Osteopathy is not a set of techniques; rather it is a philosophy. This philosophy is based on nature. Osteopathic philosophy is simple and very sensible. When applied in practice, Osteopathy can make positive changes in a person’s health.
These principles are:
Be it the smallest cell or the largest bone the wondrous anatomy of the human body in life is endowed with rhythms, pulsations, fluidity and activity. Blood pulses, lymph drains, cerebral spinal fluid fluctuates, the heart rhythmically beats and the chest and lungs fill and deflate. Like an orchestra, each part plays its supporting role.
Disease exists when there is disharmony in the physical body, harmony only dwells where obstructions do not exist. Like any machine, if the parts do not fit then abnormal wear ensues or fails altogether – so it is with the human body. Architecture in the natural world, including the human body, is the way it is because it has a specific purpose to fulfil. Form influences function and function influences form. When form and function are harmonious HEALTH emerges.
THE UNITY OF FUNCTION
The body is completely united; the person is a fully integrated being of body, mind and spirit. No single part of the body functions independently.
Each part connects with all others and serves to benefit the collective whole of the person. Alterations in any part of the system, including an individual’s mental state and spiritual health, affects the function of the body as a whole and therein all other parts.
Put simply, no single part exists independent of the whole. When even a small part of the body dysfunctions, the entire organism is affected.
THE BODY HEALS ITSELF
The human body is always working to maintain a state of balanced function or homeostasis.
The body remarkably is able to self-regulate, self-heal and generally aims to maintain health.
Think of what happens when you cut yourself and how your body miraculously works towards making it better. Health is the natural state of the body, and the body possesses complex, homeostatic, self-regulatory mechanisms that it uses to heal itself from injury.
In times of disease, when a part of the body is functioning sub-optimally, other parts of the body come out of their natural state of health in order to compensate for the dysfunction. During this compensatory process, however, new dysfunctions may arise commonly referred to as compensations. Osteopaths work to adjust the body so as to realign its parts back to normal. Osteopathic manipulative medicine aims to restore the body’s self-healing capacity by decreasing physiologic effects of chronic bodily stresses and enhancing the immune system.
‘THE RULE OF THE ARTERY IS SUPREME’
When blood and lymphatics are allowed to flow freely and unimpeded, tissues can receive desirable nutrients and perform their proper physiologic functions. With the occurrence of trauma (physical or emotional), the tissues contract, twist, and compress. Fluid flow becomes obstructed and the onset of disease begins. Osteopathic manipulation medicine can assist in restoring freedom to the tissues, allowing fluid to flow freely and thus inherent physiologic function (healing) follows.