Osteopathy for Women
Osteopathy for women of all ages.
At Growing Bones we offer osteopathic treatment and complementary holistic care for young and old, male or female. However we understand that the female body is unique and requires specialised support to help it to adapt to the many changes throughout life: pre-puberty through puberty, preconception, pregnancy, motherhood, menopause, and beyond.
Pre-puberty through puberty (pre-pubescent through teenage years):
Adolescence is a highly functional, adaptive period for young women. It’s a time of great change in the female body, in thought, content, and emotion. The brain undergoes massive reorganisation, establishing new connections between more advanced brain areas, especially within the frontal lobe.
Osteopathic care provides support to the female teenage body during this time of transition, helping to integrate changes and balance the body. Our osteopaths understand that pre-puberty through puberty may present many challenges to the individual’s identity and self-esteem. The teenage brain is sensitive to oxytocin (a neurohormone) which (among other things) makes social connections in particular more rewarding. In turn, the teenager can react to peer exclusion much as they respond to threats to physical health or food supply.
An osteopathic consultation at Growing Bones fosters a safe environment where the adolescent can relax and be themselves. Our osteopaths understand that body image can be a sensitive subject for some teen girls and any treatment can be easily applied through clothing. Techniques used in adolescents include gentle soft tissue massage, joint articulation, gentle (cranial and biodynamic) techniques, and on occasion, joint manipulation. All techniques used are dependent on parental consent and in feedback with the teenage patient to ensure their safety and comfort.
Osteopathy for women wanting to conceive:
Falling pregnant is not always easy and can become a stressful process if things are not going as planned. The osteopaths role in caring for women who are wanting to conceive is to remove physical tension from the body, which may contribute to an array of different symptoms and contribute to stress. Osteopathy for women wanting to conceive involves the use of gentle soft-tissue massage, stretching and subtle balancing (cranial/biodynamic) techniques to reduce bodily pain, restore postural balance, improve fluid dynamics (blood flow, venous and lymphatic drainage) throughout the pelvis and pelvic organs. Your osteopath may also prescribe stretches and exercises to help prepare the musculoskeletal system for the physical changes of pregnancy.
Aromatherapy and massage may help to provide balance, both physically and emotionally. Hormonal balance is vital for a healthy pregnancy to take place. Essential oils can be used to help balance a woman’s (or a man’s) endocrine system by regulating menstruation, reducing stress and improving sleep patterns. Stress and anxiety causes the body to release stress compounds such as cortisol which can interrupt hormone balance. Research has been done on the benefits of aromatherapy and massage in helping to restore the nervous system and bring balance to the body.
We can also help you with fertility charting via the Billings Ovulation Method - a natural method of fertility management. The Method teaches you to recognise your body's natural cycles and signals of fertility and act accordingly.
Nutrition and dietetics consultations help women and men to optimise the nutrition in their diet to restore healthy hormone levels and tissue health for successful conception and a healthy pregnancy.
Osteopathic and complementary care during pregnancy.
Growing Bones specialises in osteopathic care during pregnancy and postnatally. We are incredibly passionate about providing osteopathic and complementary holistic care to during pregnancy ensure that this precious time is comfortable and beneficial for both mother and baby.
Maternal feelings of relaxation and wellbeing may promote the release of feel-good hormones that affect the growing baby and support infantile growth in a stress-free and emotionally nourishing environment. Osteopathic care aims to foster these feelings of calm, wellbeing, relaxation, and emotional and physical nurturing of both mother and baby.
Your osteopath will take a comprehensive case history to understand how you are physically and emotionally adjusting to pregnancy, and ensure osteopathic care safe for you. An osteopathic diagnosis is made, and treatment includes gentle soft-tissue massage, stretching, joint articulation, and subtle balancing (cranial/biodynamic) techniques to establish balance and flexibility throughout the body. These osteopathic techniques may help the pregnant body to better adapt to changes in weight, improve balance during walking and other movement, and optimal positioning of the growing baby inside the uterus.
(NOTE: Although osteopathic is recognised as a safe and effective therapy for pregnant women, it is advised to check with your general practitioner or obstetrician if you are in a ‘high-risk’ category before seeking osteopathic care.)
Aromatherapy under qualified, expert care is safe for pregnant women, and may enhance wellbeing through each stage of pregnancy in the following ways:
- Alleviate common discomforts such as nausea, muscular complaints, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, pruritus (itch), fatigue, insomnia and emotional upsets.
