Classical Osteopathy - a holistic approach
This word 'holistic' gets overused doesn't it? Everything from make-up to business strategies are said to have 'holistic' properties. When the founders of osteopathy brought their expertise together towards the end of the 19th century, they recognised that, in order to treat the body as a whole, they must treat the patient as an integrated unit, not as a lot of separate parts. Sometimes adjustments need to be made structurally, functionally, nutritionally or psychologically. Classical osteopaths are well trained to pick out patterns of dysfunction in a body and how to use the treatment to restore balance and ease. In most cases the symptom is viewed as both the conclusion rather than the start, and the effect rather than the cause.
These days good nutrition is becoming increasingly important in the work we do. Rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, autism, allergies and mental illness etc are all rising. Something about modern life is making us unhealthy! Various theories have been put forward to explain these trends. Overuse of chemicals in our food chain, body products and medicines, which (amongst other things) stunt or gut bacteria and immune function, making us less able to process and eliminate waste. Higher than acceptable stress levels reduce contentment and push our bodies into a state of 'fight or flight' that impairs digestion and immunity and is considered by some to be the most potent driving force towards disease and ill health. We spend on average 80% of our time indoors these days doing too much sitting in artificial light. UV exposure in sunlight is essential in helping your skin manufacture vitamin D Research continues to produce evidence that vitamin D is critical in disease prevention and in maintaining optimal health.
In short, our work as osteopaths has many facets because any given problem may have a variety of causes in the individual. Sometimes we may have out mechanics hat on. At other times we may need our counsellors hat on, or our nutritionalists hat, and so on and so forth. This is the essence of the holistic approach of classical osteopathy, which aims to improve how the body functions and provides guidance on how best to nourish our bodies, as well as how to cope with the stresses we are under in our daily lives.
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