According to the world Health Organization (2010) Osteopathy was developed by Andrew Taylor Still, a physician and surgeon in the United States of America in the mid-1800s,
Osteopathy (also called osteopathic medicine) relies on manual contact for diagnosis and treatment . It respects the relationship of body, mind and spirit in health and disease; it lays emphasis on the structural and functional integrity of the body and the body’s intrinsic tendency for self-healing. Osteopathic practitioners use a wide variety of therapeutic manual techniques to improve physiological function and/or support homeostasis that has been altered by somatic (body framework) dysfunction, impaired or altered function of related components of the somatic system; skeletal, arthrodial and myofascial structures; and related vascular, lymphatic, and neural elements
Philosophy and characteristics of osteopathy
Osteopathy provides a broad range of approaches in the maintenance of health and the management of disease. Osteopathy is grounded in the following principles for treatment and patient management:
the human being is a dynamic functional unit, whose state of health is influenced by the body, mind and spirit; the body possesses self-regulatory mechanisms and is naturally self- healing; structure and function are interrelated at all levels of the human body.
Osteopathic practitioners have a responsibility to diagnose and refer patients as appropriate when the patient’s condition requires therapeutic intervention that falls outside the practitioner’s competence. It is also necessary to recognize when specific approaches and techniques may be contraindicated in specific conditions.
According to the Australian Osteopathic Association :Osteopathy is a form of manual healthcare which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopaths focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit.
Using skilled evaluation, diagnosis and a wide range of hands-on techniques, osteopaths can identify important types of dysfunction in your body. Osteopathic treatment uses techniques such as stretching and massage for general treatment of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) along with mobilisation of specific joints and soft tissues.