What is osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a type of manual therapy that works with tissue position, quality, and function to enhance the body’s ability for self-healing. It is a natural medicine, as it does not involve medications or surgery; it relies instead on palpation, a skill in detecting tissue states using the therapist’s subtle and refined touch.


In particular, osteopathic practice is concerned with the body’s ability to circulate fluids, such as blood, lymph, and cerebrospinal fluid, all of which have vital functions in self-healing, especially after injury, illness, stress, and other traumas that can impede circulation. Because osteopathy is a complete system of assessment and integration of all the body’s systems and tissues, therapists base their practice on a detailed study of human anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics, as well as their many years of experience.


What types of issues can osteopathy address?

Manual osteopathic practitioners do not treat symptoms of dysfunction (i.e. pain), but rather, they treat the primary source of that dysfunction. Practitioners are trained to treat all the tissues and systems of the body (for example, musculoskeletal, craniosacral, visceral, fascial, arterial, nervous).


Generally, osteopathy can treat most dysfunctions in the body, including


  • Back, neck, and joint pain (musculoskeletal pain anywhere in the body)
  • Cranial trauma (e.g. post-concussion syndrome)
  • Migraines and tension headaches
  • Jaw problems
  • Sports injuries
  • Whiplash and motor vehicle accidents
  • Digestive problems (digestive disorders, constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Breathing problems (e.g. asthma, chest pain/tension)
  • Gynecological problems (e.g. painful menstruation, painful intercourse)
  • Circulatory and lymphatic problems
  • Bladder problems (e.g. incontinence)
  • Post-surgical pain, scar adhesions
  • Chronic pain, fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Emotional distress


Men and women of all ages can benefit from osteopathy. Manual osteopathic practitioners also receive special training in obstetrics, pediatrics, and geriatrics.


Which practitioner should I see?

We have six manual osteopathic practitioners practicing at Satori. From joint pain to migraines, sports injuries to chronic fatigue, each of our practitioners can help you in different ways. View their profiles to learn more about their extensive accomplishments and experience.


How did osteopathy develop as a discipline?

In 1864, despite being a medical doctor with extensive training, Dr. Andrew Taylor Still watched helplessly as three of his daughters died during a meningitis epidemic. Dr. Still began looking for a new medical model – a safe, effective way to treat patients. He dedicated the next 10 years of his life to studying health and disease from the context of human anatomy and physiology.


Dr. Still discovered that an educated, experienced, and precise sense of touch (palpation) could detect and treat many disorders and dysfunctions in the body. Combining this sense of touch with rigorous anatomical training, Dr. Still began to notice remarkable improvements in his clients. Modern osteopathy is based on Dr. Still’s original concepts. Osteopathy is now a well-known and accepted medical discipline in many parts of the world, including the UK, Europe, Australia, Russia, and the USA.


In 1992, the first manual osteopathic college opened in Ontario (CCO). The profession is growing exponentially in the province, as there are now hundreds of students of osteopathy in the province of Ontario.


In 2007, Satori Health & Wellness opened its doors in downtown Toronto and has since become one of the largest osteopathic clinics in the GTA.