how the body embodies dis-ease
The fundamental question that directs the Osteopath’s hands and treatment plan:
What’s blocking the blood?
If we expand our view beyond the limits of commonly known titles, we can start to open ourselves to a broader understanding of what conditions percolate in an environment of dis-ease*.
In Osteopathic terms, dis-ease in any particular area of the body simply stems from its loss of functionality due to starved flow. A variety of physiological symptoms and/or body mechanical issues can offshoot from here; all are seen as resultant expressions; effect, not cause.
A few familiar examples to demonstrate the above, include:
- A limb falling asleep
- Can become limp, and is painful as it comes back to life.
- Temporary blocked flow affects motor function and sensory perception of pain.
- A type of tissue death caused by lack of blood supply, and can occur anywhere in the body.
- Blocked flow can produce extreme effects.
- A blood clot
- Can have mild to severe effects, depending on its location.
- Blocked flow produces a variety of sensations; some of which include pain, cramps, swelling, tenderness, temperature change, and discolouration.
When flow can be improved, healing follows, and function returns. In terms of turnover time, when flow is impeded slightly, any problems as a result are slower to come forward. The body being of resilient design, can continue to operate on very diminished resource before showing signs of trouble. Gallbladder function, for example, is not considered compromised until it is diminished by 2/3rds. Similarly, only 30% of liver function is required to sustain life.
So, let’s briefly recap here…
Osteopathy treats structural obstructions to health;
health is being defined as unobstructed flow.
This would signify that there is an external, palpable expression of dis-ease;
so dis-ease has form?
Correct! There is ALWAYS an external, palpable expression of ANY form of dis-ease. For ease of discussion, we call this a structural blockage; it has form that we can feel and work with to change. It is precisely what we are interfacing with and is how we objectively evaluate our treatment plan. The path we are on together at Osteopathy Way is essentially about exploring what’s required to restore flow so that health can return.
It is important to note that Osteopathic Manual Therapy (OMT) is not a sufficient means of therapy for every form of structural blockage; the role OMT plays is contextual. The timing of intervention and the depth of the complaint, collectively define its therapeutic role as corrective, preventative, and/or palliative.
*Dis-ease is to mean, not at ease. This broadens our understanding of wellness and allows us to discuss any and all complaints under one collective umbrella.
COMING SOON: What does a Structural Blockage feel like?