Osteopathy is a holistic manual therapy that aims to promote self-healing and inner balance of the body. Developed by physician and surgeon Andrew Taylor Still at the end of the 19th century, the philosophy of the osteopath is to consider and treat the patient as a whole and to help them gaining back or maintaining their health and autonomy.
The philosophy of osteopathy relies on 4 main principles:
- The body is a unit
You are a whole, a unity of body, mind, spirit. Different structures and functions of your body co-exist together and are inter-related, each parts affecting each.
Basically, your body does not stay stand just because of muscles and bones.
‘The whole is greater than the sum of its part’ A.T. Still, 1899
- Structures govern functions
If a structure of your body is impaired this would affect its normal function. Vice versa, if a structure works better, it will promote better function.
- The body has its own medicine chest
The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and health maintenance, otherwise called Homeostasis.
- The rule of Artery is supreme
For the well-being of your body, the general fluid mechanics is vital. Tissues (eg: muscles) need water, nutrients, immunization; mainly provided by your blood and lymph, pumped in or drained. Where there is stagnation or privation to some area, there is damage or starvation of the tissues, which would ultimately lead to death if not addressed.
Those principles, adapted with the knowledge of today, are used as a point of reference, support and guide for our understanding of patients, diagnosis and treatment approach.