- Help maintain good general health through regular use of essential oils and prevention and early treatment of infections.
- Support your pregnancy through reduction of stress and anxiety and ensure good sleep patterns.
- Preparation for labour, both physically and psychologically.
- Research regarding the use of essential oils during pregnancy and birth is very positive leading to aromatherapy being incorporated into various healthcare settings.
Aromatherapy can be combined with massage to support the changing body during pregnancy and is valuable for birth preparation. A study carried out by The Touch Research Institute showed a reduction in anxiety, stress hormones and obstetrical complications in women who received regular massage during their pregnancies.
Childbirth and labour:
Osteopathy may assist in optimal foetal positioning without applying direct force (as in External Cephalic Version manoeuvres) by using non-invasive gentle soft-tissue massage, stretching and subtle balancing (cranial/biodynamic) techniques to rebalance the pregnant body and therefore allow the foetus to shift position. You osteopath can also prescribe stretches and exercises, which may help encourage your baby into an optimal position for birth.
Induction massage aims to promote uterine contractions and induce labour naturally.
Aromatherapy can be employed for childbirth to help reduce anxiety, encourage relaxation, promote uterine contractions and relieve pain as well as to treat associated symptoms such as nausea and fatigue.
Fear, anxiety and stress can have a negative impact on the commencement and progress of labour. Odour has a direct pathway to the area of the brain that governs fear and research shows the use of positive aromas can help to reduce pain perception.
Consultation with a qualified aromatherapist is strongly recommended when using essential oils during pregnancy. Our aromatherapist Sonya Edmonds uses high quality essential oils and a variety of massage techniques safe and appropriate for each stage of pregnancy.
Post-Partum & Motherhood:
Each stage of our children’s lives brings new challenges as parents. Especially significant for parent is the saying:
“Fill your own cup first -- so that you can then give to others.”
We feel osteopathy for new mothers is essential. Post birth, a woman's body undergoes extensive physiological changes in almost all body systems: reproductive, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, urinary, neurological, hormonal, and the musculoskeletal system.
In the first 1 to 2 days after childbirth, many women experience muscle fatigue and aches, particularly of the shoulders, neck, and arms, because of exertion during labour. The levels of the hormone relaxin gradually subside, and ligaments and cartilage of the pelvis begin to return to their pre-pregnancy positions. These changes can cause hip and joint pain that often interferes with ambulation and exercise.
Abdominal wall weakness, abdominal separation, and pelvic floor weakness are common. Osteopathy in the first few weeks post birth may help provide comfort and relaxation by decreasing muscular tension and improving postural balance.
Prescription of gentle stretches and postural advice further assists mothers physically recover and remain functional outside the osteopathic rooms, so they are free to care for their new arrival.
Aromatherapy is also a wonderful complementary treatment for new mothers. Becoming a new mum (or dad) is life changing! This time is full of wonder and excitement as well as challenges and readjustment. During the postnatal period aromatherapy and massage can be beneficial for new mums as they recover from birth and adjust to the physical as well as emotional demands of motherhood.
Aromatherapy and/or massage can provide support for new mums in the following ways:
- Healing of wounds and prevention of infection
- Relief from muscular tension, often associated with birth or breastfeeding posture
- Help treat breastfeeding issues: under or over supply, mastitis
- Ease other discomforts e.g. digestive issues, poor sleep, fatigue
- Alleviate feelings of anxiety, depression, or low confidence/low self-esteem
- Empowerment as a new mum by learning how to care for your family with natural, aromatic remedies.
Sonya Edmonds provides nurturing aromatherapy treatments specific to your needs at any stage in your parenting journey. Mother Nurture aromatherapy products are also available our clinic to help nurture the whole family.
Menopause and Beyond:
Osteopathy for peri- and postmenopausal women aims to maintain flexibility and joint mobility. Physical activity in our older years is essential for healthy bone density and heart health. For women in their later years, along with a regular osteopathic maintenance program, we recommend enjoyable movement activities such as:
Barre Pilates Fusion
Please see our movement classes page for more information.
Want to know more about osteopathic care for women?
To find out if osteopathy is suitable for you, please call our osteopath on (03) 9687 3040, or make an appointment using our secure online booking tool.