Osteopathy is a health profession based on medical sciences with a unique philosophy in the understanding of human anatomy and physiology. When this is applied in clinical practice, osteopathy can make profound differences to a person’s health.
The Principles of “Osteopathic Physiology” are:
Structure and function are interrelated
From the largest bone to the smallest cell, all anatomy is in constant dynamic motion. The heart beats, blood flows, lymphatic system drains and the rib cage expands and contracts with every breath. When this inherent intimate relationship between form and function is disrupted, ill health may follow. For example, in a machine when the parts are not precisely aligned it results in at best added wear or at worst complete failure. This will inadvertently hinder the machine’s ability to function. The entirety of the human body exists the way it does because every part of its anatomy fulfils a specific function. Form governs function, function governs form. Health is uncovered when form and function are perfectly expressed.
The body is a unit
The circulatory system and the nervous system exist throughout the entire body. Another significant system comprises of connective tissue called fascia, which wraps and envelops all the systems of the body. This organises the body into a unified continuous whole. No single part exists independently of the whole. When even a small part of the body is blocked, the entire organism is affected.
The body has the ability to heal itself
The body is always working to maintain homeostasis. This is a complex task requiring constant feedback and self-correction. As Osteopaths, we look to facilitate this process by removing any blockages that may hinder this process.
The importance of fluid dynamics
The human body is made of 70% fluid. It is contained within blood and lymphatic vessels and intra and extra cellular fluid. This fluid needs to be in continuous flow. With the occurrence of trauma, even on a cellular level, the tissue will twist, contract and compress causing an obstruction in this fluid flow. Stagnation can lead to poor nutrition and build-up of waste products. This unhealthy state of fluid motion can lead to disease. Osteopathic manipulation restores freedom in the tissue, normalises fluid flow and thus promotes normal physiological function.