Osteopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine
, and Chinese Image Therapy
are essentially closely related branches of medicine. Osteopathy originates from the work of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, who integrated his many years of medical practice in Kansas, USA, defining a new approach to the treatment of patients that he named Osteopathy in 1874. The foundation of Osteopathy is the holistic view of a human as a system of body, energy, and spirit or information, which has developed in many regions of the world at different times. Each medical doctrine has its particular, somewhat different methods in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, but they tend to achieve a balance in every aspect of the patient’s well-being.
What is the foundation of Osteopathy?
Osteopathy views the human body as a unified system and pays attention to all factors that have affected it since conception. Since everything in the body is interlinked, any events during fetal development, childbirth, and childhood leave their impact on the mental and physical health and development of patient. Human body functions as a clockwork where all processes must be tuned into perfect harmony. The body experiences perpetual movement. In the case if any deviations have reduced the mobility of tissues, it is the task of osteopath to give an impulse to renew the mobility. This can mean either visible movement, such as in the case of injuries to joints, or practically invisible movement in the soft and solid tissues that may be typically ignored in everyday life. Limited mobility can result in a multitude of minor changes that in the absence of treatment accumulate not only in the area of concern, but can also spread to other parts of the body. Therefore, during a visit to osteopath you may discover that the cause of your discomfort comes from elsewhere in your body.
How is examination and treatment performed in Osteopathy?
Examination is based on diagnostic tests that can require either movement or static poses during which the osteopath observes the gait, posture, balance, and the range of movements. The eyes and hands of osteopath are highly trained and sensitive, allowing to observe minute details. Treatment is done by hands and involves light touch and gentle movements that are not painful. By placing hands on patient, the osteopath senses both the mobility and resistance of tissues. The methods of osteopathy are very careful and do not exceed the physiological limits of tissue movement.
The treatment methods can be defined as:
- Articular techniques;
- Muscle energy techniques;
- Stretching techniques;
- Craniosacral techniques;
- Visceral techniques.
Osteopathic therapy is personalized to every patient, and the selection of techniques depends on the individual condition of the patient. Ostepaths quite often work on the problem area without touching it, focussing instead on related, pain-free areas that are connected to the problem area physiologically, energetically, or biomechanically.