Osteopathy is to medicine what dance is to anatomy or what oenology is to grape chemistry or vine culture. Which means it is close to medicine without being included in it. Osteopathy is an art as dance, which needs repetitive work on body technics, in order to accomplish a movement so fine and just in its gesture expression that the grace within it, is felt by the attentive spectator and by the dancer’s body as being accomplished. In dance, the link is between the dancer and the spectator. In osteopathy, the ’dancer’ is the practitioner linked to the patient’s structure and tissues, the ’spectator’ is the internal perception (kinesthesic, proprioceptive and nociceptive) of the patient. The ’accuracy’ of the osteopathic gesture is when the patient ’feels released’.
Drawing from Réné Lavatelli, etiopath D.E. in the book : ’vision, toucher, relation thérapeutique’, kindly given by the author.
The doctor (veterinarian) oberves and analyses anatomically body structures, understands their cell, tissue, organ, neurologic physiology and psychology, through common used scientific knowledge. He can find help in complementary tests (imagery, biologic analysis). He thinks and builts a diagnosis accepted by the medical corpus. Practitioners have through their medical act and through their relation with their patient, a ’feeling’, a ’degree of conviction’ going with their diagnosis. It is called ’clinical sense’, less present in the new practitioner compared to the older one who has experimented differences between these two sides of medical diagnosis : perception of life and clinical signs analysis. In neuro-musculo-articular biomechanic and in visceral neuro-physiological dysfunctions, there is a large part of clinical cases which show dysfunctions without any lesions and which escape to medical instrumental observation. In those last cases, the practitioner’s ’clinical sense’ shows all its value and importance. Indeed, it must built itself on listening to the patient and feeling every signs shown by the ’sick body’. This is here that the practitioner (veterinarian here) is, must be or is able to become an osteopath. He must have trained his perception to another way of listening to a ’sick body’ : in the silence of a link betwen him and the patient, through his manual perception. Yes, yes, it is possible. Beyond what he learnt during his studies (and can not forget), he has reached a perception-palpation mode due to his osteopathy training which has given him a richer clinical sense.
Osteopathy studies give manual technics based on anatomic and neuromuscular knowledge as well as biomechanic concepts (tensegrity, medullar traction force) and ’primary respiratory mechanism’. Ostepathy studies teach and develop subjectives and objectives notions of manual perception and the way to melt it into a physiologic or pathologic model.
Learning osteopathy allows the practitioner to widen his clinical sense and to have a richer therapeutic panel. Nevertheless, time is necessary for the osteopath apprentice to take into account the modification of his paradigms in his disease and health vision. Osteopathic studies are mainly post university ones for the time being.
Now that veterinarians would like to be considered as ’legal’ osteopaths, it is urgent that veterinary universities include osteopathy into their normal degree course.