Since the reorientation of my practice, I have often been asked about the difference between conventional physiotherapy and FOI®, i.e. functional osteopathy and integration. It is best to start with the question of what exactly physiotherapy is. I found the following definition at physioswiss:
“Physiotherapy is an independent discipline in the field of therapy, which, together with medicine and nursing, forms the three pillars of conventional medicine. It increases the quality of life and is aimed at eliminating physical dysfunction and pain. Physiotherapy is used in therapy, rehabilitation, prevention and health promotion as well as in palliative care.”
The FOI® is also aimed at eliminating functional disorders and pain. I can perhaps best explain the difference to conventional physiotherapy with an example that I experienced at work today:
An elderly patient with primarily stabbing groin pain was treated by me for the 4th time today. In the first 3 treatments, I took care of pelvic and spinal malpositions, which already resulted in a significant improvement in the gait pattern and the disappearance of the stabbing pain.
And yet the patient continued to suffer from muscle soreness in her thigh. Today's findings again showed a pelvic malposition, the thoracic and lumbar spine were unremarkable. 3 ribs on the right were restricted in their sliding, which I treated first. Then I took a closer look at the shoulders, where I found something to treat. Then the upper head joints and the joint between the shin and fibula at the knee came under my hands. Lo and behold, the pelvis aligned itself without me touching it. After that, the patient was able to walk much better.
Before my training as an FOI® therapist, I would have treated the hips passively and actively first, most likely including the pelvis and spine in the treatment - but looked at the shoulders and neck? Honestly no…