What is Manual Osteopathy? What to expect
At its core, Osteopathy is a natural medicine that deals with the body as a whole, while utilizing and stimulating the body’s natural ability to promote healing along with restoring function and mobility. There are two branches of Osteopathy: Osteopathic Physicians – DO (US - educated) and Osteopaths (Europe/Global- Manual Medicine – No Medications, No Surgery). Although they are separate in title and distinction, both branches of Osteopathy were developed by the same man - Dr. Andrew Taylor Still (founder of Osteopathy - 1892) as one unified medical practice. After his death the two disciplines of Osteopathy we know today would form. Dr. Still believed in a drug-free, non-invasive manual medicine which focused on the body's innate abilities to heal itself along with the identification and treatment of true, underlying causes of disease.
Osteopathic Manual Therapy, is by its very nature, a ‘Manual’, meaning ‘Hands-On’, approach to ‘Osteopathy’ - derived from the Greek words for ‘Structure’ (Osteone) and ‘Pain/Dysfunction’ (Pathos). Therefore, Osteopathic Manual Therapy is a Hands-On approach to rid the body of Structural Dysfunctions and reduce pain. Manual Osteopaths believe it is these structural changes that cause dysfunction and ultimately pain. The restriction of movement can be affected by a variety of safe, gentle, manual techniques used to improve the structure and mobility of the body. The relationship between organs and the musculoskeletal system is the core of osteopathy. Through manipulation and articulation of the bones, muscles, joints and soft tissue, osteopathy is able to treat a wide array of medical disorders and illnesses.
Armed with an extensive knowledge of Anatomy, Physiology and Biomechanics, coupled with a highly developed sense of touch. An Osteopath’s main diagnostic tools are the hands. Developed over years of education, practice and clinical application an Osteopathic Manual Therapist's sense of touch (also known as ‘Palpation’) not only aids in the diagnosis of the dysfunction but aids in the correction of the same dysfunction as well. Palpation along with visual and biomechanical examinations of the patient, reveals even the subtlest of changes in the body’s structure. By moving/affecting connective tissue, bones and muscles - Manual Osteopaths may help improve the body’s circulation and nerve response, ultimately stimulating the body’s own healing mechanisms.