The importance of terrain in osteopathy

Mar 20, 2023 | Blog

I discovered the terrain theory on my first day of class at osteopathy school, through the photo of the two fish tanks.

It seemed very simple to me, but it made me reflect on the responsibility we have in our health, since very often we think that the solution is outside of us, that it will come in the form of medicine, vaccine, natural remedy, etc… and despite the fact that all this can be helpful at some point in time, it should not be the way to build our health.

To situate this theory in time, it was in the 19th century that a scientific debate took place between the renowned and famous French scientist Louis Pasteur, who stated that “the disease was produced by the entry of a virus or bacteria”, and by On the other hand, the French physiologist Claude Bernard, who said that “the disease occurs due to a defective or weak state of the terrain.”

This last idea was developed by other doctors and scientists such as Antoine Bechamp, who supported Bernard’s idea, arguing that the microorganisms that live in the body can only proliferate in a favorable terrain for their growth and therefore cannot be the direct cause of the disease.

In osteopathy, when understanding the patient’s health in its full context, we consider the terrain as the physical-mechanical, biochemical and emotional environment of the person.

The importance of the terrain in osteopathy is that, in order for this dynamic and interconnected body where all the parts are related and influence each other to function optimally, it needs this environment to be as favorable as possible. The better the terrain, the more capacity the body will have to self-regulate and heal.

Therefore, beyond treating the symptoms, it will be interesting to bring awareness to the patient in relation to her field if necessary, thus promoting her responsibility in the therapeutic process.

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