How Osteopathy Can Help
The goal in the treatment sessions is to assist your body in balancing the three-dimensional fascial web such that you can stand, sit, and move with ease. The ultimate goal is for you to forget you have a body - to bring you to a place where you can participate in all the activities you want, and you are not worried that your back, knees or any other body part will regret it later.
If you were to squeeze a partially inflated balloon, the shape of the entire balloon changes. If you were to squeeze it in two or three places, the balloon would change shape dramatically, depending on where you squeeze. If one of the squeezes were permanent due to a restriction in the plastic, the balloon's shape or tensegrity would be permanently altered.
Tensegrity is defined as integrity through tension. In the case of a balloon, tensegrity is achieved by the air tensioning the plastic. Tents and geodesic domes are examples of architectural tensegrity structures. They are stabilized only through tension. If one were to pull one guy line on a tent more tightly than the others, the tent would stand lopsided as a result of its unbalanced tensegrity.
Similarly, the body-balloon changes shape depending on the position we are in, and a permanent restriction or "squeeze" somewhere, may explain why we hurt in particular positions and not in others. In some positions there is adequate slack in the web to accommodate the compromised area, whereas in other positions, the slack has been used up, causing pain or an inability to move well.
Furthermore, the blood vessels and nerves are strings that run throughout the body, from the head to the fingertips and the toes, and they form two separate, yet interrelated, whole-body trees within our body balloon. If there is a boulder holding down the root of the tree in the foot, it will alter the shape of the entire tree within the body-balloon, as the strings of the body-tree are pulled inferiorly towards the foot, just like the tent would be pulled towards a tighter guy line.
For example, if the sciatic nerve is unable to slide within a moving leg because it is adhered, it would not be surprising if it pulls a vertebra off axis where the nerve roots exit the spine, potentially causing sciatica, and a disk problem. Veins and nerves are not stretchy at all, so if they are adhered firmly to any other tissue, the body-tree has no choice but to be pulled towards the adhesion, which in turn might alter posture, causing pain elsewhere.
Ideally, our body is stabilized through tension as opposed to compression. When our body-web, or tensegrity, is distorted, parts of the web become restricted, which may compress joints, and/or alter their axis of rotation, potentially causing pain and reducing range-of-motion.
Treatments take into consideration the positions you feel your discomfort, so slack can be achieved in those positions. Your feedback with respect to where you notice pain or pulling is important, as it is likely to change locations during your treatment.