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The Healing Power of Touch

In the words of Harvard Researcher and M. D. Andrew Weil, “Manipulation seems to me a good technique to know, because it may improve the circulation of blood and nervous energy to ailing parts of the body.”

Osteopaths are trained extensively in the treatment of body structure in order to assist the body in releasing its own unique healing capabilities. However, hands-on healing therapies date back to early Hebrew, Egyptian, and Oriental practices. The ancient Mayans and Incas of South America also utilised methods of joint manipulation. In the 16th Century Ambroise Pare, a brilliant French surgeon, began to employ massage techniques for joint stiffness and wound healing after surgery.

 

In 1911 English orthopaedist, Sir Robert Jones, summarised the mechanical benefits of manipulation as, “assisting in the venous return of blood to the heart, aiding lymph movement out of tissues, stretching the connective tissues, and stimulating the internal organs.”

 

Clinical and experimental evidence indicate that connective tissue can be altered through deep tactile pressure and stretching. This has several practical applications:

  1. Treating muscular “contractures” following long periods of immobility.
  2. Increasing the range of motion in joints after muscle strain or joint strain.
  3. Breaking down of scar tissue caused by trauma (e.g. Injury or surgery).

Hence, manual medicine can be used not only to treat disease but also to invoke health.

In summary, the human body is a unique and complex organism which not only seems to respond to “The Healing Power of Touch,” but also seems to need it in order to thrive.

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