Friday, February 1, 2019

The Body as a Functional Unit

By Darryl Gomes, Certified Athletic Therapist, Osteopathic Thesis Writer

This is the 4th and final blog relating to the osteopathic tenets I have been writing about for the past few months. Just to remind you of the osteopathic tenets:
  • Structure Governs Function
  • The Rule of the Artery is Absolute
  • Autoregulation
  • The Body as a Functional Unit

What Does Body as a Functional Unit Mean?

Much like a car, the body is composed of many different systems that allow it to work efficiently. The musculoskeletal, circulatory, digestive, neurological, respiratory, lymphatic, endocrine, urinary, reproductive and integumentary (skin) systems all work together in harmony.

Why is it Important for Me to Understand this Tenet?

If any of these systems don't work properly, the body can experience problems such as bloating, swelling, and inflammation as examples. Understand that all problems start acutely and eventually develop into chronic problems when they are not attended to in a timely manner. 

The human body compensates for a problem from the moment it first occurs. The body will try to deal with the problem for as long as it can by doing things such as: 
  • making other areas more mobile/overworked to make up for restricted joints
  • having the heart pump harder to push fluid that stagnates in areas like the lower leg
  • shifting weight onto one limb more than the other to avoid painful movements
The body handles problems like this on a daily basis for a long period of time without you even noticing it. However, once the body loses the ability to compensate for the original problem, individuals usually start to feel pain and notice problems that they never noticed before. 

How Does this Apply to Me?

It's simple: ask yourself what are your compensations. Did you sprain an ankle a year ago, and now notice that you get headaches? Do you type a lot at work and notice how much your neck and upper back hurt? Maybe you have been under a lot of stress for a very long time, and you notice that you get burning (anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours) after eating a meal?

Sometimes the compensations are easy to recognize, but some others aren't. Your body doesn't have to make sense of the compensations: it does what it needs to do in order to work as a functional unit.

How Can Osteopathy Help Me?

Osteopathy involves finding the compensations and removing them so that the body can return to working optimally, as it did before the original problem occurred. 

If you have any questions regarding this tenet, or osteopathy in general, feel free to email me or call for a free consultation.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.

Stay active!