Osteopathy helps people of all ages from all disciplines overcome their health challenges. Osteopaths believe that everything has a reason. If a body part does not work properly and generates symptoms, there will be a reason behind it. The job of the osteopath is to find out this reason, the biomechanical root cause of the symptoms.
In this quest, it is paramount to examine the whole body, as the origin of the problem may be (and usually is) located away from the symptomatic area. The aim of a treatment is to reach balance throughout the body, a state of complete freedom of movement. The holistic philosophy of osteopathy is in opposition to the reductionist philosophy of conventional medicine. The reductionist philosophy results in a symptom centred approach, where the treatment protocol depends on a patient’s symptomatic presentation and is typically aimed at symptoms management. In contrast, the holistic approach embraces the idea that the body works as a whole unit and that symptoms are expressions of a dis-ease in the unit. The aim is not to manage symptoms but to resolve them entirely by treating the causal elements that have resulted in the whole body falling in a state of dis-ease, and subsequently giving rise to a set of symptoms and predispositions. It is by treating causal issues that patient can move forwards with their health as symptoms resolves.
Cause focused approach
Causality is the key element of osteopathy, it is its “holy grail”. It is only once the causative element has been successfully treated that the whole body can resolve compensation patterns. In order to diagnose the causative element, the osteopath uses an evidence based testing system interacting with the patient’s neurology. The primary purpose and function of the nerves is to communicate and so they form the main communication pathways in the body. The osteopath is able to interpret the information communicated via the nerves to establish causality i.e. effect or cause?
Osteopathy also has a role in the prevention of symptoms and injuries. Biomechanical tensions predisposes the body to injuries and dis-ease mostly because some joints and muscles will be working abnormally or simply overworking. Getting those predispositions resolved prior to injury is always the best option. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”.