Canadian Union of Professional Osteopaths

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The Interrelation of Structure and Functions

Life’s primary attribute is motion. All parts of the anatomy are animate. They have steady, rhythmical and active motion. The movements within a healthy and balanced body are smooth flowing. Unrestricted movement between the structures of the body is important for your physical condition. Some examples of these movements that are very obvious are the flow of blood inside your body and the beating of your heart.

Other, less obvious, movements inside your body are the drainage of lymph nodes and the fluctuating of cerebral spinal fluid. Each structure or organ gently moves as it functions. Every part has its inherent regular activity.

Osteopathic physicians feel this movement with their hands. When this motion is disrupted, your tissues can’t perform their intended functions. Your body is like a machine, according to Dr. Still, and it has interrelated components that must be in the correct position to move properly for the best function. If the parts do not blend well with one another, they will malfunction or fail. Every structure fulfills a specific function. Form determines function and function determines form. Health emanates when form and function are perfectly expressed.

The Body as a Unit

Dr. Still used this phrase long before it was popularized by Jan Smutts. It simply means that every component of the body has an effect on every other part. It also implies that the body is more than just its parts added together. Knowledge of this concept permits Osteopathic physicians to identify your illness and treat your body as a functional whole.

There are different organ systems within your body.

The circulatory system distributes blood throughout your tissue and organs. The nervous system links and integrates your body’s functions. Another system, called fascia, is composed of patterns of connective tissue and its main function is to support and lubricate. It is a very important component in Osteopathy treatment. Together with the nervous system and the circulatory system, fascia manages your body’s work as a whole. When one of these parts malfunctions your body, as a unit, malfunctions.

The Body Possesses Self-healing Mechanisms

Osteopathy acknowledges your body’s ability to heal itself and maintain its own equilibrium. For example, when you have torn tissues, a physician can only aid by cleaning the wound. If the cut is very deep, he can stitch the skin together. The healing will develop on its own. Dr. Still stated that all remedies necessary to health exist in the human body. Every cell has a natural, curative energy that will take action to reestablish functional balance when there is disorderliness in the tissues.

There are times when your body’s healing power might be weakened due to ailments and other functional disparities. A well-trained Osteopathic physician can enhance the body’s systems to aid in healing itself faster.

The Rule of Artery

It is essential to have good circulation of all your body fluids. Blood and lymphatic circulation should flow freely for the nutrients and immune cells to reach every part of your body. When you have poor circulation, the cells in your body may die.

When trauma occurs, your tissues shrink. They will become constricted and twisted. If this happens, the flow is clogged or it may even stop altogether. Through Osteopathic manipulative treatment, your tissues are restored to their untwisted state. The body fluids can then again flow normally. After this is accomplished, natural healing follows.



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