A little more information …
Osteopathy is a philosophical and holistic therapeutical concept based on the elementary foundations of the living being.
These foundations were completely ignored by medicine during the era of Dr Still (founder of osteopathy, end of 19th century) and often remain so today.
Let’s quickly review these foundations :
- All living beings are a unit: each part lives for and by its whole;
- In the living being, structure and function are intimately interdependent;
- The first manifestation of life is movement;
- The free circulation of fluids in a living system is vital for its health;
- The human body produces substances necessary for its functioning;
- All living systems have the power to auto-regulate themselves and overcome disease;
- The laws of cause and effect.
The definition of osteopathy from Dr Andrew Taylor STILL (1828 -1917), its founder :
Osteopathy is that science which consists of such exact, exhaustive, and verifiable knowledge of the structure and functions of the human mechanism, anatomical, physiological, and psychological, including the chemistry and physics of its known elements, as has made discoverable certain organic laws and remedial resources, within the body itself, by which nature under the scientific treatment peculiar to osteopathic practice, apart from all ordinary methods of extraneous, artificial, or medicinal stimulation, and in harmonious accord with its own mechanical principles, molecular activities, and metabolic processes, may recover from displacements, disorganizations, derangements, and consequent disease, and regain its normal equilibrium of form and function in health and strength.
A. T. Still : Autobiography, p. 403.
Now that is a long sentence, but it explains the fundamental idea. It reveals that osteopathy, founded on the knowledge that the anatomical, physiological, biological and metabolic organisation of the physical system, establishes a link between mechanical disorders in the system and the appearance of pathological symptoms.
It postulates that the living corporal system possesses the inherent ability to auto-maintain, auto-regulate and even auto-heal itself, provided that the mechanical disorders which inhibit it are removed.
Furthermore, it claims that there is no need to resort to external chemical agents: it only requires an adjustment of the intimate mechanics to allow the curative resources of the body to regain full health. Of course, this is based on the notion that there exists no definitive and irreversible anatomical alteration (cellular, organic, articular, fascial, etc.).
If, however, this were the case, we would not seek to cure the individual but seek to stabilise, or alleviate the problems/discomfort by optimising the general health of the patient.
These ideas may seem banal or even simplistic today, but the originality rests in their amalgamation as a comprehensive model, which as it happens is embodied by osteopathy.
Furthermore, osteopathy is a discipline which has experienced, and continues to experience various and diverse developments, which displays its progressive dynamic.