"The true cause of all disease may be traced back to some muscle which has contracted and for some unaccountable reason has failed to relax, thus interfering with all the forces of life."

E.D.Barber DO




To understand Osteopathy, it is helpful to understand Kinesiology. Assessing human movement is the basic principle of Kinesiology. The human body's performance and its rehabilitation or the enhancing of movement and performance is also essential.

Kinesiologists believe that it is the individual's right to enjoy movement to its utmost potential in work and play Wellness is improved by kinesiology.

In Ontario, Kinesiologists must have a 4 year degree in kinesiology in order to practice.


Osteopathy is a holistic form of health care based on manual therapy. It is applied to the human body to correct structural imbalances.

Osteopathy is based on four principles:

  1. The body is a dynamic unit of function. This is based on the interconnectivity of all parts of the body and how each part can affect all others.
  2. Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated. The body is created so that the structure of each organ is based on how it functions and the function of each part is based on it structure.
  3. The body has its own self healing and self regulating mechanisms. The human body will strive to achieve good health if given the opportunity. It is the job of the Osteopathic therapist to promote the body's self-healing capacity.
  4. Rational treatment is based on these three principles.

Classical Osteopathic therapists believe in these principles and apply treatments to the entire body as opposed to a single area. They work on the body from the ground up and the inside out. They work to correct structural imbalances in the body with the goal of proper function which leads to proper health.

Think of a tablecloth lying smooth on a table. What happens if you pull one corner? Does the tablecloth stay smooth? Does it hang over one side? Is the tablecloth out of balance? The Osteopathic therapist knows how to make the cloth smooth again by adjusting it.


How is Osteopathy different from other forms of treatment such as massage and chiropractic?

Osteopathic therapists do not believe in protocol driven treatments based on certain techniques. One single technique does not work on everyone. Each individual requires an individually designed treatment.

Osteopathic therapists do not use aggressive manipulations to bones, joints or tissues but rather apply gentle manual therapy to correct the framework of the body.

It is this application of biomechanics that balances the body's structure, which in turn, will balance the body's physiology. These treatments are well tolerated by everyone.


How is Osteopathy different from Physiotherapy?

Osteopathic therapists treat only using their hands. Other treatments are not used. Exercise is only advised when the body can handle the added stimulation.

How does Osteopathy achieve results with out the use of drugs?

Osteopathic therapists do not limit their knowledge to back pain and muscle pain but rather to the physiological manifestations associated with structural abnormalities.

Almost 100 years ago an Osteopath proposed a theory that abnormal forces being applied at the cellular level will have an effect on how a cell produces substances vital to its existence. It was not until the last 10 years that science has been able to prove this theory, now known as "mechanotransduction". This principle looks at mechanical forces (i.e. abnormal muscle contractions in the living body) and the effects they have on the cells within. From a therapeutic perspective this means that if someone who has a structural abnormality, is given proper treatment that brings then back into a state of balance then the abnormal forces in the body are reduced and the body can operate more effectively.


How do Osteopathic therapists treat?

Osteopathic therapists treat using the bones as levers and work to balance the body and allow it to cure itself. This is done through gentle oscillations, specific stretching, muscle balancing, and gentle repositioning of the bones. Treatments are applied in the gentlest way possible and are therefore inhibitory towards the body to help reduce muscle tension and nervous stimulation.

Treatments are usually about 30 minutes in length in order to take advantage of this inhibitory effect on the body.


Osteopathic Therapy

Mike Fittante HBSc (Kin), CK

Certified Kinesiologist, Manual Osteopathic Therapist

Reclaim Counselling and Wellness Centre

St. Catharines, Ontario L2W 3A4

TEL: 905 380 1741


Information on Osteopathy provided by this office.