Monday, December 11, 2006

British College of Osteopathic Medicine Teaching Philosophy

Holistic Osteopathy at BCOM

Historically the College has, for many years, promoted the idea that optimal health depends not just on the impact of physical stresses but also the impact of biochemical, environmental and psychological stresses on the individual. Naturopathic osteopathy is a complex interaction which recognises the significance of each of these areas for the individual and attempts to restore a 'healthy balance' by the appropriate treatment and/or advice. These ideas were, at one time, considered to be somewhat radical but, particularly in the last decade, good quality research has confirmed their validity. Following on from these pioneering ideas a whole new area has now opened up in within medical research : the field of bio-psycho-social interaction on health.

Osteopathic Medicine

The therapeutic principles of osteopathic medicine are based on the understanding that the human body functions as a unit and has an inherent ability to self-regulate and self-heal. Holistic, or Naturopathic Osteopathy, as taught and practiced within BCOM's teaching clinics, is based on the Bio-Medico-Psycho-Social model of health care.

The treatment/therapeutic aims are to:

1. identify abnormalites/dysfunctions within the human structure and function.
2. facilitate the body's inherent abilty to self-heal by addressing the physical, bio-chemical, mental and environmental factors that may be either causing, pre-disposing or maintaining the state of disease.
3. empower the patient with knowledge and skills that can be used to not only promote wellbeing but also to prevent recurrence. Osteopathic medicine is therefore not prescriptive but preventative medicine.

Like any other form of healthcare, osteopathic medicine has it's own strengths and weaknesses, and therefore Osteopathic practitioners work closely with other health and medical practitioners in order to provide complete healthcare to patients.

Naturopathy is the particular philosophy which informs our osteopathic approach. The Naturopathic approach retains the fundamental elements of original Hippocratic doctrine.

Naturopathic Osteopaths hold that, in ideal circumstances, the individual has the capacity to adapt to and compensate for a great many (but not all) challenges to health. Under non-ideal circumstances certain adverse factors may result in the patient experiencing symptoms and/or signs of ill health. These adverse factors fall into three main categories: physical stressors, biochemical stressors, psychosocial stressors.

Definition of Osteopathic Medicine

Osteopathic Medicine is a system of manipulation, using the hands to correct joint and tissue abnormalities. Restoring physical and mental well-being, it makes it easier for a patient's body to function normally and use its own recuperative powers more effectively. Naturopathic, or holistic osteopathy focuses on more than diagnosing and treating the structural and mechanical problems of the body. It encompasses looking at diet, lifestyle and mental well-being to restore the state of balance within the total bodily function.


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