1. The structure governs the function.
Structure and function are two sides of the same coin. Structural integrity and mobility must be restored as much as possible for proper functioning of all the systems of the body. The structure, such as bones, ligaments, muscles and fascia must be free to move and not impinge on nerves and blood vessels. Mechanical problems often precede changes in the physiology and chemistry of the body that can cause disease.
2. The role of the artery is absolute.
Osteopathic treatment gets significant results through circulatory changes. All the fluids in the body including blood in the arteries and veins, lymph flowing through the lymphatics, and the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) circulating around the brain and spinal cord must be free flowing and unobstructed. These fluids carry nutrients and oxygen to the body’s cells, remove waste products, deliver hormones and maintain a strong immune system.
“The artery is the river of life, health and ease and, if muddy or impure, disease follows”
(A.T. Still, DO, 1908.)
3. The body functions as a unit.
Everything is connected and inter-dependent. A compromise or compensation in any part of the body will affect the whole. Although the body is made up of many structurally and functionally discrete elements, the elements are linked together by connectors creating an integrated whole. These connectors are the circulatory system, the nervous system, the endocrine and immune systems, and connective tissue, fascia in particular. Connective tissue is found everywhere in the body and it is the fundamental connector that allows structural and functional systems to be grouped into a unified package. Connective tissue plays a critical role in body health and disease.
“There is one common flow, one common breathing, all things in sympathy”
4. The ability of the body to autoregulate.
The body has the inherent ability to heal itself. An osteopath’s role is to unlock the doors and ensure that the fluid channels and nerve pathways are open to potentiate the body’s ability to heal. The health of the nervous system is a major component in the homeostatic mechanism. Long-term stress can cause our nervous system to become hypersensitive and over react causing damage to our body and compromising our immune system. Osteopathic treatment can help calm or de-facilitate the nervous system.
“Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity”