A Brief History Lesson

At its very core, Osteopathy is a natural medicine that deals with the body as a whole, while utilizing and stimulating the body’s natural ability to promote healing along with restoring function and mobility. This philosophy was developed in 1874 by Andrew Taylor Still, MD, (pictured above) who pioneered the concept of "whole body wellness", knew the importance of treating illness within the context of the whole body. Dr. Still was a medical doctor who served in the army during the civil war. Tragically after Dr. Still completed his time with the army, shortly after his three children perished from spinal meningitis in 1864.
Over the next decade Dr. Still would dedicate his life to the understanding of disease and healing. He felt orthodox medicine at that time was inadequate and often harmful. He knew there was a better way to help.  With both research and clinical observation, Dr. Still concluded the Musculoskeletal (MSK) system played a pivotal role in health, wellness and disease. Believing if the body is properly simulated, all of the elements needed to maintain proper function will be aligned.  
 
Dr. Still believed in a drug-free, non-invasive manual medicine which focused on the body's innate abilities to heal itself along with the identification and treatment of true, underlying causes of diseases. Dr. Still believed in educating his fellow practitioners in the prevention of diseases  and treating the 'whole-patient'.

Osteopathic Manual Therapy, is by its very nature, a ‘Manual’ meaning ‘Hands-On’ approach to ‘Osteopathy’ - derived from the Greek words for ‘Structure’ (Osteone) and ‘Pain/Dysfunction’ (Pathos). Therefore, Osteopathic Manual Therapy is a Hands-On approach to rid the body of Structural Dysfunctions and reduce pain. Manual Osteopaths believe it is these structural changes that cause dysfunction and ultimately pain. The restriction of movement can be affected by a variety of safe, gentle, manual techniques used to improve the structure and mobility of the body. The relationship between organs and the musculoskeletal system is the core of osteopathy. Through manipulation and massage of the bones, muscles, joints and soft tissue, osteopathy is able to treat an wide array of medical disorders and illnesses.

Traditionally Osteopathy adheres to 4 Fundamental Principles:

 
1. STRUCTURE GOVERNS FUNCTION - 
                  structural change in the body will change the function of the surrounding tissues. 
 
2. THE BODY HAS THE ABILITY TO SELF-REGULATE – 
body is constantly working towards homeostasis (level – still). 
 
3. THE RULE OF THE ARTERY IS ABSOLUTE – 
effective circulation is required for healing, immunity, nutrition and detoxification.
 
4. THE BODY IS A FUNCTIONAL UNIT – 
      specialized tissues perform specials function – all tissues must work together for the greater good.

What to Expect

Osteopathic manual practice constitutes vast array of hands-on techniques dealing with many conditions. Some of the techniques used commonly by Certified osteopathic manual practitioners include osteopathic soft tissue therapy, muscle energy technique, osteoarticular, manual mechanotherapy, cranial osteopathy, visceral manipulation, strain/counterstrain, Still’s, positional facilitated release, balanced ligamentous strain, lymphatic drainage, oscillatory, global, thermogenic, etc. 
 
The American Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners defines the osteopathic manual practice as the clinical management of conditions related to the neuromusculoskeletal and joints systems and the treatment, primarily by manual therapy of dysfunctions or disorders arising from the structures or functions of the mentioned systems.