Osteopathy is a manual therapy which aims to give each structure of the body its ideal freedom of movement. It therefore applies to all the systems that make up the animal's organism: the musculoskeletal system, the visceral sphere, or the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems, etc...
This hollistic and global approach takes into account the interrelation of all the cells between them. It emphasizes the need for each cell to function properly in order to maintain or regain health. The manipulations carried out encourage the body's natural ability to heal itself.
The osteopath can restore the balance of the body in different ways, using several techniques (structural, tissular, fluidic, energetic, cranial, ...). Whatever the approach he chooses, the pactitioner seeks to offer the body a way of functioning without imposing it, without constraint, respecting the patient and listening to his tissues.
It is an approach of first intention, both preventive and curative, which is aimed at all animal species and all ages.
The osteopathy medicine has a very large toolbox.
Several osteopathic currents have developed and have given rise to techniques that are sometimes very different.
Depending on the reason for consultation and the symptoms the animal presents, the therapist will choose with you the most appropriate technique. At the practice, we have chosen to train ourselves more specifically in gentle techniques, which do not surprise the animal and which can act as much on its body as a structure, as on its mental body.
Myo-fascial techniques are also part of structural osteopathy. The osteopath mobilizes bones and joints in a direction that relaxes muscles and frees blocked joint surfaces.
It is a gentle and progressive technique that does not surprise the animal. There is also the GOT (for Global Osteopathic Treatment) which consists of several rotations in a certain rhythm at the joints in order to improve their range of motion.
Among the different approaches, structural osteopathy is often the most well known by patients and pet owners.
Structural osteopathy focuses on the body's structure: bones, joints and muscles.
However, at OAK, we believe that it is not sufficient on its own and that it should generally be combined with other approaches, including visceral, cranio-sacral and somato-emotional, in order to sustain the effects of the treatment.
The leading technique in this register is the thrust, a rapid movement, directed by the osteopath, at a joint, sometimes accompanied by a characteristic articular noise (the "cracking").
For small animals such as dogs or cats, we have chosen not to use this technique in our practice.
Visceral osteopathy is one of our techniques of choice during consultations. Your animal will necessarily be checked for its organs and treated if necessary.
The osteopath listens and gently palpates the thoracic and abdominal cavities to feel the tensions in the organs and their attachments.
Indeed, the liver , the stomach , the lungs … all these structures are connected by ligament systems to the skeleton .
Thus, a dysfunctional vertebra can disturb the organs with which it has specific links and, conversely, an organ weakened in its movement or in its function can restrict the mobility of a vertebra to which it is connected.
The techniques used in visceral by our therapists are gentle and painless , the osteopath gradually “disentangles ” the tensions accumulated by the organ and in its vicinity. It ensures that the body has all the elements necessary to maintain homeostasis and good visceral functioning.
and Cranio-sacral Treatment
Cranial osteopathy is an approach to osteopathy that was developed in the early to mid 1900s by William Garner Sutherland.
Sutherland highlighted the infinitesimal movements of the bones of the skull and the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a theory already evoked in 1874 by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, founder of Osteopathy.
This hypothesis is known as the Primary Respiratory Mechanism (PRM), and refers to a very small movement, perceptible by the osteopath from the skull to the sacrum, which extends by the fascias to the whole body.
The cranial approach is used for various disorders in babies and adults, and is transposable to the animal. We like to use it in particular in dysfunctions such as:
Joint pain (neck, back, pelvis, jaw)
ENT disorders (ear infections, tinnitus...)
Neurological disorders (headshaking, epilepsy...)
The objective of the treatment is to rebalance the hydraulic forces of the cranio-sacral system and to free the skull from its mobility restrictions.
A global technique “par excellence”: the field of action of cranial and cranio-sacral osteopathy is very broad. At the practice, your animal is systematically controlled and treated if necessary, on the cranial and sacral spheres.
It is a very gentle and painless technique, like all the techniques used in the practice.
It allows an energetic assessment of fluid disturbances.
The proposed corrections allow the body to regain its adaptability.
The PRM (Primary Respiratory Mechanism) described above is present throughout the body.
Its analysis makes it possible to establish the "fluidic" state of an organism.
It is an active listening process where the therapist asks questions to the body to be tested.
The movements of each part of the body, functional unit, bones, muscles, organs and viscera will be sought.
