Osteopathy: Minor Manipulations with a Major Impact

Osteopathy has become an integral part of holistic approaches and treatment methods. Markus Tanzmeister, a physiotherapist and osteopath at MAYRLIFE Medical Health Resort Altaussee, explains in an interview why osteopathic treatments can be helpful for all kinds of ailments and how it is that minor manipulations can actually have a major positive impact.

Osteopathy - What is it and how does it work?

The term “Osteopathy” comes from the Ancient Greek, literally translating to "bone suffering" (from "ostéon" for bone and "páthos" for suffering). Its precursor, the complementary medical treatment method known as Bone-Setting, dates back to the early 17th century and involved treating joint misalignments based on clinical findings. This gradually evolved into osteopathy, which American Andrew Taylor Still proclaimed as a new science in 1874. In the 19th century, the treatment method then spread to the German-speaking world.

Osteopathy involves both diagnosis and treatment with the hands. It addresses all structures of the human body – muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, joints, organs, and the craniosacral system (the rhythmic flow of cerebral and spinal cord fluids).

Though osteopathy continues to evolve today, "the major breakthrough has been made," says Markus Tanzmeister, a physiotherapist and osteopath at MAYRLIFE Altaussee. The significant realization was not only that the body's structures (muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, fascia) and organs mutually influence each other, but also understanding which ones impact each other specifically and how they are interconnected. In the interview, Markus Tanzmeister discusses what is important in an osteopathic session, how he came to practice osteopathy, and why everyone can benefit from it.

What Is done during an osteopathy session? Mr. Tanzmeister, how would you describe your work?

Essentially, I provide the body with the ability to help itself. Initially, imaging documents are helpful but not necessarily required. I form my own picture of the patient and their body posture. Together with appropriate palpation (examination by feeling and touching internal organs just below the body surface), this then dictates the treatment program. A proper visual and mobility diagnosis must be in place in order to thereby eliminate the individual's primary issue, which in turn affects the entire body.


Where Osteopathy Helps. What are the most common complaints patients come to you with?

Digestive problems, as well as issues with the lumbar spine or neck, are most common. To rectify digestive problems, it often doesn't take much. For instance, it's not rare for a section of the large intestine to be mispositioned. I can usually correct this relatively quickly with a few manipulations. This relieves the cramping and the symptoms disappear. 

Resolving musculoskeletal issues, however, takes a bit more time. But these too can usually be resolved in just a few sessions. At least two days are recommended between treatments to allow the body to process the information effectively.

What may be the causes of a mispositioned intestine?

It's hard to say. The cause may date back a long time. Perhaps there was a fall in childhood, a car accident, or surgery.


How long does an osteopathic treatment last?

In our case, it's 50 minutes. This amount of time is usually necessary because the body needs to be prepared for the actual treatment first. Using various techniques, we can soften the tissue and thereby reach deeper-lying organs. 

What are some of the causes for an incorrectly positioned intestine?

It’s hard to say. Sometimes, the cause may be far in the patient’s past. There could potentially have been a childhood fall, a car accident or an operation.


How long does an osteopathic treatment session last?

Here, it lasts 50 minutes. And this time is usually necessary, since the body first has to be prepped for the actual treatment. Various techniques allow us to soften the tissue and subsequently reach organs located deep below the surface of the skin.


When do you generally provide your services at MAYRLIFE?

Whether a patient comes to me or not is determined by their attending physician at the start of a MAYRLIFE stay. But this occurs frequently, since osteopathic therapies are able to easily resolve a great deal of complaints, and I’m not only referring to physical issues. The psychosomatic element is always present. Organs are associated with the mind, and when we treat the organs, we are also able to influence the hormonal balance as well – and this, in turn, determines how we feel.

When do you typically get involved at MAYRLIFE?

Whether a patient comes to me or not is determined by the treating physician at the beginning of a MAYRLIFE stay. However, this happens frequently, as many ailments can be resolved quite simply through osteopathic therapies, and I'm not just talking about physical ones. The psychosomatic component is always present. Organs are connected to the psyche, and by treating the organs, we can also influence the hormonal balance – which in turn determines how we feel.


Does osteopathy also make sense for prevention?

Absolutely! Ideally, everyone should visit an osteopath once a year for preventative care, even if they don't have acute complaints. In this way, misalignments can be corrected before noticeable impairments arise. I advise people who are very active in sports, especially those who play stop-and-go sports like football or tennis, to have preventative osteopathic treatment twice a year. They are more prone to incorrect movements due to their increased physical activity.


How did you get into osteopathy?

By chance! A friend approached me about it, telling me there was something new out there, a holistic therapy form that involves all structures in the body. That was 20 years ago. I've been working here at MAYRLIFE Medical Health Resort Altaussee for six years now, since it opened in 2015.

Dear Mr. Tanzmeister, thank you for speaking to us!

Osteopathy: an essential component at MAYRLIFE

Are you looking to do something positive for your health – and don’t want to rely on chance? At MAYRLIFE, you get precisely what you need for your individual health!

Book one of our MAYRLIFE programs, send us a non-binding inquiry, or drop in and visit us at our MAYRLIFE Vienna Day Clinic. We look forward to welcoming you and will be happy to advise you!

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