Osteopathy is a form of manual treatment that looks and treats the body as one functioning unit. Treatment focus is based on restoring balance and function, which will encourage the body to heal and work optimally. Osteopaths treat all parts of the body and needs to take into account all systems including musculoskeletal, neurological, circulatory, immune and organ systems.
The body is one complex machine. Therefore, learning how the body works structurally and functionally and treating it accordingly, will give the body a chance to rectify problem quickly with less hassle.
Osteopathy doesn’t only look at your body but is open to everything and anything around you. Looking at the bigger picture is the key to good treatment.
Osteopathy bases itself on a few principles. These are:
1. The body is a unit. – The body is made out of several mechanisms and structures, but all work together as one.
2. Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated –The Structure of your body (muscles, bones, joints) are related to the bodies functions (organs, cell function, movement etc.). Problems with structure or function can affect one another.
3. The body is capable of self-regulatory, self-healing and is capable of repairing and defending itself. – The body is an amazing machine. It has everything it needs to take on the world. It has its own soldiers to combat anything foreign that it may take as a threat. It has its own “pharmacy” which is capable of treating and repairing itself.
Osteopathy originated from a doctor in America by the name of Dr. Taylor Still. His father was also a Doctor, minister and Farmer. Dr. Taylor Still’s fascination in Osteopathy was slowly developed since his childhood. As a Child, he used to suffer from severe headaches. He found that by lying on his back with his neck leaning against a rope eased the headaches. This, alongside other discoveries was the catalyst of his new train of thinking.
Dr Still wanted to find another way of treatment other than that which western medicine was offering (medications). It was only after the death of his three children from meningitis, in which his traditional medicine could not save, that his ambition to establish Osteopathy took off.
In 1874, Osteopathy was introduced to the public. Other doctors who took interest assisted in teaching students. Today Osteopathy goes hand in hand with medicine in America and is seen as a speciality which can be elected after a students medical degree.