What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy explores the teachings of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, the founder of Osteopathy. A.T. Still had an interest in anatomy from his childhood and conceived of Osteopathy through the importance he placed on functional anatomy. Dr. Still’s original conception was founded on the importance of anatomy and its relationship to the role of arterial supply throughout the body. In addition to arterial supply, Dr. Still also emphasized the importance of venous liberty and nerve force. Ultimately, the normal workings of the body could be disturbed by anatomical abnormalities or displacements.

Classical Osteopathy is a principles-based approach to manual correction of the musculoskeletal system. The aim is to improve overall health across all bodily systems and return it to a state of functional balance by manipulating the musculoskeletal system.

Osteopathic manual treatment is best known mainstream for its ability to help patients with aches, pains and ailments. However, osteopathic treatment can also address several other conditions such as headaches, because its focus is on aligning the body as a whole and aligning the whole body allows the body to function as it is intended. A typical osteopathic treatment involves removing anatomical restrictions within the structure of the body and improving motion where motion has been lost in the body. Classical osteopathic adjustment is always based on classical osteopathic principles. One of the major tenants of classical osteopathy is that the body has its own innate ability to heal and regulate itself and based on this, when the structure of the body is good, so too is its function.

Since structure and function are intimately related, many patients report improved function of their body with consistent treatment. Osteopathic treatments are cumulative and the intention is to improve the patient’s condition over time as opposed to merely maintaining a condition or symptoms.

As treatment progresses and the body regains its structural balance, the body’s functions also improve as they also re balance.

Classical osteopathic treatment considers the whole body during treatment and not simply the one or two parts in pain. Each part of the body, be it a limb, a rib, an organ, artery, etc has a function and a role to play in the overall function and health of the body, and it is this structural integrity that the osteopathic practitioner is interested in maintaining. As a result, the patient often finds a reduction in chronic pain and improvement in overall health.

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