Five main models of structure-function
1) The biomechanical model views the body as an integration of somatic components that relate as a mechanism for posture and balance.
2) The respiratory/circulatory model concerns itself with the maintenance of extracellular and intracellular environments through the unimpeded delivery of oxygen and nutrients, and the removal of cellular waste products.
3) The neurological model considers the influence of spinal facilitation, proprioceptive function, the autonomic nervous system and activity of nociceptors (pain fibres) on the function of the neuroendocrine immune network.
4) The biopsychosocial model recognizes the various reactions and psychological stresses which can affect patients' health and well-being.
5) The bioenergetic model recognizes that the body seeks to maintain a balance between energy production, distribution and expenditure.
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Osteopathy (also called manual osteopathic medicine), according to the W.H.O., relies on manual contact for diagnosis and treatment. It respects the relationship of body, mind and spirit in health and disease; it lays emphasis on the structural and functional integrity of the body and the body's intrinsic tendency for self-healing.
Osteopathic practitioners use a wide variety of therapeutic manual techniques to improve physiological function and/or support homeostasis that has been altered by somatic (body framework) dysfunction, i.e. impaired or altered function of related components of the somatic system; skeletal, arthrodial and myofascial structures; and related vascular, lymphatic, and neural elements.
Healing is based on the concept that a human being is a dynamic functional unit, in which all parts are interrelated and which possesses its own self-regulatory and self-healing mechanisms. One essential component of osteopathic health care is osteopathic manual therapy, typically called osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), which refers to an array of manipulative techniques that may be combined with other treatments or advice, for example on diet, physical activity and posture, or counseling.