Physiotherapy is a healthcare discipline concerned with promoting health and preventing disease by examining, diagnosing, treating, and rehabilitating impairments and disabilities that affect the nervous, musculoskeletal, and cardiopulmonary systems. Simply put, physiotherapy treats functional limitations arising from injuries and diseases that affect muscles, joints, and bones, as well as the nervous (brain, nerves, spinal cord), respiratory (lungs), circulatory (blood vessels), and cardiac (heart) systems. Physiotherapy seeks to help patients regain maximal physical capacity according to their own potential for recovery. To this end, physiotherapy professionals employ a variety of treatment methods including manual techniques, exercises, electrotherapy, hydrotherapy, as well as heat and cold therapy. These methods encourage patients to participate in their own recovery so they can acquire the physical abilities needed to function in society, perform daily activities, succeed at work, and participate in leisure and sport activities.
Massage therapy has numerous positive physiological effects. These effects allow, among others, muscular and nervous relaxation; they facilitate blood and lymphatic circulation, encourage the elimination of toxins and stimulate vital organ functions. The massage acts as muscular and ligamentous tonic. It is also credited with a strong bodymind dimension by dislodging emotional memories that have been stocked in body tissues and organs. Therefore, it is not uncommon to notice emotional changes during a massage session. Vital energy, chakras, vital points and several other principles will be discussed, according to traditions and schools of thought. Massage therapy is generally practised with hands, but also with feet, elbows and even knees and the manoeuvres can be applied over the whole body or only a single part. It is possible to concentrate on skin and muscles and then to go deeper towards tendons, ligaments and fasciae or still, to aim for specific points or energy centers.
Osteopathy, or osteopathic approach, is a hands-on manual therapy treatment method that looks at the way the body functions as whole, rather than viewing its parts or symptoms separately (i.e. a hurt shoulder here, a neck strain there). It’s based on the philosophy that the body has an innate ability to heal itself when its components are in balance. The goal of osteopathy is to restore that proper balance and function, allowing your body to heal through its own natural processes. It works to balance your nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems, improving your range of motion and relieving discomfort or other symptoms.
Certified Athletic Therapists are best known for their quick-thinking on-field emergency care of professional and elite athletes. The first to respond when someone gets hurt, they are experts at injury assessment and rehabilitation. It’s that same mix of on-site care and active rehabilitation skills that makes Athletic Therapists so effective in treating the musculoskeletal (muscles, bones, and joints) injuries of all Canadians, whether on the field or in the clinic. Athletic therapists adhere to the Sports Medicine Model of care. They treat a wide range of patients, from kids with concussions to seniors recovering from hip replacement surgery, using various manual therapies, modalities, exercise prescription and even bracing and taping. The treatment varies but the objective doesn’t: an Athletic Therapist's goal is to help clients return to their usual activities, whether that means playing competitive sports or walking to the mailbox and back.