Are you a flowing river or a stagnant pond?

By Dr Guy Ashburner | March 8, 2020

Are you a flowing river or a stagnant pond?

We conclude that when the fluids of the body are stopped in the fascia, organs and other parts of the system, stagnation, fermentation, heat and general confusion will follow …

Dr. A.T. Still, D.O. —Osteopathy Research and Practice

In the closing days of World War I, a form of influenza (“flu”) appeared. The influenza pandemic of 1917-1918 claimed more lives than the war. The osteopathic profession showed the value of osteopathic manipulative treatment during this pandemic by reducing patient mortality rate by using lymphatic treatment techniques and osteopathic manipulative treatment. Dr. A.T. Still, M. D., an American Civil War surgeon in the second half of the 19th century in North America discovered a system of natural immunity prior to the treatment for back pain or any other muscle and joint problems. Dr Still founded osteopathy in 1874. A key principle of osteopathy is that the movement of body fluids is essential to the maintenance of health. So that there is a relationship between structure and function, which means that, the structure of the body affects the functioning of various organs and body systems.

Altered breathing (respiratory) mechanics may predispose to congestive changes, decreased lymphatic flow, venous return and fluid (oedema) formation like a stagnant pond instead of a flowing river. The musculoskeletal component of poor breathing mechanics may be caused by poor posture, injuries and inactivity or high stress which can create areas of contraction, compression or adhesions in muscles and fascia which may impair movement and or altered rib cage and spinal mechanics and restricted motion of the thoracic diaphragm as well as impacting on the functioning of the nervous, lymphatic and vascular systems. These changes can lead to insufficient oxygen and nutrient distribution to tissues, reduced venous blood and lymphatic return, impaired immune system function and insufficient removal of metabolic waste products from the body. Your immune system’s vessels don’t have a pump so it relies on muscular contraction and changes in pressure to move lymphatic fluid. Natural, posturally correct and frequent whole body movement keeps those fluids flowing freely.

By diagnosing and treating motion restrictions and the increased tension within your body, the Osteopath helps you to restore mobility and to activate the therapeutic process that aids normal physiology, healing and homeostasis (self-regulating mechanism of the body). If the body’s homeostasis is out of balance and diseases can take over. Treatment is aimed at reducing obstructions to circulation caused by tight muscles, ribs and spinal joints that are not moving, organs (spleen) that are not pumping, nervous system that needs decompression, and immune (lymphatic) channels that need unblocking. Osteopathic treatment may include cranial osteopathy, joint articulation and release, myofascial release and lymphatic pump techniques.

By rebalancing the nervous system, by restoring the motion in your joints and organs and enhancing their function, your body’s function and equilibrium are optimized. In conjunction with a balanced lifestyle, osteopathic treatment may help you strengthen your immune system naturally.Osteopathy is no replacement to any other medical procedures or therapies. Current research has shown the osteopathic manual therapy can improve lymphatic flow and even positively support other medical treatments.


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