Research and Resources
Halyna’s Osteopathy Research Study
From 2017-2019, Halyna conducted a study on the effects of Global Osteopathic Manual Treatment on the symptoms of anxiety. The treatments consisted of a non-invasive manual therapy approach for the entire body, with a focus on one of the systems the body uses to respond to stress - the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.
Biomedical studies have found that in those with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), the HPA axis is over-activated. The stress response system becomes dysregulated which makes us vulnerable to disorders including anxiety and depression. To put it simply, when the body can no longer adapt to stress normally, the body compensates through many other systems to keep going. For those suffering from GAD, symptoms include motor tension, vigilance, fatigue, sleep difficulties, concentration difficulties, and a myriad of other symptoms that can also involve other systems such as indigestion, respiratory issues and cardiac issues. With GAD, sufferers tend to over-predict negative outcomes.
In a poll done in 2012, 2.5% of Canadians aged 15 years and over reported having GAD symptoms. According to Canada Mental Health Association, GAD affects 5-6% of people at some time in their life. These percentages are seemingly small - but that equals out to be about 2 million Canadians.
Due to the complexity of the whole body response from the HPA over-activation, Halyna was drawn to investigate whether it could be helped with osteopathic manual therapy'swhole body approach to treatment. Treatments were geared towards treating the container - the bones, muscles, alignment, breathing patterns - in order to take any possible compressions off the neurovascular bundles (blood flow and nerves); treating the contents - kidneys, adrenals, any digestive organs that may be involved - to ensure proper function; and treating the nervous system - brain, brainstem. The goal through these treatments was to ensure proper pathways from the brain to the adrenals, and from the adrenals to the muscles and organs needed to respond and restore accordingly.
The statistical analysis of the results of the study confirmed that using the global osteopathic treatment with a focus on the HPA axis reduced stress and anxiety symptoms. Statistical significance was detected for both the Perceived Stress Scale and for the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Adults (STAI-AD). The results showed that treatment could help decrease anxiety symptoms immediately, and for Perceived Stress and State Anxiety, these effects could be felt as long as 4 weeks after treatment.
As the world of health research starts to open up more to a biopsychosocial point of view (body, mind, relationships), it is our goal that manual therapy can be considered a viable adjunct therapy option to the medications and cognitive behavioural therapies already offered.
Below is the list of helpful resources we would recommend.
Pelvic Floor Video
This video explains the relationship between pelvic floor muscles and toileting.
(Note: Beacon Therapy is neither affiliated with nor endorses the product being promoted in the video. It is simply a clear demonstration of the process.)