The Goal of Osteopathy

The Goal of Osteopathy

is the resolution of somatic dysfunction in an attempt to aid the body's own recuperative faculties. Osteopathic manual treatment of the musculoskeletal system employs a diverse array of techniques. These are normally employed together with dietary, postural, and occupational advice, as well as counseling in an attempt to help patients recover from illness and injury, in an attempt to minimise or manage pain and disease.

Osteopathy employs manual therapies for the treatment of many neuromusculoskeletal pain syndromes, such as lower back pain and tension headache, alongside exercise and other rehabilitative techniques. Many osteopaths also manage organic or Type-O disorders conditions, such as asthma and middle ear infections in children, menstrual pain, and pulmonary infection.

Visceral osteopathy works with the visceral systems (the internal organs: digestive tract, respiratory system, etc.) that rely on the interconnection synchronicity between the motion of all the organs and structures of the body, and that at optimal health this harmonious relationship remains stable despite the body's endless varieties of motion. The idea is that both somato-visceral and viscero-somatic connections exist, and manipulation of the somatic system can affect the visceral system (and vice-versa).

Practitioners contend that visceral osteopathy relieves imbalances and restrictions in the interconnections between the motion of all the organs and structures of the body—namely, nerves, blood vessels, and fascial compartments.

Osteopathic Principles

These are the eight major principles of osteopathy and are widely taught throughout the international osteopathic community.

  1. The body is a unit.
  2. Structure and function are reciprocally inter-related.
  3. The body possesses self-regulatory mechanisms.
  4. The body has the inherent capacity to defend and repair itself.
  5. When the normal adaptability is disrupted, or when environmental changes overcome the body’s capacity for self maintenance, disease may ensue.
  6. The movement of body fluids is essential to the maintenance of health.
  7. The nerves play a crucial part in controlling the fluids of the body.
  8. There are somatic components to disease that not only are manifestations of disease, but also are factors that contribute to maintenance of the disease state.

These principles are not held by osteopathic physicians to be empirical laws; they are thought to be the underpinnings of the osteopathic philosophy on health and disease.

 
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