Home Healing Osteopathy

Osteopathy

Disillusioned by the existing system of medicine (he lost three children to spinal meningitis). Andrew Still, MD in 1874 founded Osteopathy on the principal that the best way to fight disease was by naturally stimulating the bodys immune system.

Osteopathy (osteo meaning bones and pathy meaning suffering) is a holistic form of medicine, which emphasizes that adverse changes in one part of the body impair the normal functioning in other parts of the body.He felt that there was more to medicine than just Repairing, Removing and Reviving. Even though Dr. Still was ostracized by all his colleagues for not adhering to existing forms of medicine, he spent years developing a healing science that could restore normal function and freedom of tissues through a practitioners sensitive manual diagnosis and manipulation of tissues and fluid. As a result of his hard work there now exists a college of osteopathy and it is a recognized and practiced art where the training doctors have to go through the typical four-year training period just as any other medical practitioner would have to.

BASIS OF TREATMENT

For this reason, doctors of osteopathy treat the body as a whole, often focusing special attention on the bones and muscles in the human being in an effort to find the underlying cause of an ailment. Osteopathy also stresses preventive medicine, discourages the over use of toxic drugs and tries to cure limbs without amputation (a practice prevalent in the times when Dr. Still developed osteopathy). Osteopathy takes advantage of the body's natural tendency to strive toward a state of health and homeostasis. An Osteopath is trained to palpate (feel) the body's "living anatomy" (i.e. flow of fluids, motion and texture of tissues, and structural makeup). They address health problems with a non-invasive system of medicine called, "Osteopathic Manual Medicine" in order to restore normal function in areas impaired by trauma, chronic illness, acute health problems, etc. The Osteopaths job is to "set" the body up to heal itself. To restore this normal function, the Osteopath gently applies a precise amount of force to promote movement of the bodily fluids, eliminate dysfunction in the motion of the tissues, and release compressed bones and joints. In addition, the areas being treated require proper positioning to assist the body's ability to regain normal tissue function. This treatment modality is called Osteopathic Manual Medicine (OMM). For example, if your health problem involves bones, muscles, or tendons, an osteopath may use osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT) to encourage healing. OMT includes soft-tissue manipulation, rhythmic movements and stretches, articulation techniques that work the joints, and painless high-velocity thrusts. Osteopaths believe that these techniques improve nerve transmissions and enhance immunity by loosening congestion of lymph nodes and increasing the movement of the body's natural antibodies. Osteopathy should not be confused with chiropractic. Although both disciplines are based on the belief that health is rooted in the body's structure, chiropractors are trained to focus on realigning the bones and joints, while osteopaths have all the tools of a medical practice at their disposal when treating a patient.

EFFECTIVENESS
The longer the ailment takes to develop, the longer it will take to heal. The ratio is often one month of treatment for every year of illness. (Although every body has its own timetable, this is the average course of treatment). For a patient with not such an acute problem (flu, muscle strain, etc.), the course of treatment is shorter because the condition is not as deep as a chronic illness. We must also keep in mind how strong the patients immune system is, meaning the stronger the person the quicker he will heal. Some common illnesses treated with Osteopathy include Pediatric Problems Somatic Pain Systemic Problems Colic Neck Problems Neuralgic Syndromes Spitting Up Back Problems Digestive Disorder Sucking Difficulty Sciatica Genital-Urinary Problems Delayed Development Headaches Chronic Infectious Disease Birth Trauma Joint Pain Syndrome Head Trauma Cerebral Palsy Traumatic Injury Post Concussion Syndrome Learning Disorders Overuse Syndrome Seizures Ear Nose Throat Problems Respiratory Illness Pregnancy Chronic Ear Infection Asthma Back Pain Recurrent Sore Throats Allergies Groin Pain Frequent Colds Bronchitis Digestive Upset Sinusitis Pleurisy Edema

Pediatric Problems

Somatic Pain

Systemic Problems

Colic

Neck Problems

Neuralgic Syndromes

Spitting Up

Back Problems

Digestive Disorder

Sucking Difficulty

Sciatica

Genital-Urinary Problems

Delayed Development

Headaches

Chronic Infectious Disease

Birth Trauma

Joint Pain Syndrome

Head Trauma

Cerebral Palsy

Traumatic Injury

Post Concussion Syndrome

Learning Disorders

Overuse Syndrome

Seizures

Ear Nose Throat Problems

Respiratory Illness

Pregnancy

Chronic Ear Infection

Asthma

Back Pain

Recurrent Sore Throats

Allergies

Groin Pain

Frequent Colds

Bronchitis

Digestive Upset

Sinusitis

Pleurisy

Edema


What You Can Expect
An initial visit to an osteopath typically begins with an extensive discussion of your symptoms, medical history, emotional health, and lifestyle. The doctors assessment will likely also include a complete physical exam that might involve blood work, urine analysis, or X rays, as necessary. A hands-on evaluation of your spine, muscles, joints, and tendons will also typically be performed. The physician will look for any dysfunction or abnormality and note your reflexes, flexibility, and muscle strength. He may ask you to walk, stand, sit, or lie down so he can note your form, movements, and muscle tone.  The osteopath may recommend certain changes to your diet or your lifestyle, prescribe medication, or refer you to a specialist for different treatment. If a structural abnormality has been found, the doctor may employ osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT) to treat the problem.

Osteopathy's holistic approach to the body is considered especially beneficial to the treatment of the back and neck, headache and knee. Moreover, osteopathys hands-on manipulative techniques can relax muscles, relieve pain, reduce stress, stimulate nerves, and promote blood circulation. Dr. Still firmly believed in the healing powers of blood and is known to have called it "the river of life". The manipulations may also help improve posture and increase mobility and range of motion.


Precautions to remember-


- Osteopathic manipulation must be avoided at all costs if you suffer from severe joint inflammation, osteoporosis, broken bones, or bone cancer

- If you've had a spinal fusion or if you suffer from a prolapsed disk, avoid osteopathic manipulation altogether.

- Since the Osteopath is going to indulge in strenuous joint manipulation, keep in mind that it must not be painful, but can result in minor aches that last a day or two.