What is osteopathy?

Yes, osteo means bone, but osteopathy is so much more!

Osteopathy is a hands-on, therapeutic practice with the goal of identifying and treating structures (bones, joints, muscles, fascia, organs, viscera, etc.) of the body that are restricted, or lacking proper mobility (or as my patients prefer, "sticky").

The tissues and structures that make up your body shouldn't be restricted - they should be free to move and express themselves in order to carry out their intended function.

graphic of female muscles to educate for pre and postnatal fitness

A simple example that you can likely relate to is a joint. If it is sticky, it’s motion is limited and ultimately it’s function is as well. 

My goal as an osteopathic manual practitioner (what we are called here in Canada*), is to restore normal position and mobility through manipulation of all tissues, bones and structures of the body.

Osteopathy is based on a strong knowledge of anatomy (structure) and physiology (function). With well-trained hands (5+ years of study), an osteopathic manual practitioner sets to re-establish normal mobility, thereby improving function. This concept is applied to all systems of the body: musculoskeletal (muscles and joints), cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, digestive and reproductive.

Osteopathic manual practice is based on 4 Simple principles:

1. Body functions are dependent on healthy body structures. For optimal function, the body structures must be free of restriction and have ideal mobility (not sticky).

2. The fluids - blood, lymph, neurological, interstitial - and their unrestricted flow through the body is of primary importance. Proper flow of these fluids is crucial for proper function and health as they nourish, clean, and heal the body tissues. You need good flow.

3. All body systems are dependent on each other. Proper health of one body system is dependent on the good health of the others. 

4. Free of restrictions, the body has the inherent ability to heal itself (to some degree).

How can osteopathy help me?

Osteopathy can help with many conditions, injuries and ailments. It is especially beneficial during and after pregnancy because of the enormous strains, stresses and changes that occur.

Here is a list of conditions that I am happy to help you overcome:

osteopathy plays an important role in prenatal and postnatal health and wellness.
  • Prenatal issues:

    • lowback pain

    • pelvic girdle pain

    • SI joint pain

    • pubic symphysis pain

    • sciatica

    • pelvic floor dysfunctions (*osteopaths do not perform internal work)

    • reflux

    • carpal tunnel

    • headaches, migraines

    • muscle tensions & imbalances - alignment

    • birth prep (alignment, tensions, etc)

    • general aches and pains

  • Postnatal issues:

    • back pain, neck pain

    • diastasis recti abdominis - core repair and restore

    • pelvic pain

    • pelvic floor dysfunctions (ie incontinence)

    • muscle tensions & imbalances

    • postnatal exercise plans


What education does Shauna have?

After completing a BSc. in athletic therapy, Shauna completed a six year program at the Canadian College of Osteopathy in Toronto. This program meets the standards for safety, skill and knowledge established by the World Health Organization and is recognized by the Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners. After completing five years of study, Shauna researched and wrote a paper on the effects of osteopathic treatment on the pelvic floor and diaphragm, on functional breathing capacity.

*Shauna Ironside is not a medical doctor.

Is osteopathy covered by private insurance?

Yes. Most insurance policies cover osteopathic manual practice. It is recommended that you check your insurance policy to verify your specific coverage. In most cases, you do not need a physician referral for insurance coverage. Just call and book your first appointment!

Is osteopathy safe?

Osteopathy is currently unregulated in Ontario. The Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners (OAO) has stringent guidelines and requirements for its members, promoting the safest standards of practice for osteopathic practice. Shauna graduated from the Canadian College of Osteopathy, one of two OAO board approved osteopathic schools in Ontario.