Chances are if you are reading this you are either a practitioner trying to find your own definition or just someone curious enough to know what osteopathy is. Well whoever you are welcome.
I noticed that where ever I have been to whether locally or internationally there is a big question “What is osteopathy?” I think it is a bit ironic to be asked that considering the profession is a bit older if I remember correctly has been there since the First World War. At best some people actually just associate osteopathy to these words “bone crackers”. I guess can’t really blame anyone though since they basically amount to the fame and advertisement of their, I guess putting it in a better light their distant cousin who does everything by cracking bones. These response usually brings that person to the point of asking “are you going to crack my bones” or “is it safe”. Clinically speaking the notion of bone cracking it is technically just the release of gas in the joint so it is clinically safe as long as it is done in the correct premise. That response might be also the first thing in a person’s mind since “osteo” means bones in some language.
So we go back to the T-rex in the room. What is osteopathy? Osteopathy is essentially based on three principles. First is the principle that the body heals itself. Osteopathy basically just gives the body a nudge to go in that specific direction since healing is impeded by a lot of factor, as such a gentle nudge might be needed to start the healing process. The second principle is that every part of the body is affected by any part of the body. In the allied medical practice today most of the people see that the part hurts because it is injured that is not always the case. The body can be seen as an army unit in this case. In the one war “I guess it is the Vietnam War” guerilla tactics are used to injure not the whole unit but just one person in the unit. The effect of this act is not just on the person that was injured but its effect is to the whole unit. The third principle is that if blood flow is decreased in a body part healing is decreased. The effect is essentially like getting a traffic jam during trash pickup day and that the trash in the system doesn’t get cleaned out.
Now notice the principles of osteopathy bone cracking is not seen in one of those principles. I am not saying that osteopathy does not involve bone cracking because historically the founder of osteopathy is known as the “lightning bone setter”. I guess this is there the bone cracking might have come from but this is not what osteopathy is. Osteopathy might mean differently for different osteopathic practitioners. If I were to describe osteopathy it is the process of seeing a person as a whole and helping that body back to being optimally functional by giving the body a nudge into the healing process. Osteopathy is by no means limited to techniques because the osteopathic practitioner primarily limited by their imagination on how to give the body a nudge to start the healing.
Hopefully this gave you a better understanding of what osteopathy is.