Osteopathy deals with the relationship between the structure of the body’s framework and its function. It looks carefully at the effect mechanical compromise has on the body’s fluid circulatory systems. Osteopathy was developed by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, (1828-1917), a medical practitioner, who became increasingly dissatisfied with the medical practices of his time. His conviction was that therapeutic agents were toxic substances imposed on an already diseased body. Dr. Still reasoned that if the structure of the musculo-skeletal system is regulated, then the body would naturally restore and repair itself. Osteopaths also believe that many diseases relate to spinal disorders, or structural malfunctioning. The osteopath seeks to bring the body and the spine into total alignment as a means of returning the body to balance and health. Techniques used vary but can include soft tissue stretching, joint articulation and manipulation, rhythmic joint movements and muscle energy techniques. Although there are no study options available in South Africa as yet, there is an Osteopathic Association of South Africa. See more on www.osteo.co.za

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