Manual Osteopathic Therapy
The History and Foundation of Osteopathy
Was does the term Osteopathy mean? “Osteo” refers to “bones” and “pathy” to disease. This translation lead people to think that Osteopathy only treats diseases that pertain to bones. However, this is only symbolic. The osteopathic evaluation and treatment takes a look at the entire body and its many functional disorders. It is a non-invasive, manual therapy that aims to improve health across all body systems by manipulating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework.
Osteopathy was developed in the 19th century by an American doctor, Dr. A.T. Still. He was aware that disorders are the expression of the body themselves originating from a lack of capacity of healing itself. Instead of fighting against local symptoms, he then looked for the cause of the disorders and introduced the idea of a medicine that would look at the body as a whole. Dr. Still further discovered that all the restrictions of our body can lead to a poor blood supply, responsible for reducing the ability of self-healing. This is the strength of Osteopathy to find the cause and to treat the involved body structures.
It’s not just mobility that can be restricted, but also organs, glands, muscles, nerves, vessels etc. Instead of treating the local symptoms, Dr. A.T. Still normalizes the loss of mobility and reactivates the forces of self-healing within the body. All along, Osteopathy was steadily developed and adapted with every new evidenced-based medical discovery; and yet it still remains nowadays true that all different body systems in our organism are interdependent. Only that way can each of our body parts perform optimally with respect to the following conditions:
A good blood supply
A good mobility and without functional restrictions of our organs
A good joint mobility free of muscle tensions
A optimal nervous and hormonal systems
A balanced psychological state
A sufficient nutritional supply
The causes resulting from a loss of body mobility are multiple:
Sprains, tears, inflammation, surgeries (scars) and also nutritional and poor life habits that lead to restricted mobility. A slight lack of mobility of an organ or joint can be the cause of a functional disorder!
The goal of the Osteopath is to identify the primary cause of the main disorder and to treat it.
Depending on the primary cause of the problem or type of dysfunction, the Osteopath has a large spectrum of therapeutic manual tools. The patient’s needs determine the type of treatment techniques being used ranging from soft to more manipulative ones. Techniques include stretching, gentle pressure, resistance, and palpation.
The three main areas where these techniques apply are:
Parietal Osteopathy is focused on the musculoskeletal system (bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints)
Visceral Osteopathy refers to organs as well as the vascular, lymphatic networks and nervous structures in direct interrelation to them. The Osteopath manually examines the functional restrictions of these three systems
Cranio-sacral Osteopathy refers to the nervous system as a whole from the head to the tailbone.
What conditions can an Osteopath treat?
Osteopathy can provide relief and treatment for a wide range of conditions. Osteopathic practitioners can also detect conditions that are not treatable through osteopathy, to refer to patients to other specialists.
Foot, ankle, hip, and knee pain
Back pain, neck pain, and sciatica
Hand, shoulder, and elbow pain
Tennis and golfer’s elbow
Postural related pain
Neuralgia - headaches, migraines, stress, depression, poor sleep, post concussion syndrome, etc.
Arthritis and joint restrictions
Uro-gential, women & men’s health
Children and baby health
Visceral health - heartburn, constipation, bloating, food intolerances and allergies, breathing difficulties, skin disorders, functional cardiac disorders