At the Aylesford Osteopathic Practice the type of Osteopathy offered is Classical Osteopathy. It is a way of working that falls within the broader definition of osteopathy. Our osteopath, Peter Martin, qualified at the John Wernham School of Classical Osteopathy in Maidstone, Kent and has used this approach successfully for over 17 years.

This leaflet explains the approach so that you can understand it better if it is new to you. If you have any further questions you are welcome to ask to speak to the osteopath before your appointment.


The body will be more likely to experience health if all parts are moving properly. This movement involves the solid structures of bony joints, muscle and ligaments, the fluid flow of blood and lymphatics, and the functioning of nerves.

Each part affects every other part, and the classical osteopath is working towards overall harmony within the body. The stretching, rocking and articulation the patient experiences during treatment has a deep and ambitious purpose. The osteopath will ease and adjust whatever factor is interfering with the cooperation of all its parts allowing more normal balance and activity, leading to better health.

As an example, a tourniquet tied at the upper arm will result in pain in the hand which will not be alleviated by massage or medicine or any other treatment to the hand. Removal of the blockage to health at the top of the arm will work simply by allowing normal activity of the body. The job of the classical osteopath is to discover the structural alteration causing suffering, then adjust it. He or she will treat the body not the disease; the cause not the symptom.

A Classical Osteopath therefore treats the whole of the body to achieve physical balance, not merely the localised area of pain or dysfunction. This is sometimes referred to as “a total body adjustment”.

It would not be unusual for a patient presenting with neck pain to find their head, shoulders, spine, pelvis, legs and feet all included in the treatment. Likewise, a patient presenting with a foot disturbance might find that their legs, trunk, neck and other areas are given treatment as part of the overall therapeutic approach.

Initial Consultation

During your first visit with the osteopath a full case history will be taken. Details will be taken about your medical and family history, your lifestyle, occupation, leisure activities and your current state of health, as well as the problems you are experiencing. This helps the osteopath to build a picture and understand why the problem has arisen. A list of all medications being taken by the patient as well as the results of any MRI scans or X-rays if available, are always helpful.


A physical examination will be carried out where the osteopath will look at the patient’s spine and posture. Movement tests will be done to assess how the joints and spine move. Blood pressure measurement, examination of joints and muscles and reflex tests may also be performed. Any examinations proposed by the osteopath will be explained beforehand and only performed with the patient’s consent.

After examination the osteopath will formulate a treatment plan which will be discussed and agreed with the patient.


The osteopath will then carefully select from a wide range of osteopathic techniques, articulation and manipulation to suit the patient’s needs as discussed in the treatment plan. Some techniques are very subtle, involving a light touch; others can be fairly vigorous in order to achieve the best result. The osteopath will explain his findings together with appropriate home exercises, lifestyle advice and follow up appointments, as necessary.

What to wear

Classical osteopathy treats the body as a whole and therefore it is beneficial for the patient to undress down to their underwear. Suitable and comfortable underwear is recommended. To protect the modesty of patients, sheets, towels, shorts and tops are available for use during treatment, as required, and there is a screened area provided for patients to dress and undress.


You are welcome to bring a family member or friend with you in the treatment room.

In Conclusion

Our aim at the Aylesford Osteopathic Practice is to give you a really positive experience of osteopathy, to be considerate to your needs at all times, and to provide lasting relief from the symptoms that are causing you discomfort or worry. If there is anything with which you have not been fully satisfied we welcome your feedback so that we can enhance the standard of care we provide.

Do speak to us in person, or email your comments