Many disease or illness began with structural problems in the spine. Long nerves connect the spine to various organs in the body. When there is a problem with the spine, the nerves send abnormal signals to the body's organs. These spinal problems are called "osteopathic lesions". Osteopathic manipulation techniques (OMTs) would return the nerves to their normal function and allow the blood to flow freely throughout the circulatory system. With structure restored, the body's own natural healing powers would be able to restore full health.
Osteopathy recognizes the relationship between structure and function. If our human structure is compromised due to posture, injury, traumatic or lifestyle patterns then our physiology is compromised. Circulation, nerve supply, hormone secretion etc are compromised. So when our body is "tuned well" it performs well.
Principles of Osteopathy
1) The body is a unit.
2) Structure and function are reciprocally inter-related.
3) The body possesses self-regulatory mechanisms.
4) The body has the inherent capacity to defend and repair itself.
5) When the normal adaptability is disrupted, or when environmental changes overcome the body’s capacity for self maintenance, disease may ensue.
6) The movement of body fluids is essential to the maintenance of health.
7) The nerves play a crucial part in controlling the fluids of the body.
8) There are somatic components to disease that are not only manifestations of disease, but also are factors that contribute to maintenance of the disease state.
Each Osteopathy treatment may include: Joint Mobilization, Muscle Energy techniques, Soft tissue therapy, Visceral Manipulation, CranioSacral therapy, Lymphatic Drainage, Myofascial Release, Therapeutic exercises and Nutritional advices.
Osteopathy as a Science and an Art
Osteopathy is a science because it rests on developed studies of anatomy, physiology, bio-mechanics and other sciences.
It is an art because Osteopathic manual practitioners must be able to feel (in osteopathic language we speak of listening) with their hands all the responses to diagnostic tests. They should interpret tensions before normalizing them. In order to be more effective, their manual therapeutic work should be constantly modulating between the quantity and quality of their touch.
The word OSTEOPATHY comes from two Greek words: OSTEON which means not bone but “structure of living matter”, and PATHOS meaning an incoming impression, or “profound emotion”. The root meaning of “pathos” here is similar to its use in the words “sympathy,” “empathy,” or “telepathy.” (And not as in “pathology” which is a modern and derived meaning that is almost a reversal of the original meaning of the word.) Thus, the term “osteopathy” means or could be explained as “sensing or perceiving the influence of the bones or structure on the body in relation to disease, causation, and cure.” Or more simply put “the science of perceiving structure”!