What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a manual therapy that pays close attention to the relationship between structure and function; anatomy and physiology. It is a science, based on a set of principles, which treats the body as a dynamic unit of function to liberate the nerves, arteries, veins and lymphatics. When these structures are liberated, they can perform their role in the human body as designed in order to bring the body to a state of health and prevent disease. The body is self-healing and self-regulating. It is the job of the Osteopath to set the structure correctly through manual assessment and treatment so that the body itself can heal.
Treatment considers the entire body as a whole, no part of our body works in isolation. Osteopathic treatment removes restrictions and clears pathways to allow blood, (carrying oxygen, nutrients, waste products and hormones) and nerves to reach vital organs and target tissues. The soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments, as well as the hard tissues, bone, are addressed to coordinate and integrate treatment. Lines of force are looked at to determine what is causing dysfunction in the body and are removed through applying mechanical principles. There are many approaches to treating the body and the Osteopath is careful to select the right tool for each individual. Many factors are considered during treatment such as a patient’s constitution and vitality, health history, mental and emotional outlook and overall general health. Treatment is gentle and appealing to the nervous system which allows the Osteopath to address deep structures without invoking pain.
Through the use of mechanical principles, (levers, fulcrums), principles of fluid dynamics and knowledge of the anatomical and physiological relationships, the osteopath can help patients restore and build health.