The correction will be in the accompaniment of one or more missing movements, with a very light pressure of about 5 grams ("like a butterfly landing on a flower", M-R Poyet).
One of the fluidic approaches practiced at OAK is called craniosacral reflexology. Halfway between an energetic and osteopathic practice, it allows an observation of the fluid disturbances of the organism. It removes the locks put in place by the body following physical, emotional or mental stress, in order to propose a new way of functioning.
To rebalance the animal's body, the osteopath frequently uses the fascias.
Fascias are flexible and very resistant connective tissue membranes containing collagen fibers, which are found everywhere in the body. They have a protective role and connect all structures together.
Fascias can be superficial (just under the skin), deep (enveloping each muscle individually and groups of muscles between them forming lodges), visceral (enveloping the organ itself and forming their means of suspension and attachment).
The fascias have different names depending on their location, but in fact they form a single tissue, like a large spider web that is lodged in every nook and cranny of the body.
These slightly contractile membranes constitute real lines of force allowing the body to stabilize itself, to put itself in balance, and to transmit the forces of the external mechanical tensions or emitted by the muscular movements from one part of the body to the other.
In addition, they contain sensitive nerve endings that give them a capacity for proprioception (informing the body about its position in space).
The osteopath, by palpating the fascias, or by mobilizing the organs to evaluate the quality of their attachments, will be able to determine the most important areas of tension, the compensation schemes put in place by the body, and thus free the restrictions of mobility by these fascias.
It is a technique that we use almost systematically in our practice, because it is gentle, progressive and produces great effects on the musculoskeletal system.
It is Pierre Tricot who is at the origin of this osteopathic approach.
Tissular osteopathy is a soft technique which assumes that the body is conscious "A living body, a conscious body", and that it is therefore necessary to communicate with it in order to approach it.
Tissues keep in memory the traces of shocks, trauma, or bad posture in the form of retention. The aim in tissular osteopathy is therefore to put the body system back in communication before any treatment begins, then to free the areas of restriction/retention by a fine palpation of the body and finally to finish by a global rebalancing of the body.
The practitioner uses his hands to tune in to each tissue in restriction of mobility to unroll cycles and release the retentions trapped inside according to the following parameters:
"Presence Attention Intention " " Density Tension Speed ".
At the practice, we use this technique in specific cases. It does not require any particular hand placement, so it is particularly indicated for fearful animals that fear contact, such as cats, for example. We also appreciate it in more complicated cases, when several pathologies coexist and it is necessary to bring comfort to the animal by taking great care of the vital systems. It is a very tissue-friendly technique.
Energetic osteopathy addresses the different energy flows that travel the surface of the body and form its "energy bubble".
It addresses the etheric body which corresponds to the energy circulating in the meridians according to the principles of Chinese medicine.
It is also addressed to the emotional body which, as its name indicates, contains the different emotions that can become engrained in the physical body and be the cause of certain imbalances.
Finally, it is addressed to the mental body, the seat of the thoughts of the individual, but also of his instinct, his habits.
At the practice, we use energetic osteopathy especially when the owner of the animal reports certain emotional disorders that result in agitation, anxiety, aggressiveness, depression...
With this approach, the osteopath searches for the organ or tissue that carries this emotional stress and frees the passage of energy. The techniques used for rebalancing are manual and are based on the notions of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Tensegrity and Osteopathy
Tensegrity represents the ability of a structure to stabilize itself through the interplay of forces and compressions. Very well known in architecture (Tacoma Bridge), it has recently been addressed in osteopathy and allows us to visualize soft tissues as a network of elastics that underlie the rigid tissues of the body.
In this way, we treat the body as a unit whose parts respond and resonate with each other, making the treatment more effective. Several techniques are derived from this approach, and we systematically use them on your pet during consultations.
Among them: the Medullary Traction Force. You know how much we love this technique, which allows us to effectively release tensions in the spinal cord.
Let's look at the vertebrae and the spinal cord like a pearl necklace, what happens when the wire is too short for a well defined number of pearls? The thread is stretched to the maximum. It is when this traction is excessive that disorders appear: accentuation of the curvatures of the spine, changes in the biomechanics of the animal, appearance of scoliosis or herniated disc.
Osteopathy can act on this MTF when it is abnormally high. A follow-up of growing animals is therefore strongly recommended, especially in breeds known to be at risk for weight-bearing defects or dysplasia.