At the end of the 19th century, Dr. Andrew Taylor Still of the United States coined the term osteopathy, Etymologically, osteon means bone and pathos means suffering.However, osteopathy does not refer to the pathology of bones, but rather to the entirety of the body’s structure.
Osteopathy is defined by its capacity to appreciate the equilibrium of an individual and to diagnose their problems. The point is to restore and maintain the body’s equilibrium in order to help it find and maintain its aptitude to self-regulate.
Osteopathy is a manual medicine that can be both preventive and curative. Osteopathy requires in-depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology and biomechanics. Indeed, the evaluation of the patient is done through various precise mechanical and palpation tests in order to identify specific zones that have less mobility than the rest of the body. Then, the therapist uses soft and specific techniques to normalize the restrictions identified during the exam in order to return mobility, allowing optimal function and circulation, which are essential to health. Each treatment is adapted according to the needs of the individual and, often, the benefits are felt within the first session. The number of subsequent sessions is established according to the individual’s progress.
Osteopathy in an exemplary manual therapy focused on researching the causes of pathology rather than its effects. It takes into consideration the patient as a whole and because of this osteopathy holds a privileged position amongst alternative medicines. It is appropriate for babies and pregnant woman, as well as for athletes or sedentary types. It can be used for its preventative applications and for treating acute or chronic pain.
This whole body approach focuses on using hands-on manual therapy techniques that aim to regulate and balance the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems, while strengthening the musculoskeletal system. The treatment objectives are to provide overall body health and well-being, by improving motion, correcting altered biomechanics and balancing systemic function.
Osteopathic philosophy as an approach to treatment is based on 4 principles (Ontario Association of Osteopaths);
Following a thorough evaluation and medical questionnaire, an Osteopath will develop a treatment plan based on the results of the evaluation. A treatment will consists of a variety of gentle hands-on techniques. Osteopaths develop a high sense of touch that allows them to recognize and identify problem areas. Using soft-tissue stretching, deep tissue pressure, massage, tissue mobilization and joint manipulation they aim to help restore normal function to the muscle, joint, tissue and organ or systemic functions.
Osteopathy is effective for a variety of illnesses, medical conditions and injuries. Among them include;