Osteopaths believe in four fundamental principles; the body is a single integrated unit, the body is inherently self healing, structure and function are intricately interactive and that rational treatment is underpinned by these principles. Few if any health care practitioners would argue with these self-evident axioms however complexity and specialisation have lead some medical theorists to lose sight of the fundamentals of life science.

A fifth principle has been postulated and that is what Andrew Taylor Still referred to as the rule of the artery. This primarily postulates that impeded flow of blood and nerve impulses and or lymph leads to illness. As a consequence treatment that frees up the movement of fluids and nerve impulses is vital to well being.

Furthermore I would postulate, within the osteopathic frame work that as the body is naturally self healing then our initial response to illness and injury should be to support the bodies nature responses and to only intervene to suppress these responses when it is clear that they are de-compensatory.

Massage theories and philosophy 

In western scientific terms we believe that everything is energy; that e=mc2, i.e. energy is mass times the speed of light squared. As a consequence we have come to believe that energy is inherent mobile, we postulate that all things vibrate at different rates, the molecules in solids move slowly, in water the molecules are further apart they are move more rapidly and in air the molecules are far apart and move very rapidly.

In western medicine we have also discovered that people have varying constitution types such as  ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph and this relates to how the layers that form the human germ cell develop.

In layman’s terms these regions of the germ cell control specific specialisations of cell formation. Ectomorphs have developed greater amounts of neural and bone tissue, mesomorphs have developed greater musculature and endomorphs have more visceral tissue.  These tissue types are different in term of the nature of solids they contain, how much fluid they are perfuse with, and how much gas is exchanged and containment happens within their structures.  Intriguingly these variation in type have been part of the ancient Ayurvedic theories and are referred to as vata, pitta and kapha for those interested in that study.

An understanding of the elements that make up these constitution types allows the informed practitioner to subtly vary their therapy to balance an unbalanced constitutions; this includes the correct selection of oil and intensity of treatment as well as lifestyle advise.

Philosophy is about questioning assumed knowledge. For science to progress assumed knowledge must be questioned and not just against empirical evidence but also in the world of logic and analytics . Science requires creative thought to develop hypothesis, science requires philosophy. Osteopathy is founded in a strong axiomatic philosophy.

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