Each osteopath has a very personal perception of his relationship to the patient and therefore a different definition of Osteopathy. Whatever these differences are, life is complex and the difference rewarding:
“The hyper-specialization of science joins the inability to think what is global, connected, and complex. Science ignores the complexity of reality”.
Edgar Morin, research director at the CNRS
Osteopathy focuses on mobility restrictions and their correction. This approach, codified by Still, is not so recent:
“It is necessary to possess a solid knowledge of the spine, because many affections are indeed caused by a defective state of this organ”
HIPPOCRATE De Articulis §45.
Mobility restrictions, or osteopathic dysfunctions, are the consequence of a neurological disorder prepared well in advance. The nervous system, a great messenger, bringing together all the tissues of an organism, is obviously the key element to try to understand how all the symptoms associated with an osteopathic lesion can interact and especially how osteopathic manipulation can work?
How can joint disruption (bone and soft tissues) have local and distant repercussions, be in relation with other pathological factors, be detected and favourably corrected by osteopathic manipulation and, consequently, all associated disturbances?
For a physiologist, it seems reasonable to think that the resistance to movement, which characterizes the articular osteopathic lesion, is the product of the action of one or more of the muscles that mobilize the incriminated joint. The muscles are the only active tissues, producers but also shock absorbers of the movement, this antagonistic role allowing to make the movement harmonious! These two functions of creation and energy absorption are based on the same cellular mechanism, that of contraction. The osteopathic diagnosis is based on the search for ease or restriction of mobility: it is in its braking functions that the muscle can become the major and highly variable obstacle to mobility in the joints.
In structural techniques, velocity and amplitude are important criteria.
In functional techniques, emphasis is placed on ease of movement, and resistance to motion in the metamere lesion appears to vary exponentially, with resistance in a normal metamere varying linearly.
The restriction found in lesioned joints is the active opposition or physiological protest of the muscle against a particular directional movement, and “ease” or facilitation ??? represents co-operation and muscular submission in the opposite direction. This muscular resistance is not due to a phenomenon of inextensibility or viscoelastic disturbance as for the ligaments, but to changes in the degree of activation or deactivation of the contractile mechanism, that is to say in the degree of contraction of the muscle .
Functional techniques go in the direction of easy movement, bringing closer muscle insertions, reducing tension and muscle length. The disparity between the intra- and extra-fused ????? fibres decreases; the movement is slow as opposed to the triggering accident, the central nervous system has time to adjust the level of gamma activity by decreasing the discharge frequency and the muscle can return to its neutral position. The compression of the joints is relieved by the same methods
Treatment must take into account all the disturbances of the body diagram, the associated emotional and visceral disorders, the sensitivity of each person, the use he makes of it, the neuro-motor reprogramming or proprioceptive education if necessary, the correction. defective nutrition, dental rebalancing, soles …
Returning to the CNS: In fact, the spinal cord does not read the signals individually, but rather seems to be dealing with signal complexes presented to it collectively from thousands of information stations. The marrow seems facilitated when the information is contradictory, the signals are unintelligible (sort of seasickness): the high-sensitivity spindles falsely inform that the muscle is stretched almost to the maximum, whereas it is actually shortened. The medullary segment is dismayed and becomes disturbing for any physiological activity in which it participates. A manipulation consists in restoring an adequate sensory function allowing the segment to work harmoniously. The sympathetic hyperactivity induces an increase in the afferent discharge of the spindle, facilitating self-maintenance of the vicious cycle of osteopathic dysfunction.
Life is not composed of visceral functions, we do not peristalte, we do not vasodilate … all activity sets in motion all or part of the body, and the substratum, essential for all these activities, is the contraction of the skeletal muscles . Life is expressed through the contractile processes of striated muscle, myriad of carefully controlled movements. Implicit conclusion in the globalist osteopathic perspective, the musculoskeletal system is the primary machinery of life. This primary biological machinery is directed by the central nervous system, which acts in response to continuous sensory information: the function of heterokinesis . The viscera are concerned with the care and maintenance of this neuro-musculoskeletal system, providing food, elimination, defence, repair: function of homeostasis. The mediator indispensable for permanent adjustments of visceral to somatic is the sympathetic nervous system, under the CNS (hypothalamus especially), sensory information and chemical modifications of the blood.
Health requires that there is a continuous harmony between the visceral functions and the demands of the soma and the environment. Health requires a smooth functioning of our somatic machinery (neuro-musculo-skeletal), which is the source of most of the sensory information that reaches the spinal cord.
As a result, poor health and illness can be attributed to a communication breakdown between the two main body components, the soma and the visceral. Disorders resulting from this rupture can occur in several ways: – when the demand of the musculoskeletal system is excessive or inappropriate. – when the CNS receives such faulty information that it can not respond in an appropriate way – when the viscera provides inappropriate, inadequate or confusing responses to somatic demands.
The tensions, the imbalances, that reign in an injured tissue, be it a bone, a joint, a ligament or a muscle, are continually reported to the marrow thus blurring the transmission of normal sensory patterns.
This interference associated with that due to nerve irritation brings out, notice one or more individual segments as well as tissues or organs of the same metamere.
Thus, the function organized vertically in the marrow becomes manifestly horizontal at the level affected (the facilitated level) and the clinical disorder must then be seen under a segmental angle.
Offensive or offensive tissues present detectable changes on the surface of the body: muscular tension, tissue texture, visceral and circulatory function, secretory function … all these elements being an integral part of the osteopathic diagnosis.
The osteopath seeks local signs, mobility restrictions, muscular tensions, tissue and vascular changes, associated visceral disorders and uses the musculoskeletal system to break a vicious circle whose essential element is medullary. Medullary facilitation makes it possible to understand, by the necessary summation of multiple stimuli, that a “blockage” does not happen by chance: the region has been preparing for a long time to react in a brutal and excessive way to a rather trivial triggering factor. (The small walk, the small slip …) any phenomenon is interdependent of what precedes it.