PHILOSOPHY OF PENRITH OSTEOPATHY
You may ask the question, why a philosophy? We believe a philosophy is our basic understanding or premise by which we interpret information that we receive.
In this short statement we can’t fully cover a philosophy of Osteopathy, however we can offer some important points. The founder of Osteopathy, A.T. Still, wanted to present a philosophy, rather than just a series of techniques. A series of techniques does not make a health system and A.T. Still wanted to present a health system to the world.
The following points may be of use: -
- The body as an entity has within it all the means necessary for health as long as the lifestyle factors eg nutrition, rest, exercise etc are appropriate to the needs of that body
- The human body is an integrated unit and every part affects every other part. Every movement we make involves every part of the body, even parts which are not moving are stabilising parts which are. This is why we treat the whole body and not simply ‘the sore spot’. ‘Sore spots’ may only be an area of strain caused by problems elsewhere in the body. Any condition, even when the pain has minimised, should not be left untreated in the body. Due to related function those conditions over time will cause compensations throughout the body which in turn create new conditions.
- Osteopathic treatment does not cure anything. Like all therapies and treatments, whether by osteopaths, doctors, surgeons, naturopaths, or anyone else we simply have an effect on the body. We aim to have a good effect.
- Our treatments have the effect of facilitating various processes which the musculoskeletal system has to help regulate its function. The results of treatments are that functional problems are reversed structural problems are assisted to heal.
- We commonly say to patients, ‘we are not pain chasers’. Our objective is to facilitate the correction of the conditions that cause pain, then there will be no pain. Attempts to remove pain without correcting the underlying condition are generally short lived and at worst can allow the underlying condition to become worse. Wile pain is certainly unpleasant it is a warning system given by the body to tell us of a problem, as such it should be listened to and acted upon.
- For Still circulation was the key. The treatments were designed to improve circulation. A release of affected tissues not only removed pain but also facilitated circulation to heal those tissues.
- There is a neurologically mediated mechanism which causes or creates tissue restriction either in a particular area or systemically ie. throughout the body. This mechanism or process has been given various names over the history of osteopathy: subluxation, osteopathic lesion, somatic dysfunction, and our term functional physiological locking mechanism. To achieve correct function this mechanism must be released. Exercise can be most beneficial both in rehabilitation and development of strength, balance, coordination and flexibility. However without release of the neurological mechanism or process first, exercise will often create more strain as the body tries to respond to the exercise in an inefficent manner. It has been a common observation that patients who are put onto exercise programs before any neurological mechanisms are released will often experience an increase in pain and suffering.
- Treatment given should be as gentle as possible. There should be minimal involvement into body functions only sufficient to achieve the desired effect. We do not want to put a desired effect into the body using too much force resulting in new undesired effects. We believe in the Hippocratic oath: “first do no harm”. We have observed over the years patients who have come to us after what appeared successful treatment elsewhere only to find later even more severe problems as a consequence of that treatment.
- Using the gentler non thrusting techniques has a calming and balancing effect on the autonomic nervous system (that part of the nervous system which regulates body functions). This effect helps to relieve conditions associated with the high pressured lifestyle that people live in a fast moving and changing world.
- The original meaning of the word doctor is teacher. When we treat a patient in addition to correcting their condition we also give an understanding of what caused the condition and how to prevent it in the future.
We hope the above points help you to understand our philosophy and what we are trying to achieve with our treatment.