1) Structure and the laws of Biomechanics.
Unraveling structural dysfunction can be like unwrapping a complex package of ever-changing information-but for an Osteopath, this is where the fun begins, and for the patient; it is where the suffering begins to end. In Osteopathy, we consider the principle of “structure governs function” as a starting point and as a primary aspect of human health and healthcare for humanity. As an example: a door off its hinge will swing poorly, scratching the floor and failing to open or close properly. The effort required to swing this door far exceeds the ease of the door and hinge design-which is simply to “swing” open and closed. When the “hinges” with-in the human body fail to work properly, the added effort causes, pain, fatigue, swelling and an effort that uses up all of our precious reserves. Assessing and gently correcting “axial structural dysfunction” is like placing the door back on it’s hinges so that it swings with ease, restoring motion and reducing the effort and strain in life. Restoring “structural axis” takes the wear, tear and effort out of motion, making life feel like less work and leaving your body with more resources to spend living your life and enjoying the ease and joy of more relaxing pursuits.
2) Integrating the Container and its Contents.
Using the door as an example, we can consider that there is an “inside” and “outside,” separated by the door. How well this door swings open and closed directly affects how easily we move from one side to another and, therefore, how easily interactions take place in both inside and outside of your body. For organs and viscera, this is like the “coming” and “going,” or “assimilation” and “elimination” of air, water, food, blood, biochemical and hormonal interactions and, like each of these functions, the exchange of thought and expression, because our mind’s and spirit also reflect health. When a door is off the hinge, not only may it be difficult to open, but it may also fail to open completely, blocking free passage “in” and “out.” Ensuring that motion is happening for all systems opens the door for auto-regulation of the body’s naturally occurring mechanisms of life.
3) Integrating the “Fluid Essence”.
The life force called “vitality” is to health what “charisma” is to personality. It can be said that persons with charisma seem to express life with ease, they are alive, energetic and seem full of joy. Health is, by design, a reflection of a charismatic expression of vitality. When the expression of vital health is impeded by such things as structural imbalance, inflammation, the loss of ease in digestion, elimination, respiration or open expression, it can be said that we do not feel healthy anymore. Health is often just around the corner though, and as structures and the internal systems of the body are given and support and free motion they require, the bodies fluids also flow freely, regulating, nourishing and cleansing the entire body, restoring the biodynamic principles of fluid and charismatic vitality.
4) Understanding the complexity of what blocks vitality is an investigation into the life we have lived and how we have adapted, compensated and done our best to either “thrive” or “survive”.
Osteopathy looks at the whole person and seeks to find the “source of suffering.” As an Osteopath, I trust that health sometimes gets “hidden” behind closed doors. That is why I look for the source of all restrictions in the 3 embryological “fields” and at the doors that “separate” and “join” our entire body together. Each of these ebryologic fields holds specific information that relates to our Somatic structure, our Visceral structures and lastly, our Neurological and Fluidic systems. All systems inter-relate, which gives us clear direction in understanding the “causal chain” that separates symptoms from causes, bringing us closer to finding solutions to resolving complex dysfunction VS simply treating the same symptoms again and again. It is this integration that takes the individual from “surviving” to “thriving”.
5) The “Calendar of Physiology” Applied.
How do we determine the most effective course of recovery? Recognizing the complexity of the human body places Osteopaths in a key position of observation, evaluation, and treatment directed towards ensuring the best outcome from each individual patient. When we become sick or injured, the general rules of physiology help us to determine how things “ought” to heal. When we don’t see the body meeting these expectations, we must ask why and look further than simply accepting suffering or disease as a way of life. We must ask “why it suffers” and “what causes the suffering ” and “how can I restore health” to begin to understand what is impeding the vitality of health from expressing itself charismatically. Certain rules of physiology allow us to begin to gauge the course of recovery based on a few overlapping prinicples that relate to the free expression of health. During treatment, I maintain focus on multiple systems and how they inter-relate, observing how motions or fixation effects neighboring systems and how this can lead to inflammation, pain, dysfunction, or demands that force the body to use far more resource than required in an attempt to adapt. During each visit, my goal is to restore charismatic vitality to health in a variety of progressive stages:
- Restoration of the balance of the Autonomic Nervous system.
- Decompression and dis-entrapment of key bones, neuro-vascular intersections and pathways.
- Restoration of bloodflow, nerve flow and the integration of hemodynamic and hydrodynamic fluid balance.
- Restoration of structural axial position, symmetry and full range of motion.
- Restoration of the conscious presence of the human spirit.
- Training in self care to support the corrections made during treatment.
- Progressive training to match the course of recovery, based on principles of the “calendar of Physiology”.