At this point in time, we are all being challenged to develop new ways to help each other when we cannot meet face-to-face. However, with sufficient creativity, we can navigate these obstacles together, and help you through whatever you are facing.
From the outset, it’s important to recognise that our core values and principles remain the same, and where things have changed, we can successfully adapt and work with circumstances.
What Remains Constant?
Whether we are face-to-face or not, the most important guiding principles remain unchanged:
- I am here to help you, if you need it.
- The underlying holistic philosophy – that all parts of your life interact with each other – informs how we work together.
- I will always do my best to provide the highest possible standards of care and treatment
What Will Be Different, and What Can We Do About It?
Understanding each other is always easier when we are face-to-face, so please bear with me if I need to ask more questions, or summarise back to you what you have told me in my own words.
Your physical environment will be most likely in your own home, instead of a treatment room, so we will need to make sure that it is suitable for the appointment.
We will depend on technology to connect us, and we will need to make sure that this is prepared in advance, and also what we will do if we experience technical difficulties.
How we examine and treat you will be different, because we can’t be in physical contact. Some conditions will be more challenging to work with in this way, and may require more time, or for us to wait until we can meet face-to-face. If we do experience difficulties, I will always be up front with your available options, welcome your feedback, and together we can discuss the best way to proceed.
What Happens in an Online Appointment?
In many ways, it’s exactly the same as a face-to-face appointment. We will:
- discuss your situation, your ongoing levels of progress and remaining symptoms, and answer any questions you may have,
- examine you, tell you what I can observe and explain how these findings relate to your situation and your symptoms,
- balance and release your body, so that your natural healing capacities can work unhindered.
In addition, when we schedule our first appointment:
- we will establish which program or app we will use to communicate,
- I will remind you that I will initiate the appointment by calling you,
then, at the beginning of each appointment, we will need to establish that:
- your space is suitable for the appointment,
- who else is present, and
- that you have sufficient privacy,
and at the end of each appointment we will:
- schedule a follow up appointment, if required,
- schedule a short 5-10 minute follow-up call so that we can check on your progress.
How Does Treatment Work?
Positional release techniques are well established techniques within Osteopathy. They rely on the correct placement of your body into a position/posture of ease or balance, which is then held for a few seconds to a few minutes, in order to generate a release. These postures are usually done standing up.
It is the position that matters, not who puts you there. In a face-to-face appointment, it is usually your Osteopath who places you into the specific position/posture required to generate a release. However, the same effect occurs if you place yourself in the position/posture under the verbal guidance of your Osteopath, as long as the position/posture is correct.
Building health and balance, releasing obstructions to healing. This method can provide us with a series of positions/postures which are tailored to your situation which can incrementally release what is stuck and preventing you from healing.
Haven’t We Done This Before?
Yes! If you have attended a face-to-face appointment with me in the last few years, you may well remember that we use these techniques at the end of a treatment to help balance and integrate the work we have done during your appointment. However, the same method can be used to achieve much of the results that we usually get from hands-on treatment.
Does This Method Work For Everything?
Talking to the body. Treatment methods are how we “talk” to the body, and ask it to change. A different method is very much like a different language – your sentiments and ideas remain the same, but the sounds you use to articulate them are different. In this case, our sentiments and ideas are the underlying holistic principles of Osteopathy – and these remain the same, but will be expressed to your body in a different way.
Limitations of this method. Some ideas are much harder to express in other languages, and some conditions are much harder to interact with for certain treatment methods. In this case, this method is less suitable than hands-on treatment for acute pain, especially if the pain prevents you from moving by yourself into a position which is required. If this is the case, then treatment is still possible, but it can be slower to achieve results, and we may have to review our options if this happens.
How will I know if this method suitable for me? The best way is to discuss it directly with me. However, if you were already a patient of mine before lockdown conditions were imposed, and I have suggested this type of appointment, it is because this method may well be suitable for you. If you are having your first appointment with me online rather than face-to-face, then based on the information we gain from taking your case history and examining you, we can discuss whether online appointments are suitable for you – if not, we can discuss other alternatives.
What Equipment Do I Need For This?
A suitable space, which is:
- large enough for you to stand comfortably, and also for your arms to reach in all directions without obstruction.
- well-lit so that you can see me, and I can see you.
- private enough so that if required we can discuss medically sensitive information, just like in a face-to-face appointment.
A chair. It can also be useful for you to have a chair behind you in case you feel you need to sit down. Usually, our treatment method is done standing up, but it can be easily adapted to a sitting position if more convenient.
A video-calling device. You will need:
- a phone, tablet or computer, with FaceTime or WhatsApp installed.
- to be able to position your device hands-free, in a way that gives me as wide a field of view of your body as possible.
- sufficient battery power or a power cable to allow us to communicate for 1 hour.
A suitable internet connection, which allows us to maintain our conversation.
What Happens If…
One of us is delayed? Please let me know as soon as possible, if you will be late for our appointment. I will do the same, in case I have to over-run with my previous patient – please bear with me in such cases, as I do attempt to give everyone the time they need.
In almost all cases, text messaging is the best means of letting me know you are delayed.
We experience technical difficulties? If we lose our video connection part-way through the appointment, then:
- I will try to re-establish the video link, in order to continue the appointment
- If I cannot do this, I will try calling your mobile number, and failing this, contact you by email.
- If we cannot re-establish our connection in good time, we can reschedule our appointment for another time.
I don’t feel comfortable with how the appointment is proceeding? Just like a face-to-face appointment, it is your right to stop the appointment at any time. I welcome all feedback, and in such cases would ask that you tell me that you wish to discontinue the appointment.
How Do We Arrange Payment?
Payment can be made by bank transfer to me personally, and I can send you my account details on request. Once you have made payment, please text me to confirm that you have done so, and I will text back to confirm receipt – this is very important to help me with administration.