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The individual is a complex organism, consisting of a very large number of interconnected systems that are more than the individual sum of its parts.
Each system interacts with others, as well as the external environment, creating a constant state of flux. The body moves, grows, changes and adapts. However, it is also afflicted by a variety of similarly complex malign systems.
This poses a challenge for osteopathic therapist in the pursuit of allostasis (balance) in the body and has led to the development of more focused and subtle approaches such as Cranial Osteopathy and Biodynamic Osteopathy.
Dr. William Garner Sutherland took the first steps to refining the field of osteopathy in the early 20th century. He made vital observations of the body being in "constant rhythmic motion" throughout a variety of interlocking and overlapping systems which had a substantial impact in how self-healing was understood.
The osteopathic philosophy which developed from this was focused on deeper understanding and subtle adjustments, rather than the more forceful approaches which preceded it. This delicate approach stems from its roots as a treatment of the head and skull, an area which cannot be approached in a haphazard way.
Cranial osteopathy has been likened to a close "reading" of the body, observing and learning from its signals rather than being keen to jump in with manipulation. This gentle nature makes it particularly suited for the treatment of infants.
Carrying forward the legacy of Dr. Sutherland, Dr. James Jealous extended the understanding of the human body's intricate complexities. His approach was grounded in a respect for the natural laws and foundations which underpin organic growth, development and movement. In particular, there is a certain emphasis on embryological development and the body that this creates.
The term "biodynamics" emerged from these embryo observations and the understanding of the way in which cells developed to form complex and interlinked biological structures. The way in which these fields of activity operated was linked to fluid transfer in the mature body.
The main advantage that biodynamic osteopathy offers is this whole-of-body approach. This is different from conventional osteopathy, which seeks to isolate the body into sections in order to pinpoint areas of "lesion".
Rather than focusing on suppressing symptoms or fixating on disease, the biodynamic difference involves taking aim at the bigger picture, which is unconstrained function and overall health of the entire organism.
Osteopathic Sense is the primary Australian practitioner of this innovative osteopathic practice.