What is osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a manual medical discipline (both diagnostic and therapeutic) which treats the body as a whole, the individual in his entirety, and searches for tissue damage - whether joint, muscular, ligament or visceral.
One of its distinctive characteristics is that it essentially seeks to achieve the preservation or (relative) optimisation of vital bodily functions (by activating the body’s self-healing ability or strengthening its auto-regulation). Whereas, for example, allopathic medicine is firmly geared to the struggle against disease and its symptoms by external means (medication, surgery, etc.).
This enables us to appreciate the complementarity between the allopathic medical approach and osteopathy, and recognise that the two fields are not at odds with each other.
However, due to their specific nature, complexities and respective development, they are rarely carried out by the same therapist.
After carrying out an anamnesis and a clinical examination of the patient, the osteopath determines whether his skills are appropriate for treating the condition (differential diagnosis or diagnosis of exclusion), or if another opinion, medical treatment, or even further conventional medical examinations are required. In this case, the patient is then advised to consult his general physician, or the most suitable health professional.
If appropriate, the osteopath continues the session and carries out an osteopathic diagnosis (≠ medical diagnosis), which consists of establishing a lack of joint/tissue mobility (or motility), which is linked to an osteopathic lesion (or somatic dysfunction); this loss of mobilities (or motilities) may be the origin of, or relate to, the outbreak of disease(s) and or a functional disorder(s).