Rick & Joelle Williams received their training and are graduates from the Canadian College of Osteopathy. The training consists of a 5-year extensive program in osteopathic techniques. The program teaches structural and functional techniques, cranial osteopathy (cranial-sacral therapy), visceral (organ) techniques to name a few. They were both required to write and defend a thesis to an international panel. In addition to earning their 'Diploma in Osteopathic Manual Practitioner' degree, they have continued their studies with post graduate training in endocranial techniques of the brain. 

Comprehensive Manual Therapy at Vital Health Center is based on Traditional Osteopathic Manual Therapy as taught at the Canadian College of Osteopathy. Rick and Joelle Williams are not physicians or D.O.sand their practice of comprehensive manual therapy is not meant to serve as an alternative to appropriate conventional medical treatment. Instead it is complementary to it. Because Rick and Joelle are graduates from Canada, they are required to follow specific guidelines as described on our legal page


Traditional Osteopathy, as presented by theCanadian College of Osteopathy, is defined as: 
“A natural medicine which aims to restore function in the body by treating the causes of pain and imbalance. To achieve this goal the Osteopathic Manual Practitioner relies on the quality and finesse of his/her palpation and works with the position, mobility and quality of the tissues.”


A major focus of the Canadian College of Osteopathy is its emphasis on Clinical Methodology.
Through extensive training and experience, the Osteopathic Manual Practitioner understands that the site of the patient's complaints may not correspond to the site of the cause, or causes, of these complaints. In addition, many people have multiple overlapping injuries and conditions. In response to these common conditions, the Osteopathic Manual Practitioner assesses and treats the whole patient. The Osteopathic Manual Practitioner considers the whole patient, recognizing that everyone has unique mental, emotional, and physical conditions.
The Clinical Methodology, as presented at the Canadian College of Osteopathy, provides a prioritized plan by which the Osteopathic Manual Practitioner first assesses and then treats the patient in a methodical sequence. Following this sequence—including determining and treating the most severe problems first—is a highly effective way of liberating an area of the body, whose release then provides a cascading effect of other releases throughout the body. By using a precise methodology, the Osteopathic Manual Practitioner can achieve the maximum change in the patient with the minimum amount of treatment.


Osteopathy embraces the philosophy that the body has an innate, natural ability to self-regulate and to heal itself. The key factor that permits this regulation and healing to proceed unimpeded is the ability of the body to freely circulate all its fluids and liquids. These fluids include the blood, lymph, synovial fluid, digestive juices, cerebrospinal fluid, axoplasm, and all the other intracellular and extracellular fluids of the body.
These liquids carry many of the body's life-sustaining compounds, including hormones, enzymes and their secretions, immune and anti-inflammatory factors, neurotransmitter impulses, nutritional elements, and such dissolved gases as oxygen. The body's fluids are involved in all facets of life, from the DNA that is suspended within the intracellular fluid to the fetus that floats in the amniotic fluid. In addition, these body fluids serve as mediums for excreting all the byproducts of digestion and cellular respiration.
Any obstruction that impedes the circulation of fluids within the body is the focus of osteopathic assessment and treatment. These impediments may take the form of structural or non-structural blockages. Structural or physical impediments include generalized twists, curves, or pulls within the body, as well as specific misaligned bones, organs, or tissues. These imbalances may affect the control of systems that regulate fluid circulation and the life-sustaining and regulatory products that the fluids carry.
Non-structural impediments may include emotional patterns that are responsible for maintaining the body in certain defensive adaptations, such as a predisposition to holding the breath. These adaptations are often responses to stressful incidents of the past or present, or they may have a repetitive nature, such as repeatedly raising the shoulders in times of stress or cold temperatures.
Over time, the body gradually loses its ability to efficiently self-regulate and self-heal. Some of this loss may be due to the aging process, trauma, accident, illness, surgical scarring, childbirth, repetitive activity, the prolonged influence of gravity on posture, or the cumulative effects of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual stresses.
In most cases, the patient has had some combination of the above experiences. These experiences may manifest themselves locally at or near the original site of occurrence or, more frequently, the symptoms may be felt far from the site of occurrence. For this reason, the Osteopathic Manual Practitioner must assess the whole body. Although treatment may be directed toward several specific areas, the effect of that treatment is often felt throughout the body. It is for this reason that the Osteopathic Manual Practitioner also treat the whole body.
By using a meticulous methodology, as provided through the CCO's traditional osteopathic program, the Osteopathic Manual Practitioner can determine the origin and effects of aging, trauma, and other experiences, and to create and administer an appropriate treatment plan. This process begins by:

1.  interviewing the patient

2.  performing a complete osteopathic assessment

3.  assessing the positionmobility and quality of certain tissues, fluids, and rhythms of the body.

 Once the nature of the patient's condition is determined, treatment is directed toward helping the body regain its optimal ability to circulate the fluids unimpeded and in sufficient quantity. This restoration of circulation leads to the body's natural ability to regulate and heal itself. 



The profession of Osteopathy was founded single-handedly in 1874 by an American physician, with a mechanical background, named Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917). Still was the third son of a pioneer doctor, under whom he apprenticed at the close of the Jacksonian era (1829-1837). It was a time that encouraged independent thought and the development of new disciplines to improve the lot of mankind. Following Still's participation in the American Civil War, he began an empirical study of the human body under the premise that by studying “God's work” he would have a greater understanding of his “Creator.”