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  • Writer's pictureAlexandre Calamaro

How can Osteopathy help with Stress

Stress, as defined by the World Health Organisation, is a type of change that causes physical, emotional or psychological strain. Stress has been a leading factor causing a number of medical condition such as hypertension, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, anxiety and depression, and many more. When assessing an individual, a holistic approach is essential to identify the causes and triggers of stress. Being able to understand and cope with the latter will help the individual to thrive in his/her life. Every human being is unique and will have different triggers such as specific noises (sirens, loud public transports), smells (trash, chemicals), situations (paying bills, writing an essay on deadline day) and environments (work, hostile/conflict).

Osteopathy and Stress

Osteopathy, a holistic type of manual therapy invented in the late 1800s by an American physician and surgeon, Andrew Taylor Still, is a perfect way to assess the figures of stress from top to bottom.

As discussed in a previous article, here are the 4 principles of Osteopathy:

The Body is Unit -> the body is considered as whole! Each part affects every other part and the whole is greater than simply the sum of its parts.

Structure governs Function -> If the structure of the body is compromised (through trauma causing an injury, overuse, a strain), then it is very likely to have an adverse affect on its function (display as pain, stiffness, instability).

The Body is its own “Medicine Chest” -> Every human being has their own built in healing mechanisms, which can be stimulated and supported by removing restrictive barriers. Once the latter are removed, the body is usually able to resolve all but the most serious conditions.

• The “Rule of the Artery” is supreme -> For healing to happen, there needs to be a good enough blood supply to provide the troubled area with the necessary immune cells and nutrients.

Releasing stress with Osteopathy

As long as the osteopath applies the 4 principles when treating an individual, the goal of releasing stress will be achieved. The osteopath can have an impact on various structures and systems found in the body to achieve stress release:

  • Stimulating the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PaNS) to activate the “rest & digest” response (you can read all about it in my previous article The ANS and Osteopathy)

  • Focusing on the respiratory system, which includes the rib cage, diaphragm and muscles of respiration such as the scalenes in the neck area, the intercostals found between the ribs, the quadratus lumborum in the lower back area. (There are many more to add)

  • Releasing toxins through lymphatic drainage (read the Body Detoxification Process written by Charlotte)

Tips and Tricks to release stress

An osteopath will always be there to help you in any way possible! However, for any reason you are not able to consult one, here are a few osteopathic tips and tricks to calm one’s own self down:

  • Box breathing technique: a breathing technique used by special forces (S.A.S, Navy SEALS) to calm down in a matter of seconds. Simply inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, and exhale for 4 seconds. Repeat the process 3-5 times.

  • Stay hydrated: Drink enough water to avoid dehydration and to keep your brain function going.

  • Exercise: Physical activities, allows the body to release endorphins, hormones that block the perception of pain and increase the state of wellbeing.

That concludes this paper. If you have any questions about on how to cope with stress or you simply wish to come and seek osteopathic treatment, please, do not hesitate to book an appointment online.

Do not forget: Stress is an unpleasant feeling and sensation, but it will always be part of our Journey in Life! To understand and be aware of why it is present and what triggers it will help you control it! Listen and trust your body, but most importantly, do take care of yourself!

See you then,

Alexandre Calamaro

Registered Osteopath 10928

French Osteopath London

Osteopathy to Reduce Stress


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