Andrew Taylor Still developed osteopathy as a system of health care that focuses on osteopathic diagnosis and treatment of the physical body’s structure in order to optimize physiological functioning. Manual osteopathy is a holistic manual medicine that incorporates all aspects of a patient’s health in treating specific issues with an intention of reducing the need for drugs and their negative side effects.
Osteopathy combines current medical knowledge, scientific plausibility and evidence-based outcomes to focus on client treatment and case management. Using a client-centered approach to health care, instead of a disease-centered approach, Manual Osteopaths assess and treat the whole person, not just the symptomatic region.
Manual palpation and Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy (OMT) are used in conjunction with bio-mechanical, orthopedic and neurological clinical assessment. Manual osteopathy is best known for treatment of neuro-musculo-skeletal disorders such as back and neck pain, sciatica, sports injuries and postural strain. Optimizing structural balance allows the physiology to perform to its full potential.
There are eight major principles of manual osteopathy that are widely taught throughout the international osteopathic community:
- The body is a unit
- Structure and function are reciprocally inter-related
- The body possesses self-regulatory mechanisms
- The body has the inherent capacity to defend and repair itself
- When the normal adaptability is disrupted, or when environmental changes overcome the body’s capacity for self maintenance, disease may ensue
- The movement of body fluids is essential to the maintenance of health
- The nerves play a crucial part in controlling the fluids of the body
- 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.
These principles are thought to be the underpinnings of the osteopathic philosophy on health and disease. Manual osteopathy is not just a set of techniques; rather it is a philosophy based on these principles. This philosophy is simple and sensible. When applied in practice, osteopathy can make profound changes in a person’s health.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognized the Osteopathic concept of somatic dysfunction as being scientifically proven, and the British Medical Association also recognized Osteopathy as a discrete health discipline.
- Osteo-Articular Joint Mobilization
- Cranial Osteopathy
- Soft Tissue Therapy
- Muscle Energy Techniques
- Visceral Manipulation
- Therapeutic Exercises