Osteopathy and You: Why Everything Old is New Again
Find out how Osteopathy, an alternative health care practice, can help patients lead better lives by focusing on wellness, rather than disease.
2 Feb 2012
But one type of health care practitioner takes a very different approach. Osteopaths are educated and trained to work exclusively without the use of drugs. They find the health, rather than focusing on disease. Osteopathic treatment works to restore proper body mechanics, nerve impulses and the circulation of body fluids.
Osteopaths recognize that the human body is self-regulating and self-healing – and will strive for health if given a chance. The role of the osteopath is to encourage this self-healing capacity through manual treatment.
Osteopaths allow nature to do its job of removing any and all obstacles and obstructions that will interfere with the proper nutrition and drainage of the body’s tissue. Understanding and adjusting the anatomical unity of the human structure is their job.
What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a form of medicine that was derived from Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. As the son of a medical doctor and farmer, Still learned at a young age to appreciate the medical practice. At age ten, he discovered a way to treat his own headaches and stomach disorders. His apprenticeship under his father continued, and he realized that healing was found not only in drugs and complicated medical terms, but also within the depths of nature.
In 1897, Still wrote:
"Nature is never without necessary remedies."
This sentence helps to explain the basis for osteopathy. He believed that the "bone, osteon, was the starting point from which [we can] ascertain the cause of pathological conditions." Believing that most ills can be healed through natural processes, Still brought forth a revolution in medical thinking.
Who Practices Osteoptahy Today?
Osteopathy is practiced throughout the world from the U.S. to the U.K. to Australia to France to Canada and beyond. The therapy is particularly popular in Canada, which has seven osteopathy colleges. Paths To Vitality, a Toronto osteopathy practice, has classically trained osteopathic therapists who seek to remove the cause of their patients' discomfort. "The human body is a self-regulating and self-healing entity," says Jared Postance, "and our role is to encourage this natural self-healing capacity through manual treatment: to convert the physical into the physiological."
Principles of Osteopathy
Dr. Still put forth four simple principles that osteopathic practitioners still use today:
What Can Osteopathy Do?
Osteopathy respects the relationship between mind, body, and spirit. Regardless of the severity of the condition, it can be used as a means for palliative, preventative, or curative care. Osteopathic therapy has been able to help with neurological dysfunctions, respiratory ailments, orthopedic injuries, and many others.