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Experts - Osteopathy
A holistic approach, emphasizing the musculoskeletal system, which utilizes a range of physical and manual practices in the prevention and treatment of physical discomfort and disease.
Osteopathy is a healthcare approach, most commonly listed as a form of alternative or complimentary medicine, whereby the practitioners emphasize a holistic approach. Osteopaths emphasize and focus their work on the musculoskeletal system, which utilizes a range of physical and manual practices in the prevention and treatment of physical discomfort and disease.
In practice, osteopathy is most often associated with treating back and neck pain issues. Many osteopaths view their work and it’s ‘role’ as enabling the body’s own recuperative and healing powers to be released, by addressing and treating any musculoskeletal or somatic dysfunction.
In the USA, Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (also known as Dos) are medical physicians and surgeons who are fully licensed, and they often practice in all clinical specialties along with their other MD colleagues. They practice a full scope of medicine.
Osteopathic medicine has been in mainstream use in the USA since the 1960s. Osteopathy outside the US has remained a fairly drug-free system, based on manipulative techniques – similar to chiropractors.
Throughout the osteopathic community, there are eight major principles of osteopathy that are widely taught, as follows:
1. The body is a unit.
2. Structure and function are reciprocally inter-related.
3. The body possesses self-regulatory mechanisms.
4. The body has the inherent capacity to defend and repair itself.
5. When the normal adaptability is disrupted, or when environmental changes overcome the body’s capacity for self maintenance, disease may ensue.
6. The movement of body fluids is essential to the maintenance of health.
7. The nerves play a crucial part in controlling the fluids of the body.
8. There are somatic components to disease that are not only manifestations of disease, but also are factors that contribute to maintenance of the disease state.
These principles are thought to be the underpinnings of the osteopathic philosophy on health and disease. Some types of osteopathy include visceral & cranial osteopathy.
The osteopathic profession has evolved into two main branches, those in the US and those in European & Commonwealth countries. They have grown very distinct though in recent years there have been attempts to increase and enhance dialogue & discussion between the two groups.
European and commonwealth country osteopaths rely on non-surgical and non-pharmaceutical approaches – specializing in ‘manual medicine’. Commonwealth osteopathic students may spend up to ten times as many hours training in osteopathic diagnosis and technique as their American counterparts.