From the book
Any disease is preceded by a slow shift of the functional integrity of the whole system. Symptoms and signs are the early indications of a system not comfortable with itself. Giving these symptoms names like irritable bowel disease, migraine may be logical, but they say nothing about the nature of the unique way that a person’s system is trying to deal with all its stress factors. In this process, we may be missing something that may be crucial for that person. It is important to find the underlying dysfunctions. These dysfunctional processes cannot usually be localised in the way the disease is localised for the simple reason that a human being is not a machine, but a complex system with feedback loops trying to maintain homeostasis. Most diseases are not a result of a single physiological problem localised in a small part of the body or a single organ. Instead, they are due to the interactions of multiple organ systems and multiple physiological and biochemical pathways with lifestyle and environmental influences and genetic predisposition.
An osteopath has his focus at the level of dysfunction, and can, by his techniques, restore the human system to a better function.
This book has its focus on the thorax. Knowledge of normal anatomy and physiology is the basis for any osteopathic treatment. But the thorax and its organs are more than just dysfunctions of the skeletal structures, heart and lungs. The complex anatomical and physiological interactions in this region, placed into the osteopathic models, help the osteopath in his search for the right diagnostic and therapeutic tools in daily practice.