The Beating Force of Life

The Rule of the Artery is Supreme

By Eleanor Andrews

“The Rule of the Artery is Supreme” has its place in the foundations of osteopathy. This concept, commonly referred to as the silent principle, has been understood to relate not only to the arterial flow but to all fluid flow within the body, whether that be cerebral spinal fluid, lymph, arterial or venous blood, etc.

However, at its truest origins, it talks about the artery being the bringer of life; consequently, osteopaths consider the heart as the beating force of life. For, with every contraction, the heart pumps arterial blood around the body, taking with it nutrients, energy, and oxygen all required for cell metabolism, healing, repair and day-to-day bodily functions. As blood leaves the target area, as venous blood or lymph, it takes with it waste and by-products resulting from these cellular activities and clears these away to be filtered through the appropriate systems within the body.

Without the heart, without blood flow, there is no life. Tissues without oxygen brought by the blood will starve and die, and cells without energy will be unable to undertake core activities, including multiplying; even nerves require their own blood supply to function, and the neurological system is the coordinator of the body. In this way, without correct blood flow, damage or injury to tissue will be unable to be repaired, the neurological system will become compromised, and ultimately, the innate essence of life will stop.

As an osteopath, understanding fluid flow within the body, how this can become compromised and how, as an osteopath, we can positively influence this to remove restrictions or barriers to free fluid flow is a vital part of our role in supporting the animal’s return to health. That is why anatomy and screening of the cardiovascular system are taught within AOI’s diploma programme.


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