The AOA defined 6 Osteopathic Principles
Concepts of Health
3 stage diagnosis and treatment plans
General systems theory
Word count 1,998
This essay focuses on the integration of the 6 main principles outlined by the American Osteopathic Association with my consideration of them at a deeper level during the osteopathic approach.
From the days of Still we are reminded that structure and function are a primary focus reciprocally interrelated-so much so that the basic structure of the skeleton and the parts that make it up are designed to operate a certain mechanical way. The physiological and deeper functional aspects are also governed by the dynamic interplay of human thought and actions. Imbalances have an effect on health and it is the mechanical activity within tissues that create barriers to communication. Using the sacrum as an example, sacral inclination can influence spinal mechanics in at least two planes but also the rest of the body. The sacrum needs to be relatively level to work as one with the spine’s flexibility in managing locomotion. Any deviation from the norm may mean changing the inclination of the sacrum motion between the ilia or by the motion of the pelvis on the hip joints to restore balance. The arrangement of soft tissues around the sacroiliacs, the LS junction and the pelvic are complex and ensure a highly integrated mechanism to orientate sacral motion between the spinal column, the trunk, pelvis and lower limb. We therefore consider the body is a unit, and the components which make up the whole. At this point it is valid to place overall examination of the spine, the extremities, the body cavities, and the viscera to appreciate how the physical restrictions in any of these parts or tissues are interfering with normal circulation and subsequently the emotional well being of the patient. In this case the SIJ the pelvis, ligaments around the sacrum, the muscles particularly piriformis, the Lumbar sacral junction, the symphis pubis, torsions acting from below, torsions acting from above, gait, the hip, the knee, the foot, stability and the lower limb would be examined in an ongoing thought process. If dysfunction means being able to ease the sacrum’s function and restore mobility, the aim of the treatment then could be to create better balance around the pelvis in order to restore co-ordination. From clinic observation I have noticed how an experienced practioner’s hands become instinctual and an immediate rapport is established between the body’s tissues so treatment can proceed and therefore the maintenance of an effective circulation can be aided. “Find it fix it and leave it alone” (still) this allows a degree of subtle movement to take place and allow the patient’s body to adapt and begin the task of full repair itself. Thus follows the principle that the body has self regulatory and self healing mechanisms, to quote still further “work on the problem areas in an effective way with the aim not to return to the same place time and time again. Once corrected the body should be left alone to make use of the intervention and adapt its physiology and internal health as a result” It is the tissue health, the immunity and the functioning of the nervous system which allows the body to function as a self regulatory and self healing mechanism and the importance of normal circulation of fluids around the body govern this and justify the rule of the artery being supreme. Pathological conditions may be perpetuated by poor fluid dynamics or impaired lymphatic flow and it may be possible that by reducing biomechanical stress on various key structures limitations to fluid flow could become reduced and the body could better manage a disorder. Altered biomechanics follow the same principle and could therefore benefit from therapeutic measures that release surrounding soft...