Continuing our monthly interviews, this month we had the pleasure of talking to Marianne Carpenter of Bath Spa Osteopathy.
Marianne is an award-winning Osteopath and owner of Bath Spa Osteopathy, next to Green Park Station in Bath. She also lectures and teaches anatomy at Swansea Medical School.
Q: So what exactly is osteopathy?
A: When I tell people I’m an osteopath, most people will say something like “you fix people’s back pain, right?” Well, right and wrong – I do get great results for bad backs, but in an average day, I see patients with everything from digestive problems or persistent cramps to migraine headaches and fibromyalgia. Osteopathy was originally designed as a completely alternative healthcare approach to the body in health and disease. For example, osteopathic treatment was so effective during the deadly Spanish ‘Flu epidemic in the early 1900’s that osteopaths were eventually drawn into the mainstream healthcare system in the USA as equivalent medical doctors
Q: How does it work?
A: Osteopaths use their hands to find and treat areas of restricted movement in the body. This might be in joints, muscles, connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, scars) or even the visceral organs. These restrictions can alter your posture and the way you move, but they can also pinch nerves or blood vessels. Osteopaths believe that the body has the capacity to self-heal, but it can only do that if conditions are right. This means getting the body back into balance and freeing up any restrictions, to improve not only general flexibility but also general health.
Q: What made you become an Osteopath?
A: I used to ride horses competitively, and one day I had a nasty riding accident, which left me in a lot of pain. A friend suggested I see an osteopath. I must admit, I had no idea what they did! I went along, and in a few sessions I was completely healed – and totally hooked on this amazing approach to fix the body naturally. The next year I gained a place to study at the European School of Osteopathy in Kent, which is arguably the leading osteopathic school in the world. I graduated with a first class masters degree and worked in several practices before setting up my own clinic – Bath Spa Osteopathy.
Q: I enjoy a regular massage. When would I need to see an Osteopath?
A: Massage is an amazing way to loosen up tight muscles and relax the overall tone and tension in the body. I regularly recommend my patients go to the Bath Massage Company because I know from personal experience the quality of the massage is excellent. However, here are 5 common signs that you might need osteopathic help:
- If you find you’re tightening up again soon after your massage. This may indicate muscles are tight due to a nerve irritation
- You’ve lost flexibility in one direction (for example, you can turn your neck further round to the right compared to the left). This may indicate a locked spinal joint
- You are having regular headaches or migraines. This is often related to restricted joints in the upper neck
- You’ve noticed one shoulder is higher than the other. This may indicate a functional scoliosis (sideways curve) developing in the spine
- You’ve noticed tingling, pins and needles or cramps. This may indicate a restriction affecting nerve or blood flow to the area
Q: What do you do for fun when you’re not treating patients?
A: I joined the Bath Amphibians Triathlon club last year and I’m busy training for the upcoming spring races. I also teach anatomy at Swansea Medical School once a week – it’s fun and a good chance to get top tips from consultants in other disciplines.
You can find out more about Marianne through her website and socila media page: