Osteopathy has been described as both an art and a science. Let’s talk science first ….
Osteopaths are primary health-care providers. What this means is that they are medically trained practitioners capable of identifying and diagnosing medical conditions and provide appropriate treatment and referral if necessary.
Osteopaths are primarily musculoskeletal physicians. This means they use the musculoskeletal system to treat a wide variety of conditions. Their hands-on approach works very effectively on muscle and joint pain (e.g. back pain or tendonopathy) and may provide complementary assistance to a variety of visceral pathology (e.g. asthma, reflux) that is being managed by a GP.
The “art” of osteopathy is based around applying osteopathic principles to try to establish why injury or pathology has occurred and what is slowing or preventing a full and speedy recovery. The reason this is considered “art” is that it cannot be “taught” but has to be learned and reflected on by each practitioner. Thus practitioners have their own style and approach which is unique to them. The principles which guide practitioners were established by the founder of osteopathy and consist of the following:
· The body works as a unit
· Structure governs function
· The rule of the artery is supreme
· The body possesses self-regulatory and self-healing mechanisms