Osteopathy

Photo taken August 2015, near one part of the Greenbrier River, West Virginia. 

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“The Earth is our body, The rivers our blood, Intricately connected, From famine to flood”

Osteopathic philosophy seems to include the trinity of life: Mind, Body and Spirit. Or as its founder put it, “Matter, Mind, and Motion” (A.T. Still). There is a focus on the relationship between the patient and practitioner that is not unlike a coach, or confidant; this relationship is the vessel through which healing takes place. The philosophy proposes, that the practitioner is inherently making connections between ease and dis-ease within a person (and the context of that person in their community), and assists to co-create health by nourishing the roots that may have been causing symptoms based on a lack or an over expression in a person’s life. This can be physically done in the adjustment of the bones to allow the physical nourishment of the lymph, blood and nerves to restore health. This can be done through dialogue with the person. This is not unlike eastern philosophy of wholeness, and it also incorporates western mechanical viewpoints of parts and function.

When every part of the machine is correctly adjusted and in perfect harmony, health will  hold dominion over the human organism by laws as natural and immutable as the laws of gravity.
A. T. Still M.D. D.O. 

There are places in modern medicine for these concepts, because all are aspects of life, and can contribute or detract from health in a person. To me, this *is* modern medicine. Not the modern medicine with a tired prescription pad and over-used pen, but the modern medicine that realizes first the power of the body to heal itself as its central tenet. All treatment flows from that understanding.

The artery is the river of life, health, and ease, and if muddy or impure disease follows.
A. T. Still M.D. D.O., Autobiography

I recently read John Lewis’ book, From the Dry Bone to the Living Man and wrote about it here. Osteopathy itself is a philosophy of life as well as a method of re-creating wholeness and health in a person. Contemporary medicine is also a philosophy of life, as is each kind of medicine – indigenous, Chinese, etc. Like all cultures and religions, they share some principles and depart on others. They are all culturally dependent, era-appropriate, and simultaneously timeless, as they inform future generations as well as how we see our ancestors.

We look at the body in health as meaning perfection and harmony, not in one part, but in the whole.
A. T. Still M.D. D.O.

I am furthering my education to become a DO because of what I have experienced personally, what I know works with my clients, and because, based on the variety of theories and practices I have learned of, Osteopathy encompasses all of what works.

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