Holistic Health Practices/Part 29

By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2008
Polarity therapy is the practice of channeling energy from the healer into the client to allegedly restore or balance the body’s repository of mystical energy (chi, prana) believed to flow between positive and negative “poles” in the body.

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What is osteopathy?

Today, osteopathic physicians hold traditional medical degrees and, therefore, generally employ scientific medicine. While in practice, most osteopaths may be little different from conventional physicians, some seek to maintain the distinctives of their profession. Classical osteopathy is the practice of physical manipulation designed to help restore the body’s health. Developed by Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917), an eccentric country doctor interested in metaphysics, osteopathy sees body structure and function as interdependent; thus, abnormal structure may affect the functions of the physical body. If the physician can restore proper structure, health should improve and/or be maintained.

Certain osteopathic concepts present problems. For example, the osteopathic lesion (in nature and importance similar to the chiropractic subluxation) is not scientifically demonstrated. Further, some theories and approaches of traditional or in some cases modern osteopaths, such as “cranial osteopathy,” are rejected by medical science. Further, conventional medicine does not place the degree of importance upon the musculoskeletal system or accept the claims of some osteopaths concerning its relation to organ function.

On the other hand, some osteopathic research, as with chiropractic research, may prove valuable because it is investigating new areas unique to these disciplines. As a whole, osteopathy appears to present legitimate but occasionally marginal or suspect medical practice. One also finds infrequent New Age/Edgar Cayce associations related to some early theories and modern practices of osteopathy.

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