The practice of Osteopathy is a scientific adjustment by mechanical manipulations of the joints, muscles, tissues and viscera to promote the circulation and allow the vital fluids to circulate without interruption. It stipulates that disease is caused by abnormal changes in the tissues of ligaments, muscles and organs as well as in the position and mobility of the bones wherever situated in the body. The practice of Osteopathy is done by a Osteopath and is based upon a thorough knowledge of anatomy, physiology and hygiene.
Osteopathy involves the treatment of vertebral column, joint, bone, muscle and tissue in the whole body. Structural derangement or lesion is considered the most important underlying cause of disease. A lesion may be in bony, muscular, ligamentous, facial, or other tissues. It results in lack of normal movement in surrounding tissues allowing blood and lymph to stagnate, causing acidosis, irritating nerves which pass that way and through them affecting the functions of various organs including blood vessels.
The theory evolved was that if there was a displacement of the spine the Osteopathic lesion would prevent the free flow of blood through the body and the specific organs. If the life-force inside people; the blood, was impeded this would cause an alteration of functioning elsewhere which in turn would cause disease or allow the body to become diseased.
Osteopathy states that the body is a vital and physical mechanism, subject to derangement, structural alteration and functional changes. Osteopathy includes preventive, palliative and curative measures.
Osteopath first observes the patient and studies the nature of the problem. An Osteopath thoroughly examines the patient and observe how he sits, stands or lies down and also the manner in which the body is bent to the side, back or front. The practitioner will also feel the muscles, soft tissues and ligaments to detect if there is any tension present, so that the Osteopath is able to take note of the extent and ability of the joint to function. X-rays are also checked when needed to determine the extent of any problem. After all these examinations, osteopath will take a decision as to whether the patient will benefit from this therapy or not.
This therapy is done by manipulating the joints which will lessen any tenseness present in the muscles and also improve its ability to work correctly to its maximum extent. In addition to manipulation, other methods such as massage can also be used. Muscles can be freed from tension if the tissue is massaged and this will also stimulate the flow of blood. Techniques of learning to relax, how to stand and sit correctly and additional exercises are suggested by the Osteopath.
Another form of therapy, which is known as Cranial Osteopathy is used for patients suffering from pain in the face or head. This is effected by the Osteopath using slight pressure on these areas including the upper part of the neck. If there is any tautness or tenseness present, the position is maintained while the problem improves. It is now common practice for doctors to recommend patients to use Osteopathy.