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By Ina Yulo Stuve on 28th April 2022

Looking after my mind and body has been a key priority since I ventured into my 30s. Suddenly, my body wasn’t as forgiving as it used to be and I started to notice that bad postural habits were starting to have lasting effects.

Osteo Allies was founded by sisters Reena and Anisha Joshi and has three clinics in Marylebone, Surrey, and Hertfordshire. An integral part of their mission is to introduce osteopathy to a new generation of clients to give more people the opportunity to embrace the practice in their daily lives. Preventative care, injury rehabilitation, and dealing with chronic pain management are just some of the reasons loyal clients and A-listers flock to the Osteo Allies clinics.

I visited their Marylebone outpost earlier this year to meet with osteopath Michael Burrows. The waiting area’s teal, pink, and gold colour scheme is the first sign of the modern qualities the brand is embracing and the younger audience they are targeting. Before my treatment, I answered a questionnaire that gave the team an idea of my needs, health history, and any questions or concerns I wanted to address.

“Osteopathy utilises medical and musculoskeletal knowledge to help diagnose and treat pain and injury—each treatment is tailored to a patient’s specific needs,” explains Burrows. I ask him about the popular videos on social media of patients getting “cracked” by therapists and he says manual manipulation is just one of the things covered in the bespoke treatments. “We use massage techniques, manipulation, and exercise rehabilitation tailored to a patients’ strengths and weaknesses in order to treat their pain. This allows us to take everyone's individual circumstances into account when coming up with a treatment plan, with the aim for treatment to cause rapid recovery,” he says.

Throughout my treatment, Burrows explained in a clear and concise manner the reasons why he was stretching a certain body part, massaging one area, or why manipulation was required to achieve a particular effect. It was fascinating to find out just how connected the body was and not just in terms of the skeletal system, but in my case, the digestive system. I was born with slight scoliosis and spina bifida and whilst neither have affected my daily life, Burrows explained how they could have played a role in the acid reflux I have suffered from for most of my life. To help me better understand this interconnectivity, Burrows pressed an area near my stomach and I immediately felt a sharp feeling all the way up to my chest. I also learned that my scoliosis could be responsible for my uneven hips, a factor in the MCL injury I suffered years ago from a fall whilst skiing. As it turns out, Burrows’ own painful history is what led him down the path towards osteopathy. “As a teenager, I was a competitive boxer and the training had created a lot of imbalances in my body, which resulted in me getting back spasms. Fortunately, I saw an osteopath who was able to start correcting some of the imbalances and my back spasms improved a lot. This initial experience of osteopathy completely changed the way I would train and I became much more aware of keeping my body balanced with corrective exercises,” he shares.

At times, Burrows would hover over me, encourage me to relax, and would either stretch my body or manipulate my joints through high-velocity thrusts, producing the cracking sound that is as satisfying as you’d expect. The release of tension and the relaxed feeling in my body was almost immediate. Burrows says that many clients book osteopathy sessions on a monthly basis whilst others did it one or two times a year almost like an annual check-up. I left Osteo Allies feeling like I was walking on a cloud—my muscles had loosened, my joints had softened, and I had a newfound appreciation for my body. If you’re looking for help for chronic pain, injuries, or just want a general check-up on your body in a holistic manner, I highly recommend paying the experts at Osteo Allies a visit.

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