Osteopathy Definitions2020-02-12T10:26:47-08:00

Osteopathy Definitions



Impeded flow.

All body structures are made up of tissue, and all tissues require free flow for healthy function. 

Anything in the body can be blocked of flow, and thus not function properly – bone, muscle, fascia, organs, skin etc.

Body structures2020-02-11T12:40:12-08:00

Every component of the body has form (structure), and every form is made up of tissue – fascia, muscle, bone, tendons, ligaments, joint complexes, organ systems and compartments etc. 

All tissues require adequate nourishment for healthy function. Nourishment is delivered through the arterial pathways. When the body form (structure) is compromised, flow followed by function is altered.

Circulatory channels2020-02-11T12:40:35-08:00

The pathways through which nerves, arteries, veins and lymphatics flow (NAVL).

Depth of complaint2020-02-11T12:41:15-08:00

A more established complaint has several more healing cycles to go through in comparison to a less established complaint. Evaluating progress over a longer stretch of time allows us to see progress in more established complaints, that would otherwise not be detectable in a short-time. Expectations need to be set appropriately so that improvement can be accurately realized.

Dosage matters2020-02-11T12:41:59-08:00

Osteopathic treatment is a manual medicine, and thus needs to be dosed appropriately to produce a desired result. Similarly, pharmaceutical medicine is accompanied with a prescription to produce a desired result.


A fully functional body structure is able to move and operate in harmony with its design.

This understanding applies to every structure in the human body – from the basic action of flexing your arm to pick something up, to the motility of the gastro-intestinal tract to digestive food, to the activities of the basic cell that constructs every aspect of the human body.


The unobstructed path of nerve, artery, vein and lymphatic (NAVL); free to move along in a steady, continuous stream.

Relaxation response2020-02-11T12:43:57-08:00

The body’s natural self-repair mechanisms only fully function when the nervous system is in relaxation response. This state of rest-repair is commonly known as Parasympathetic, while a state of fight-flight is known as Sympathetic. When it comes to healing, the state of the nervous system plays a vital role.

Parasympathetic state – a state of receiving, where change and healing can occur

Sympathetic state – a state of rejection, no change or healing can occur here

Physiological load2020-02-11T12:43:28-08:00

The “wear and tear on the body” which accumulates as an individual is exposed to repeated stress. The 6 major categories of “stressors” are physical, chemical, electromagnetic, psychic, nutritional, and thermal. If you think of your body as a backpack, each stressor adds a load to your backpack. Before long, your body can’t take the load anymore.

Self-care practices2020-02-11T12:44:15-08:00

Healthy daily practices that are in alignment with osteopathic principles and treatment objectives. Everything prescribed promotes flow and strongly supports this path of resolution. 

Self-care prescriptions are practical, effective daily practices that often include walking, relaxation strategies, wind-down routines and gentle adjustive movements. Daily commitment averages 15-60 min, depending on the case.

Self-healing | self-regulating2020-02-11T12:44:37-08:00

The body has an inherent capacity to heal and regulate itself. The transport system for these remedies is unobstructed arterial flow. Any structural blockage that impedes this flow, obstructs the delivery of these remedies, and thus challenges self-healing-regulating mechanisms.

Subjective-objective assessment process2020-02-11T12:45:04-08:00

The assessment process is achieved through combined effort of patient and therapist. This on-going evaluation is best reviewed in 3 month increments to allow adequate time for progressive change to occur.

Patient’s feedback is the subjective rating – how are you feeling between treatments?
Therapist’s findings is the objective rating – what structural body changes have occurred between treatments?

Subtle adjustive touch2020-02-11T12:45:32-08:00

The nervous system responds to touch. The application of touch can either trigger the body’s defence mechanisms “guard up”, or enhance the body’s ease mechanisms “guard down”. Our aim is to work in a therapeutic way, that allows the body to accept change at its own pace. Imposed change is not therapeutic, and essentially is rejected by the nervous system.


Healing occurs in cycles of time. There is a turnover time to breakdown old unhealthy dysfunctional tissues and to rebuild new healthy functional tissues – these tissues make up all body structures. 

Once flow is improved to any particular area of the body, adequate time must be allowed for this renewal process to take place. For example, bone tissue completely regenerates every 10 years, while muscle tissue only takes several weeks to do the same.

Weak links2020-02-11T12:46:15-08:00

Areas of the body that are consistently vulnerable to stress. These are the areas that tend to express symptoms when we have too much on our plate. When the body is overloaded, it will always default to these “weak links” as its’ path of least resistance. Common examples include, digestive upset, headaches, specific body pain, sinus congestion, general malaise etc.