“Omicron Beta Research” is a non-profit association whose main purpose is scientific research within the osteopathic field. The basic idea is to encourage the integration and cooperation of professionals coming from different areas of study in order to create a productive environment in which new ideas can develop and osteopathy, within its effectiveness and its limits, can be tested in light of the knowledges springing from the osteopathic, biological and medical domains.
Andrew Taylor Still, an American MD and father of Osteopathy stated right from the beginning that osteopathy was meant for the cure of illnesses. Within the last few years, the public has developed an idea about osteopathy which is very far from the original concepts. It is often thought of as a remedy for musculoskeletal ailments exclusively (Low Back Pain, neck pain, sciatic pain) or functional disorders to some extent (gastritis, headaches, IBS, dysmenorrhea) making it look like a sort of specialized physical therapy.
What happens is osteopaths themselves often steer clear of pathology, thus betraying the original principles as intended by A.T. Still. Osteopathy has great potential and it may be applied to address certain types of pathology as well.
The goal of “Omicron Beta” is to test this potential with scientific rigour. Osteopathy is not a treatment modality. It would be more appropriate to refer to it as Osteopathic Medicine, as they do in the United States. As a medicine, it cannot nor should it be considered an alternative medicine but rather a complimentary medicine which compliments, integrates and supports conventional medicine.
According to Still and to many contemporary physiologists, a pathological process (e.g. inflammatory, infectious, cancerous) that is starting to develop in the body will inevitably express itself through symptoms and dysfunctions not only in the musculoskeletal system, but in the nervous, endocrine and immune system as well. This is possible through anatomical, nervous and vascular connections between the internal milieu of the body (organs, glands) and the external one (musculoskeletal system, skin).
Furthermore, on a microscopic level, there will be a disruption in the external and internal mechanical environment of the cells belonging to those tissues.
This, translated into osteopathic terms, is what we call “somatic dysfunction”, that is to say a restriction in tissue and/or articular mobility which mirrors an altered metabolic and biochemical process. This mechanical disruption of the cellular environment produces changes in the cell physiology which will lead to a functional disturbance and possibly trigger processes that might facilitate the development of pathology.
Osteopathy aims at restoring this mechanical environment in which cells, tissues, organs and the whole organism can work efficiently as a unit.
The mechanical and biochemical environment are reciprocally interrelated. Mechanics and biochemistry are two sides of the same coin. In the last few years, a huge body of studies (Harvard Medical School, Massachussetts Institute of technology etc) has been focusing on the importance of mechanical stressors acting upon the cell showing that these are to be held accountable for major pathological processes (e.g. oncogenesis) or disorders of the DNA replication and transcription.
Osteopaths utilize manipulations, that is to say mechanical forces applied on different tissues (e.g. bones, muscles, joints, organs and glands) with the aim of reestablishing the correct mechanical homeostasis in those areas.
This allows for the cells to function efficiently and creates the premises for correct physiology and for the self-healing processes of the body to take place.
Restoring physiology and stimulating the self-healing mechanisms are two of the fundamental principles of osteopathy. The first one states that structure and function are reciprocally interrelated. According to the second principle, the body is an organic unit, an integrated whole, in which tissues and systems work synergistically. To aim for the health of the patient is the primary duty of the osteopath, and not the cure of symptoms or of a specific disorder.
The goal at “Omicron Beta” is to spread awareness of the authentic osteopathic principles, to review them in light of the latest discoveries coming from the worlds of Biology and Medicine and to do research in order to test the effectiveness of OMT (Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment) in altering or preventing certain pathological processes.
We also need to find the necessary financial resources by presenting projects and recruiting sponsors and benefactors among the public.
Some possible fields of research are: Neurodegenerative Diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s), oxidative stress mechanisms, the resolution of inflammatory processes, oncogenesis and many more.
Besides research, the association will also be responsible for education and training. The goal is to organize meetings, workshops, congresses and post-graduate courses to enhance the preparation of professional osteopaths in fundamental biological and medical subjects as well as the osteopathic ones. “GAMMA WAVE s.r.l. – Advanced Education” will take care of the educational sphere.
“Omicron Beta Research” is a non-profit association whose main purpose is scientific research within the osteopathic field. The basic idea is to encourage the integration and cooperation of professionals coming from different areas of study in order to create a productive environment in which new ideas can develop and osteopathy, within its effectiveness and its limits.