Definition of Osteopathy

What’s Osteopathy ? Where does it come from ?

Osteopathy was founded in the United States at the end of 19th century by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still who developed this field after much reflexion on health and life.

His life was marked by the death of his wife and four of his children, which caused him to search for and find new ways of healing.

“Osteopathy is a science, an art and a philosophy.” A.T.Still (Autobiography)

Osteopathy is a science because it is based on an extensive and detailed knowledge of the body’s anatomy, physiology, biology and neurology and all manipulation is founded in this knowledge.

Osteopathy is an art because each treatment is unique, specifically tailored to the patient’s particular needs.

Osteopathy does not aim to directly treat the symptom itself but rather it is focused on finding and treating the origin and cause of the person’s symptom/pain/disease.

Osteopathy is a philosophy that views the human being as an interconnected whole which also encompasses the person’s environment. Osteopathy works on the physical level as well as the emotional and spiritual level.

Why choose Traditional Osteopathy?

“Only the tissues know.” Rollin Becker (Osteopath 1910-1996)

We practice osteopathy in a way that is faithful to the teachings of its founders, mainly A.T. Still, W. Sutherland and R. Becker.

Osteopathy is a traditional medicine which requires very precise knowledge of anatomy and is rooted in a holistic philosophy. The human being is viewed as a whole (body, mind and soul); the body is not viewed as a machine that needs to be fixed in a mechanical way.

Once the osteopath has done a treatment, the body is able to heal itself independently by self-regulating and self-adjusting.
Our objective is to empower the patient by helping their body guide their healing.

Our way of practicing

“Medicus Curat, Natura Sanat” Hippocrates (“the physician treats, nature cures”)
As Osteopaths, we accompany the tissues with our hands to allow the body to find its balance.
Osteopathy is based on several principals :

  • The practitioners rely on their hands as their only tool to feel, analyse and treat their client.
  • Osteopaths see a human being as a whole, not as a sum of parts.
  • Osteopaths know that structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.
  • Osteopaths are very aware of the body’s self healing capacity.

“”Allow physiologic function within to manifest its own unerring potency rather than apply a blind force from without.” W.G Sutherland – The cranial Bowl

An unhealthy lifestyle, repetitive movements, a high level stress, emotional shock, any kind of physical trauma, or psychological tensions can all generate pain and/or structural difficulties in the body.
Osteopathy can be effective treating these structural imbalances in the body due to these kind of dysfunctions. Osteopathy is not effective, however, in treating pain that is due to a clinical pathology.

Osteopathy enables the different systems of the body to balance themselves; this is often achieved by working with the client’s vertebrae. If a client is undergoing medical therapy they can also receive osteopathic sessions; there is no conflict between the two treatments.

We search for and treat the origin of the pain. This means that we often work on non painful areas.
A painful area is very often an area that has adapted and compensated for a disturbance or difficulty somewhere else in the body. Our goal is to find out why and how the body is behaving in this particular way.
Once we have found this out, we then treat the difficulty that is causing the other parts of the body to compensate. For example, we may discover that a tension in the wrist has led to tension in a cervical spine, which in turn has adapted to the tension by causing intense pain in the person’s shoulder. We will treat the tension in the wrist and in this way enable the body to return to its balance. The pain in the shoulder will not only go away, it will not come back again.

Our objective as osteopaths is to find out the “why” and the “where”.
Osteopathy is a preventive medicine. It is much more effective and fast if you come before you body maladapts in hundreds of different ways and causes pain in many areas.