Manual Medicine techniques such as those performed by Osteopaths have been documented for over 4000 years. It was not until the 1870’s however, that medical physician Andrew Taylor Still proposed the theory and practice of Osteopathic medicine.
His basic philosophy can be divided into four principles:
1. The Body is a Unit
The body is made up of many different systems that all work together in order to achieve an optimal function of the entire organism. Osteopaths believe that a problem in one area of the body affects other musculoskeletal regions and/or other body systems.
2. Structure and Function are Inter-related
Osteopaths strongly believe in the relationship between body structure and its ability to function. If a body’s structure is sound and balanced, then it can function at an optimal level.
3. The Somatic Component of Disease
Osteopaths believe that the musculoskeletal system is an integral part of total body health. For the body to recover completely from injury or disease, problems within the musculoskeletal system must be addressed.
4. The Healing Power of Nature
The body has within itself methods for protection, repair and regulation which are necessary for health maintenance and recovery from disease. The role of the Osteopath is to enhance this inherent capacity for health.