Updated: 4 days ago
Osteopathy originated in the late 19th century in the Wild West of the United States, in response to so-called "heroic medicine" - that is, medicine that was supposed to save lives (e.g., treatment with mercury), but often was ending up killing the patient. Medicine at the time could not cope with common epidemics, such as fever, dysentery and meningitis. Physician Andrew Taylor Still decided to once again re-study the human anatomy in detail in search for relationships between different body systems, so that the CAUSE of diseases could be found. The first osteopathic university opened in 1892 and was the first in U.S. history to admit women as students.
The name "osteopathy" comes in fact from the bones, but as the structure from which it all begins - thanks to the production of blood in the bone marrow, as the body's primary fluid. Osteopathy is divided into three branches, which integrally form a diagnostic and therapeutic whole: cranial, visceral and parietal (musculoskeletal). Osteopaths are fully educated medical specialists and use a thorough knowledge of anatomy in their daily practice. They seek health in the body, not disease. In addition to being grounded in anatomy and physiology, osteopathy is a part of medicine, grounded firmly in its history and philosophy. As a medical science, it combines biology, chemistry and physics, and osteopaths, in addition to the diagnostic process, use only their hands, which is why osteopathy is called manual medicine.
THINKING, FEELING, SEEING HANDS
Palpation, or the study of touch, is the primary tool of the osteopath. Training the receptors of the hands, prepared to sense the subtle differences between physiology and pathology in the body, is considered on par with the ongoing study of anatomy. The osteopath's hands are meant not only to feel the above differences, but also to serve as a seeing guide, more so than the sense of vision, and combined with anatomical knowledge - to think and know how best to understand the tissue to equalize tensions.
It is often confused with craniosacral therapy, which is merely a derivative of the full branch of osteopathy, a therapeutic method with individual steps, as opposed to cranial osteopathy, in which the techniques used on the cranio-sacral system, which includes the dura mater and cerebrospinal fluid, are merely the result of a diagnosis of the cause of a given disorder. Cranial osteopathy requires a very precise and subtle touch, so that it is possible to feel the movement of the bones of the skull in relation to each other at the level of the sutures connecting them, the structures of the brain or the rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid. Dr. Sutherland is considered the father of cranial osteopathy.
It focuses on the internal organs from the esophagus, through the lungs, pericardium, stomach, liver, diaphragm, intestines and genitourinary system. Each organ is characterized by three types of mobility, resulting from different causes: from the embryological development or the work of the abdominal pressor. Internal organs fill a number of functions necessary for daily functioning, hence dysfunctions of individual organs, health cannot be maintained. Visceral osteopathy diagnoses the cause of these dysfunctions and, using precise manual techniques on these organs, balances the health of the entire body. Jean Pierre Barral is considered the modern guru of visceral osteopathy.
HIGH VELOCITY MANIPULATIONS
The famous "breaking the bones" can be a profound experience of uncertainty for the patient, because the sound made during so-called joint manipulations is associated with "rearranging bones," as patients like to imagine it. Potentially the sound is the so-called cavitation phenomenon, when liquid is transformed into gas in the joint being released. Humans are built according to the so-called tensegrity model, so that solid parts never connect directly to each other - there are always joint connections between bones, so legends about "bone touching the bone" are silly misconceptions; besides, the periosteum is so deeply innervated that we wouldn't be able to withstand such pain if the bone touched the bone.
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