We have all heard that we are what we eat, well there is more truth to that statement then one might initially think. I came across an article on marksdailyapple.com. If you don’t want to read the whole article I’ll give you the quick rundown: instead of taking uncountable supplements to reduce inflammation and joint pain, ingest foods that will provide the building blocks (structural components) to drive the process of connective tissue regeneration (functional components).
From the above description it can be seen that food influences the reciprocal relationship between structure and function that is at the very basis of Osteopathic thinking. So, why should anyone care about this? As an Osteopathic student I view this as integral to my practice. As a caveat I will say that I have not been instructed through the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy about nutritional issues as yet but I will make an argument here based on Osteopathic principles.
As far as my knowledge base extends the PRINCIPLES of the paleo/primal diets are extremely sound when viewed through the Osteopathic lens. The big deal is that the aforementioned principles based diets are based on the lens of evolutionary biology. They root themselves in the laws of nature and the forces that have created the current human body. Through selection pressures (read:nature kicking our butts and leaving behind the adaptations best suited to thrive) our bodies developed to function with what we had available to us. Our physiological processes of growth, nutrient transportation, waste removal, tissue repair, and countless other processes are deeply rooted in the foods that our bodies were exposed to. The paleo/primal diets appeal to the rule of nature as the supreme authority, just the way Dr. Still stated Osteopathy should be.
What am I getting at here? If we or our patients are eating twinkies, mars bars, pizzas, cookies, frozen breaded chicken fingers, and other “convenient” foods we are negating our physiology by not providing it with the fuel it is supposed to run on. We are running our bodies on diesel fuel when we are supposed to be using jet fuel. I have not done any primary research but my Osteopathic principles suggest that I might be hot on the trail of something important here. If a patient has an issue that just won’t go away regardless of how skillfully an operator has adjusted them, maybe they are not physiologically capable of translating the adjustment in to meaningful structural/functional change (they have to start filling up on jet fuel instead of diesel).
The foundation of Osteopathy is the laws of nature. The foundation of the paleo/primal diets are the laws of nature. I may be oversimplifying here, I may also be wrong, but I am pretty positive that the two principles will work well together. As I increase my knowledge and skills as an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner I will form new opinions and this one may change, as of right now I really do believe that eating well is a big deal and will help a patient actualize the benefits of Osteopathy as well as Osteopathic manipulation allowing the benefits of eating well to be fully realized (reciprocal relationships ;). No one is saying go and live under a rock and only eat what you can hunt and gather, use principles and intelligence to do the best you can to respect your natural physiology and actualize the health that exists within you.