St. Petersburg Institute of Osteopathy
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What is osteopathy


Osteopathy is a branch of ​​clinical medicine which includes provision of medical care to patients with somatic dysfunctions* at the stages of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. It is based on the anatomical and functional entity of the body. Manual methods aimed to restore the body’s self-correction capability are used in this branch of medicine.

*Somatic dysfunction is a reversible change in the structural and functional state of the body tissues, characterized by the alteration of mobility, microcirculation, nervous regulation, and production and transmission of endogenous rhythms.

Biomechanical constituent of the somatic dysfunction is a functional lesion, manifested in disturbance of flexibility and balance of  the body tissues; rhythmogenic constituent of the somatic dysfunction is a functional lesion , manifested in disturbance of production and transmission of the endogenous rhythms; the neural constituent of the somatic dysfunction is a functional lesion  manifested in disturbance of the nervous regulation.

Somatic dysfunctions can manifest in the body globally, regionally and locally.  In such a way we can characterize the patient in accordance with the biomechanical, rhythmogenic and neural disturbances. In case of dysadaptation , somatic dysfunction can cause clinical manifestations located in a different place.

 If necessary, the osteopath also uses findings of instrumental tests. The objective of osteopathy is to eliminate the cause of disease and activate protective forces of the organism.

Osteopathy is to assist the organism "to gain an understanding of itself" and find internal resources for normalizing its functioning. Osteopathy uses neither a scalpel nor pills; its methods are absolutely harmless and painless but effectiveness of osteopathic treatment is in many cases several times higher than that of the traditional medicine. Often the disease which had been treated for years and even decades without any success begins to recede already after first osteopathic treatment sessions.


Osteopathy is philosophy, science and art simultaneously


It is philosophy because osteopathy is interested in humans as a whole. It does not focus on any single symptom, lesion or disease as an indication of functional disturbance.

First of all, it takes an interest in an individual on his or her suffering, and in the imbalance him or her experiences. It is a well-known fact in osteopathy that very often the cause is far from the symptom. Osteopathy investigates human as a single whole, a global human in the unity of the body and spirit.


It is a science because osteopathic reasoning is based on anatomy, biomechanics and physiology.

An opsteopath is a "mechanic" of the human body. He monitors the normal function of the healthy body in order to reveal in due time and prevent disturbances, dysfunctions and diseases.


It is art because it is the product of the activity of the "clever" hand.

The long-term and thorough training of the hand in contact with the body, its anatomy and physiology is the way to mastering the skill of the therapeutic touch.

The osteopath’s hands are able to feel, see, think and reveal dysfunctions in tissues or fascias, joints or organs which lost their mobility. The manual sensation of rhythms occurring in the depths of the body is the main point for osteopaths, an indicator (sign) for understanding of health and pathology.