Principles of osteopathy | The International Academy of Osteopathy IAO

Principles of osteopathy

Osteopathy is mainly based on the following principles:

1. Interaction between structure and function

Only a structure that is completely intact can function properly.
Example: A car that has lost a wheel does not drive well. Or: When a car is stationary for too long, it will not start.
This is just the same for human structures and functions. The osteopath repairs the blocked movement of a particular structure.

2. The body is an organic unit

All structures and functions of the body are inseparably connected to each other. This is known as holism, and means that the whole is more than merely the sum of the constituent parts of that whole.
A problem in our body creates changes not just locally but also "remotely".
Example: A punctured tyre. There is not only a problem locally (the hole in the tyre) but also remotely (the car no longer drives properly).
The osteopath knows that the loss of movement in a foot can cause pain not only in the foot itself, but also in the lower back.

3. The body contains self-regulating mechanisms

The body has the natural property that it keeps itself in balance as much as possible. We are not always aware of the fact that our body is permanently fighting against all manner of aggressions, such as climatic changes, microbes, gravity, etc. By treating losses of mobility in all structures, the osteopath manages to stimulate this self-healing force. Obviously osteopathy cannot cure all complaints, and so collaboration with traditional medicine is also essential.