Osteopath treating female patient's shoulder

What is osteopathy/osteopathic treatment?

Osteopathic treatment is a type of manual therapy that focuses on the musculoskeletal system, which includes the bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The goal of osteopathic treatment is to restore balance and function to the body by identifying and addressing structural issues that may be contributing to acute injuries’ pain or dysfunction.

One of the main techniques used in osteopathic treatment is gentle articular manipulation, which involves the use of gentle pressure and stretching to release tension and improve mobility in the joints and surrounding tissues. This can help to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as improve blood flow and the overall function of the affected area.

Another important aspect of osteopathic treatment is the use of soft tissue techniques, such as myofascial release, which can help to alleviate muscle tension and promote healing by addressing the fascial tissues (the most superficial layer of soft tissues). These techniques can also be used in combination with joint manipulation to provide a more comprehensive and effective treatment.

What conditions osteopathic treatment can help?

Osteopathic treatment can be effective for a wide range of conditions, including back pain, neck pain, headaches, sports injuries, rotator cuff/shoulder injuries, knee pain, and much more. It can also be used as a preventative measure against injuries and to improve overall function and performance.

When it comes to acute injuries, osteopathic treatment can help to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation and speed up the healing process. Acute injuries are sudden and often caused by a traumatic event such as a fall, a vehicle crash, a sports injury, or something as simple as bending down to grab something on the floor. Common acute injuries include sprains, strains, nerve impingements and sudden loss of range of motion.

What techniques are used to treat acute injuries?

Osteopaths use techniques like soft tissue and gentle joint articulation to help realign and support the injured area, which can help to reduce pain and swelling. They also use techniques to improve circulation, which can help to speed up the healing process. This can be done by using manual techniques to improve the lymphatic and venous return from the affected area, which will ultimately decrease any chances of chronic inflammation and promote faster healing to occur as a result.

In addition to treating the injury itself, osteopathic treatment can also address any underlying structural imbalances that may be contributing to the injury or slowing down the healing process. This holistic approach can help to not only reduce pain and inflammation, but also improve overall function and prevent future injuries.


In conclusion, osteopathic treatment is a holistic and manual approach to treating musculoskeletal issues. It can be highly effective in treating acute injuries by reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation and speed up the healing process. Osteopathic manual practitioners use techniques that aid with areas such as gentle joint articulation, soft tissue techniques, and lymphatic and venous drainage to help support the healing process. They also address any underlying structural imbalances that may have caused or contributed to the injury. It is important to note that in case of severe acute injuries, it is important to get a proper diagnosis and osteopaths will recommend patients to go see their primary health care physicians if thought necessary.

Meet our Osteopathic Practitioners


Patrick Suwala

Patrick Suwala

Patrick Suwala graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo in 2015 and then committed to an additional four years of osteopathic education at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy in Hamilton and graduated with a Master in Practice of Osteopathic Manipulative Sciences designation (M. OMSc.) from the school at the end of 2020.

Throughout his undergrad at the University of Waterloo, Patrick found his passion in learning the anatomy and physiology of the human body, and for four years he was a volunteer teaching assistant in the human cadaver labs on campus, teaching first year students and many external visitors, including graduate-level manual therapy students about the musculoskeletal structures of the human body.

Patrick quickly grew an appreciation for the art and science of the field of manual therapy through extracurriculars like swimming and playing waterpolo competitively, and decided that this was the right avenue for him to pursue.

Patrick also helps supervise student clinic and teach at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy in Hamilton.

Patrick belongs to the Ontario Osteopathic Association (OOA/OSTCAN) and is therefore recognized across all insurance providers in Ontario because of the association’s high standards.

Jenna Labranche

Jenna Labranche
Jenna earned her Master in Practice of Osteopathic Manipulative Sciences Diploma (M.OMSc) after completing a 4 year program at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy. Prior to becoming an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner, Jenna completed her undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Science, Honours Kinesiology at The University of Waterloo, earning her R.Kin.
Jenna has a love for sports, fitness, and being outdoors. She has been involved in sports since a young age including being a Competitive Dancer and Rep Softball player. After ongoing injuries and pain with no relief she was then introduced to Osteopathy which changed everything. Her experiences led her into expanding her knowledge of the human body to become an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner.

Serving the town of Milton since 2022, Jenna looks forward to bringing her skills to our team at Zen. Providing a holistic approach using the principles of Osteopathy, manipulation is applied gently to facilitate the body’s ability to self-heal and self-regulate. Through an individualized treatment and the understanding that the body is a dynamic unit of function, Jenna works with the interrelated systems of the body to bring health to the structures for optimal function. Investigating on the ‘why’ there is dysfunction and discover the root cause of the problem.

Combining her love and passion of the human body, being active, and helping others makes being an osteopathic manual practitioner both enjoyable and rewarding. Through extensive knowledge, empathy and understanding, her goal is to get you back to your daily activities and doing what you love!

Book a free 15 minute consultation to discuss your condition and how Osteopathy may be able to help