Holistic Profession of Osteopathy
By Dr. Pierre
Bachand, DC, DO,.
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in a 70-year old patient disappears in 10 seconds, and does not
return. A basset hound is spared back surgery (and his person
spared a $2,000 vet bill) by one osteopathic treatment. A twenty-something
woman bleeding for 41 days has her menses restored to normal after
one osteopathic session. Miraculous?
healing brought about through osteopathy may seem mysterious and
magical, but it isn't hocus-pocus. Nor is it faith healing. I've
seen wonderful healing in the most skeptical patients, and animals
are not swayed by the placebo effect.
me state here that the above cases are among the more dramatic
I‘ve experienced; whether I can help anyone depends on numerous
factors, and the time required for healing varies widely. Osteopathy
is a hands-on system of healing in the Vitalistic tradition, based
on the belief that the body can heal itself, given the right circumstances
and environment. "Structure governs function," stated
A. T. Still, osteopathy's originator. As such, body parts must
be structurally sound, in their proper position, and unobstructed,
or the body will not function correctly. Structural problems can
be obvious...a sprained ankle will prevent normal walking, - less
obvious - tension in the pericardium resulting from a blow to
the chest may produce heart palpitations. Osteopathy is the detection
and removal of these "obstacles" to normal function,
using a wide variety of hands-on techniques, including HVLA (high-velocity
low-amplitude) thrust techniques, soft-tissue, visceral manipulation,
and cranial osteopathy. Cranial-sacral therapy is becoming widely
known, yet few realize it's actually part of the osteopathic repertory;
the originator of cranial-sacral therapy was Dr. W. G. Sutherland,
an osteopath trained by Dr. Still himself.
does one discover what's going on inside? An osteopath's hands
are sensitive instruments, able to detect subtle abnormalities
in bodily structures. A refined knowledge of anatomy is essential,
as the osteopath must "see" what he is feeling in order
to assess what is going on. An osteopathic assessment is not a
medical diagnosis, - as the patient often already has this (e.g.
"tennis elbow","sciatica". Rather, osteopathic
assessment is descriptive of what is - tension, immobility, rigidity,
displacement - the structures involved where the source of the
is holistic, treating people, not symptoms. The patients history
and present condition - mental, emotional, spiritual and physical
- is taken into consideration during consultation and treatment.
Social, environmental, and lifestyle factors are also weighed.
these days of patient-directed healthcare, patients are responsible
for choosing a qualified therapist or doctor. "By their fruits
shall you know them" is a helpful maxim to keep in mind.
Talk to people who have seen the person in question. Investigate
the practitioner's qualifications. Is there a registry or association
to which he belongs? An osteopath should have completed an osteopathic
program of several years of study. Attending seminars annually
definitely furthers professional growth, but does not replace
the systematic foundational studies in principles and techniques
of osteopathy as a holistic therapy.
Pierre Bachand, DC, DO, can be reached at (902) 527-2662 in Halifax
& Bridgewater, NS and (902) 628-1623 in Charlottetown, PEI.
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