Osteopathy is a complex, deeply effective form of manual therapy which had been developed by the U.S. American physician A.T. Still (1828-1917) and is based on anatomical, physiological and biomechanical principles. It understands the organism as an entity, taking into account the interactions between different areas and tissues of the body. Problems at the spine, for example, may be caused by increased tension in the scope of the inner organs. In order to treat the cause and not just the symptoms of such specific problems, the relevant organ itself has to be treated.
This can be done using special techniques of visceral osteopathy, which also has an impact on disturbances at the organ itself (e.g. indigestion, bladder problems, functional heart problems or gynaecological problems). The musculoskeletal system is treated using parietal osteopathy (e.g. in case of back pain, joint problems at the extremities or whiplash), and the head and the nervous system are treated using craniosacral osteopathy (e.g. in case of headache, vertigo, tinnitus, chronic sinusitis or middle ear infections, or mandibular problems). Often, techniques from those different areas are combined in order to take into account any and all factors which might have an impact on a problem.
On principle, osteopathy tries to support or reactivate self-regulation of the organism and thus its self-healing capacities. The basis for self-healing of the body is a healthy metabolism which functions well. A criterion for this is the dynamics and mobility inherent in the relevant tissue which – or the lack of which – the osteopath can perceive with their hands. The resulting treatment is mostly very gentle and pleasant since only very slight therapeutic stimuli are applied in general. Osteopathic treatment reaches its limits with the growing extent of the structural changes a specific problem is based on. In such cases, osteopathy can no longer cure but still reduce the symptoms and prevent possible sequelae.