An investigation of patient experiences of treatment in the cranial field of osteopathy
Citation:Greene, D. (2009). An investigation of patient experiences of treatment in the cranial field of osteopathy. Unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Osteopathy, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1344
There is a wealth of information available in print and other forms of media about osteopathy in general. Significantly less information exists about osteopathy in the cranial field (OCF), and still less information is available surrounding the experience of treatment by OCF. This study helps to fill this deficiency identified in the research literature and possibly further inform the practice of OCF. This is a hermeneutic phenomenological study informed by the work of van Manen (1997), reflecting the need for research of a qualitative nature in the field of osteopathy. Interviews were conducted with five people, referred by several practitioners of osteopathy, who had experienced treatment in OCF. These interviews were then transcribed and analysed. It was discovered that there were common threads of experience for all the participants. Thematic analysis of the data revealed two prominent themes. The first ‘The appearance of health’ explored aspects of the therapeutic relationship, its interaction with the participant’s own innate healing ability and the resulting reports of improved health. The second theme ‘Sensations that signal change’ illuminated the participants’ more esoteric descriptions of the experience of OCF, including physical and emotional sensations. These findings are discussed alongside past and current osteopathic literature. Implications for both the osteopathic profession and health profession in general are explored along with suggestions for further research possibilities.