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Osteopathy

Let us be realistic,
what patient could understand a definition of the word osteopathy written by an osteopath?

While I was studying osteopathy at Belmont-sur-Lausane, it took me nearly five years to approach the concept of this word even though there was a course teaching the importance of this notion. However, one of the red comments left by my director on my Master's thesis was crystal clear, I was far away from having understood the concept of osteopathy… In the French dictionary, the word « ostéopathie » is still defined by its primary meaning which is a set of bone pathologies ('os' meaning 'bone' in French). Secondly, we can read that it is a manual, therapeutic method which uses vertebral, muscular and visceral technics.

Common questions that I hear too often : « Do you give massages? » Sorry to disappoint you, but no, I do not.

« Is osteopathy only for bone problems ? ». From the public's point of view, it seems hard to avoid the influence of the suffix « pathos » in the definition of this therapy. For Claude Tinturier, osteopath D.O., osteopathy is a healing art and science, which considers the structural state and the mobility within as the most important simple factors to maintaining health and recovering from functional disorders. Probably not the easiest definition to follow for sombody who does not belong to the medical community. More simply, osteopathy is a really helpful way to alleviate body pains. It also helps people to regain balance in the day-to-day world we define as stressful.

«Why do some osteopaths use hard manipulations and others soft ones?»

It is true that not all the techniques can have positive effects on every single patient. My view is that every technique, soft or hard, has been proven to be efficient and no therapist should take a side and rely only on one osteopathic technique. It is essential to adapt treatment to the patient if we want to remain holistic and not to oblige the patient to adapt to our treatment.

When I listen to my patients, I « put their vertebra back into place », « move back their nerves inside their gains », « put in what was out ». Once, one of my patients thanked me for helping him to recover from a « pelvis luxation ». In reality, I listen to them, try to understand the origin of their pains, and then treat them with what I think of the most adapted techniques to help them to recover.

Osteopathy is not the right word to design a very efficient therapeutic method to treat functional disorders, but I am quite sure that no one understands what a functional disorder means…