Osteopathy is a system of therapy founded by Andrew Taylor Still in 1892 that is based on the theory that the body is capable of healing itself against disease when it is structurally balanced. It is a science and system of healing that uses physical techniques to remove restrictions in the body in order to encourage structural and physiological harmony throughout the entire body. The basic principles of osteopathy are based on an applied knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and neurology and include the following:
- The body functions best when there is motion in all of its parts including the skeleton, soft tissue, organs, etcetera…a restriction or lack of motion results in the loss of structural and physiologic integrity…for example a restriction of motion such as the formation of adhesions around an abdominal organ may result in decreased blood supply or nervous innervation to that organ and therefore a decrease of nutrients including oxygen to the area.
- Structure and function are explicablly bound…a compromised structure leads to disturbed function and a disturbed function leads to a compromised structure…for example an immobile knee may structurally develop arthritis, whereas a structurally arthritic knee may have a limited range of motion.
- If structural balance and harmony are restored to all the facets of the body, the patient will be in the best possible place to heal and self correct!
This modality also incorporates the Cranial Sacral therapies. Again, the theory is that if all the bones of the skull are moving as they should then the free flow of nervous innervation in and out of the brain by way of the cranial nerves and the spinal cord will be allowed to occur. This system also takes into account the connection of the cranium or skull to the sacrum via cerebrospinal fluid and the nervous tissue all along the spine and the importance of how one affects the other.
Osteopathy and Cranial Sacral therapies have been shown to be very helpful in improving a variety of ailments and conditions.
- Reduced performance
- Lameness issues including head, back and tail carriage
- Head shaking
- Behavior issues
- Endocrine problems
- Weakened immune system
- Chronic nasal or ocular discharge