The practice of osteopathy is the art which consists, in a global understanding of the patient, to prevent, diagnose and manually treat dysfunctions of the human body’s tissue mobility likely to alter the global health.
Referential of the Unit Repository for Osteopathy / Quality and Safety for Patients, signed by Elisabeth Guigou, Former Minister of Social Affairs.
The origin of Osteopathy
Osteopathy began in the 19th Century in the United States, the brainchild of a surgeon named Andrew Taylor Still.
The osteopath analyses the interdependencies between the musculoskeletal system and the various organic systems in order to preserve or restore a well-balanced state of health.
Dr Still developed his practice around four essential principles. These principles continue to be used today.
They are :
- The interrelation between the body’s structure and its function.
- The body’s unity :
The different parts of the body (the bones, joints, muscles, tissues, blood vessels, nerves) are interdependent and their dynamics are consistent.
- The law of the artery is supreme :
The circulation of the fluid allows for an harmonious physiological functioning.
- The equilibrium within the body :
The body has its own capacity for self-regulation and self-healing.
I see Osteopathy is an art and a science.
- An art :
I call upon a body of knowledge, a sensitivity, an intuition and a process of actions that will engage the patient’s senses, emotions  and intellect.
- A science :
I have obtained a qualification from the Ministère des Solidarités et de la Santé, which involved six years of study.
I have had a solid training in anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, the study of movement, nutrition, pediatrics, gyneco-obstetrics, and the support for athletes … all of which allows for an initial direct and safe consultation. If necessary, I am competent to redirect a patient to an appropriate health professional.
As a result of my professional studies and regularly up-dated research, combined with the technical skills developed in my practice, I am able to establish an osteopathic diagnosis. I can then choose the appropriate technique (musculoskeletal, myofascial, cranial, visceral, etc.) in order to restore the patient’s mobility, visco-elasticity or the textural quality of the patient’s tissues.
I am able to release a patient’s accumulated tension by adjusting the causal and non-symptomatic areas responsible for their functional disorders.
I also practice aquatic osteopathy. It is generally practiced after a table session. Immersion in water at 35°C/95°F allows for tissue relaxation, which, combined with osteopathy, corrects anatomical structures more quickly, efficiently and in depth. This is particularly effective for chronic and post-operative pain.
Also, osteopathic treatment in water is more comfortable for obese and disabled people.
Who Might Benefit From Osteopathy?
It is for everyone.
The principles of human physiology are immutable, with particularities depending on age, gender, physical constraints, physical condition, emotional shocks, pathologies, operations, accidents ….
At each stage of our life, we may be faced with new constraints. The osteopath supports you in understanding their mechanisms in order to free yourself from them.