Osteopathy embraces the philosophy that the body has an innate, natural ability to self-regulate and to heal itself. The key factor that permits this regulation and healing to proceed unimpeded is the ability of the body to freely circulate all of its fluids and liquids. These fluids include the blood, lymph, synovial fluid, digestive juices, cerebrospinal fluid, axoplasm, and all the other intracellular and extracellular fluids of the body.

The ability to detect minute modifications in the quality of the tissues is the assessment skill that allows the Osteopathic Manual Practitioner to prioritize a patient’s course of treatment. These tissue qualities include congestion, dehydration, scarring, stiffness, density, and loss of resilience, as well as motility, which is an infinitesimal movement inherent to all living tissues. It is this sensing of the quality of the tissue—in combination with the position, mobility, and vitality of the tissue—that allows the Osteopathic Manual Practitioner to determine the tissues or systems that need immediate attention. (Canadian College of Osteopathy)