditions may require a longer course or more frequent treatment. If you have any concerns, I will be happy to discuss these with you.
How much does treatment cost?
- The initial consultation is $145 for an hour.
- The follow up treatment is $115 for 45min.
- Discounts apply for pensioners and children.
Are there additional investigations or treatments?
Following treatment, I may decide that additional investigations such as X-ray, scans or blood tests are required. This will enable me to make a more exact diagnosis and develop a suitable treatment plan for you. If necessary, I may refer you on to another health professional.
HOW DO YOU SPECIFICALLY WORK?
During the first consultation I particularly am interested in finding out the chronological sequence of events in your life. Physical and emotional traumas can set up certain patterns of tension. Tension is how the body tries to integrate the traumas. But at the core of a traumatic event is the fear that locks up the tension. It’s as if that body part became frozen, has lost its ability to move.
After the case history, I then examine your body’s movement, when you are standing, sitting and lying. I will ask you to move, then I will take your body through a gentle series of passive movement, constantly comparing and taking note of the quality of your tissues, if the movements are painful or not. Rhythm is a particularly good indicator of how your tissues are working together or not. (click here to read more)
Then I will check another layer. The cranio-sacral movement, or cranial rhythmic impulse (CRI) is a very small movement that should be present in your whole body. For most of us this movement gets kick started at birth, when the head comes through the birth canal. The whole body curls up and unfolds gently. It is part of the unique rhythm that is present within you. It is a sum total of how your body has adapted to past events. For example, if you have twisted your ankle playing sports, you will bear more weight on the other leg, which in turn will put strain on the pelvis and neck, as the neck tries to keep the eyes level with the floor. Unless the shock in the ankle is treated, your body will not completely recover. This can set up an imbalance in the spine that later on can cause a stiffness in the lower back and possibly in the neck.
After examining the cranio-sacral movement, I will have an overview of which body parts still are holding onto past shock. Then the osteopathic treatment follows, as a gentle re-education of all the body parts, to move freely again. This can involve more passive movements or simply holding the body with awareness, to let the inner healing mechanism work specifically in the traumatised area. Sometimes specific manipulations to the spine could also be necessary. Most patients describe the treatment as relaxing. You will have a sense of coming back to a more comfortable way of holding yourself.
At the end I examine your posture again, to see how much the body has been able to change.
Generally I recommend a series of four treatments, to help the whole body pattern to change. Changes often occur within that first month. Each person will have a very unique history and state of health and hence each treatment plan is tailored to your particular needs.
I have a special interest in:
- Pre and postnatal care of mothers and babies
- Pain following an injury
- Headaches, stomach pains
- Difficulties sleeping
- Behavioural issues
- Learning difficulties
- Acute and chronic pain (spinal and joint pain)
- Sleeping difficulties