What is Osteopathy? It is Thinking Outside the Box!
Osteopathy is the science of natural medicine that studies the human body by considering the totality of its interrelated systems. Osteopathy is based on biomechanical principals as applied to the body. The main emphasis of the diagnosis and treatment is the restoration of structural integrity of the body.
Osteopathy recognizes that pain and dysfunction stem from poor structural integrity of the body systems, including musculoskeletal and visceral systems. It must be emphasized that osteopathy is not an alternative to conventional medicine but can be an effective complement to modern medicine.
Osteopathy involves “thinking outside the box”. In conventional medicine, the focus is often on treatment of the painful area. Osteopathy seeks to find the original cause or source of the pain. If however, a problem in a distal area is causing pain, the pain is not going to be resolved by local treatments. Very often small restrictions in the tissue lead to impaired circulation causing tissue quality to deteriorate. Deteriorated tissue restricts mobility causing pain and eventually leading to failure of function. The focus in osteopathy is to discover the source of the problem and treat the systems involved to effect overall change in the body.
Osteopathy is based on four simple principles:
- Structure governs function.
Wherever the structure is deteriorated or deformed, the function in that area of the body will be affected. Osteopathic treatments aim to restore the body structure wherever possible.
- The body regulates itself.
The body has an innate mechanism to self regulate and to ultimately heal itself. Osteopathic treatments are aimed at helping the body to regulate itself.
- The rule of the artery is absolute.
Blood circulation is paramount to the function of the tissue. Tissue healing occurs through good circulation. Osteopathic treatments aim to restore effective circulation.
- The body is a functional unit.
Body parts do not function separately but in fact all systems function as one unit. Osteopathic diagnoses and treatments keep this principle foremost at all times.
Osteopathy is not a set of techniques; rather it is a philosophy based on these four principles. This philosophy is simple and sensible. When applied in practice, osteopathy can make profound changes in a person’s health.