We follow an integrated approach whereby we use both manual therapy and movement training to find the root cause of your issues, get you out of pain and improve your performance as efficiently as possible. All new clients will come initially either for therapy (if you are in pain or experiencing a severe loss of function), or training (if you want to improve movement patterns or performance, lose weight or get a bespoke training program). This page outlines what you can expect from each type of appointment, but we want to make it clear that even if you start with one approach we will, as appropriate, move you to the other to get the best results.
Often therapy patients are in pain due to poor movement patterns, so after the symptoms have subsided we can conduct a movement assessment session to determine the training needs that will address any underlying movement issues that you have. We then put together an appropriate program to keep you out of pain for the long term. Likewise, in the process of training you, it may become clear that you have a dysfunction, eg ankle limitations from an old unresolved sprain, that would be best resolved with a hands-on approach.
How long will it take?
The regular appointment takes about an hour. This allows sufficient time to get to know you, understand your complaint and general state of health, and gain enough information to form a diagnosis to begin to treat you. However, if you do have several problems that you want help with, and/or there is a long and complex history to cover, you may wish to book a 90 minute extended appointment to ensure we can get through everything, including initial treatment. This type of appointment may also be appropriate if, due to distance or availability, you cannot come for regular follow-up treatments and are looking for a thorough assessment.
What happens at the initial appointment?
Initially, a thorough case history will be taken. This will comprise details of the issue(s) that you want help with. We also ask about account your past medical history, background, work-life, hobbies and general well-being. A physical examination will then take place, at which point you may need to dress down to your underwear, so if you would feel more comfortable please bring some shorts and/or a sports bra. Any physical findings noted during examination such as posture, quality of joint movement, breathing patterns and muscle tone and function will be used, alongside the case history to form a working diagnosis. This will be explained to you before any treatment is carried out, and you will have a chance to ask questions at any point throughout the consultation process. In the event that the problem is something that we cannot help with, we will endeavour to refer you to an appropriate specialist or back to your GP for further tests.
What happens during treatment?
A broad variety of techniques will be used. Treatment may include osteopathic joint articulation and manipulation, soft tissue, stretching, breathing retraining and medical acupuncture. It is not usually painful, and all treatment will be explained with your permission gained, so you will always be in control. Daily rehabilitative exercises are given as part of the treatment program to complement and enhance the effect of the hands-on therapy.
Your initial training session will consist of a series of movement pattern assessments to determine your strengths and weaknesses and uncover any potential issues. These will cover a broad range of movements, from simple to complicated. We will also review your health and fitness goals and your current training regime if any. All of this information will be used to create a comprehensive picture of your current level of functional movement fitness. For follow-up sessions, we will develop a personalised plan for you to achieve your fitness goals, whether they be athletic, activities of daily life, or merely to feel great. Programmes will be designed to suit your training needs, whether they be
- fitting in with, and enhancing your current workout regime
- getting you started with a home exercise programme
- enhancing your training for a marathon or other goal
- coming in and training in our fitness studio.
You should wear or bring active clothing to your sessions. For initial assessment appointments, shorts or comfortable form-fitting outfits are recommended so we can most accurately observe the movement of your joints and muscles. In most cases, unless there is a pressing need, we assess and train you barefoot, both so we can see how your feet and ankles are functioning, and to provide a full workout to the feet.