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What Is Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a treatment philosophy that seeks to identify areas of the body that are restricted (not moving properly) or constricted (strangled or squeezed), then gently ease these restrictions so that normal functions of the body can resume. Andrew Taylor Still, a medical doctor, first developed osteopathy as a means of health care in the 1870’s. The osteopathic manual practitioners (OMP) use their in-depth knowledge of the body’s anatomy and physiology, as well as their highly refined palpatory skills (their hands) to determine how disease and/or dysfunction has affected the body and its systems. From this information a treatment plan is prepared, addressing the body as an integrated unit, providing a pathway to restore optimal health.

Osteopathic manual practice is based on 4 main principles:

  1. Each structure in the body supports the body's functions. If a structure is damaged, out of place, or otherwise not working properly, the body will not function at its best.
  2. The natural flow of the body's fluids - lymphatic, vascular, and neurological - must be preserved and maintained.
  3. The human body is the sum of its parts. Its physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and cognitive systems don't work independently -they work in harmony.
  4. When the body has no restrictions, it has the inherent ability to heal itself.
When all the body’s components (systems) are in balance, a person is complete and in total health.