Worcester Cranial Osteopathy
The first school of osteopathy was opened by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still in Kirksville, Missouri in 1882. After the American Civil War and the death of his 3 children due to meningitis in the same week, Still began to lose faith in what was available to the physician at the time and began to search for alternative ways of caring for his patients. This led him to discover for himself the significance of mechanics to body health. He became convinced that there was a direct link between the body's neuromuscular system and good health.
He was also very much a believer in the link between the spiritual, mental and physical sides of life. He practised holistic medicine long before its present day re- emergence.
"An osteopath must find the true corners as set by the Divine Surveyor." A.T Still
In 1874, Still first outlined his basic Osteopathic Principles. Here is a brief overview:
1) The unity of the body
The body is one and designed to be a single, integrated system. Anything that happens to one part will have some bearing on the whole. With a study of anatomy, we see how the connective tissues (muscles, ligaments, fascia, bones , blood vessels and internal organs) are continuous throughout the body and are maintained in a state of balance. Any areas of restriction or tension will change the balance throughout the connective tissue system.
2) The interrelations of structure and function
The integrity of the structure of the body will help the efficient expression of its function. Reciprocally, the restoration of function will aid the regeneration of structure.
3)The body's own healing potential
The body is a self healing, self regulating, self adjusting organism.
"Nature has been thoughtful enough to place in man all the word remedy means." A.T Still
"We adjust the machinery and depend upon nature's chemical laboratory for all the elements necessary to repair, give ease and comfort while nature's corpuscles do all the work necessary." A.T Still
"Nature is the first physician." Hippocrates -which is what osteopathy has always claimed.
Osteopathy is a philosophy of health with health being a state of balance and harmony between body, mind and spirit. It is concerned with the whole person and not the condition, taking all aspects of the patient's life into consideration. It is a system of health care that emphasises the belief in the body's own healing potential.
Osteopathy involves the diagnosis and treatment of structural and mechanical dysfunctions of the body. These physical imbalances and strains, whether they be from physical injury, emotions, and attitudes or lifestyles, both at work and play, impair the ability of the body to maintain itself in a state of health. Our bodies are constantly adapting to the demands that life throws at us but we do not have an inexhaustible reserve. Sometimes it becomes too much for us, the compensation breaks down and symptoms may start to show. This is where the osteopath steps in as a catalyst to help the body to restore balance again.
"The living person is the engine, nature the engineer and you the osteopath the master mechanic." A.T Still
One of the essential distinguishing features of Osteopathy is its great reliance on touch - the use of hands as organs of diagnosis and treatment.