Understanding Osteopathy

Andrew Taylor Still, Founder of Osteopathy


What is Osteopathy?

Osteopaths take a whole-body approach to health care.  Rather than treating symptoms, Osteopaths strive to treat the individual as a whole; looking first at health and human potential before disease. Because of this uniquely holistic view of health, an Osteopathic approach can better understand how health is displaced and then track the source of suffering right to the root of the issue.
The body’s systems are all interconnected and affect one another; therefore, Osteopath’s are trained to understand and treat the interconnections between the musculoskeletal system, as well as all other systems in order to better grasp how the structure of the body and its capacity to  function influences all other body systems. With this being said, Osteopath’s are trained to correct structural and functional issues, which allows for the body to naturally self-correct and being to heal with greater ease. Moreover, Osteopath’s assist patients in developing lifestyles that not only fight illnesses, but also help to prevent disease.


Why Osteopathy?

Motion represents the free expression of health as it is reflected in our physical, emotional, and energetic body.  Motion must be present in both our physical form and within the smallest recesses inside us; the spaces between organs, lungs, vessels, neural sheaths, membranes, and fascial connections that provide interconnectedness throughout our bodies. When free motion of any structure is lost or inhibited, whether by infection, injury or prolonged states of emotional overwhelm, we begin the process of compensation. From this point, we are vulnerable to dysfunction and disease processes. Osteopathy allows for motion in the body so that we may be properly animated and ambulated.

The practice of Traditional Osteopathy favors a hands-on approach to access and understand dysfunction, normalize function, and restore health. A complete and Holistic approach to Healthcare must consider all aspects of human physiology and human potential. Having a thorough understanding of Anatomy, Physiology and the Biomechanics of how the human body moves and how motion interrelates to health, gives Osteopaths an advantage in finding and correcting the primary source of dysfunction and supporting the process of the restoration of health.


It’s not just about bones; Osteopathy seeks to understand the “source of suffering” 

Using the human hand as a corrective tool, Osteopaths can utilize direct and indirect Manual Medicine  principles and techniques to correct and restore the physiological and mechanical potential of the human body. This in turn serves to auto-regulate and potentialize the process of health and healing. Osteopathy considers the complex inter-relationships between all systems, from the hard skeletal to the soft tissues and fluids, but goes a step further, treating all physical structures of the body in unison. A key component of Osteopathy is the ability to interface with the fascia, connective tissues, viscera, organs and the brain, integrating emotional, hormonal and biological health. Waking these vitality centers of the patient’s body positively alters patterns that may otherwise attract dysfunction and, ultimately, ill-health.


Separating “Health” from “Disease”

In healthcare, what is often the missing link in holding onto “health” is a clear definition of what health truly is. This is a very individualized experience that must extend beyond the absence of pain and disease. It must also share a universality that includes a sense of inherent joy, trust, faith, courage, hope, desire and a deeply held belief of being free to live one’s life fully, with love, free expression and a sense of well-being.

Applying the principles of traditional Osteopathy as a tool in altering the course of health (versus disease) is not the end of the road in how Traditional Osteopathy is applied. Removing roadblocks to health opens the door to the re-organization of the integrative processes of organic life and opens the door to our true potential expression of life. Seth often considers his role as a provider to influence the body, mind and spirit to thrive, not just survive; to intervene and restore the sense of peace that ensures the free expression of human health, which in turn opens doors that are so far reaching that only the individual can express the profound changes that unfold from experiencing a body that has released burden and has unleashed its full free expression to live life fully.