What is Manual Osteopathy?

Hi, I’m Anna and I am a Manual Osteopath at Energize Health in Calgary. I’m here to explain what manual osteopathy is, what I do as a Manual Osteopath and how you may benefit from the techniques I use in my practice at our clinic.

Much like Massage Therapy, Chiropractic and Acupuncture, Manual Osteopathy is a holistic form of healthcare, which means that a Manual Osteopath considers and treats the body as a complete system. Since the body is quite complex, it is important to consider your pain from both a specific and systemic perspective (how the pain relates to the entire body system) . For example, your knee pain may be due to damage of a ligament in your knee, but it could also be caused by weakness in your hips causing an unnatural walking pattern and ultimately knee pain.

As a Manual Osteopath, my treatment techniques include gentle and specific corrections, which use your muscles’ ability to contract or shorten to move your bones into a better, more natural position. I treat the specific sites of your pain, imbalances throughout your body or injury-related pain through these various techniques to provide lasting relief.

The human body is much more than just muscles and bones. We are comprised of membranes, nerves, veins, fatty tissue, and many other different types of tissues. Think of trying to separate a “boneless skinless chicken breast” from a whole chicken. You’d find that the muscle (the chicken breast) is not free floating and independent of other tissue types. As a Manual Osteopath, I will often treat all the different tissues to create change. This approach allows me to achieve positive results when other focused forms of treatment may have failed.

Some of the more common structural issues I treat are pain found in the foot, ankle, knee, hip, pelvis, back, shoulder, neck and jaw. Issues often include ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, ligament tears, sciatica, rotator cuff injuries, whiplash/MVA injuries, and TMJ.

I am also able to treat the internal and neurological systems of your body. Using visceral (internal organ) techniques, and craniosacral techniques (treatment to the bones of the head, spine and sacrum), I can balance the natural rhythm of the skeletal system and allow your internal structures (organs etc.) to work more efficiently.

By using your body’s muscles in a strategic way, I do not need excessive force or high velocity movements to create positive change. I can use gentle, gradual adjustments to alleviate your pain and restore function. If you have any questions regarding Manual Osteopathy or how I might be able to help you, please contact the clinic or feel free to reach out to me directly via email: anna@energizehealth.ca.

Yours in health,


Anna Rathgeber, DMO

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Anna Rathgeber

Andrianna (Anna) Rathgeber was born and raised in Calgary, where she received her Bachelors in Kinesiology from the University of Calgary. Anna thoroughly enjoyed the variety of classes and volunteer programs that she participated in during her degree. It was also during her undergraduate degree, while on a study abroad exchange program in Brisbane, Australia, that she discovered the benefits of osteopathic techniques. Passionate about holistic healthcare, Anna completed a post-graduate program at the National Manual Osteopathic College and received her Diploma of Manual Osteopathy. There she learnt techniques for structural adjustments that use the client’s muscular strength to facilitate the correction. Her structural techniques use a method of muscular contraction, followed by relaxation to move the skeletal system into proper alignment. Anna loves the complexities of the human body and has enjoyed learning different techniques that focus on solving the problem at hand from multiple perspectives. For example, she will often use myofascial release techniques, visceral as well as craniosacral therapy modalities to relieve a wide range of conditions. As a Manual Osteopath, Anna considers and treats each condition from a whole body perspective. Recently, she spent a month in Australia doing a one-on-one mentorship program to increase her knowledge and skill set, with regards to craniosacral therapy. This technique has been very beneficial to clients with low back pain, concussions, jaw dysfunction and headaches, to name a few. When she has free time, Anna loves to paint, travel, listen to a vinyl on her record player, explore the outdoors with her husband or have a chai tea latte at a local coffee shop with friends.

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