Osteopathic Medicine – a basic holistic approach

su Osteopathic Medicine – a basic holistic approach

My focus in this post is to give a baseline understanding of osteopathic medicine, osteopathic manipulative technique, and what types of conditions these can be used to treat.  I may also discuss the specific philosophy behind osteopathic medicine in general.

Doctors of Osteopathic medicine, or those who have a D.O. after their name, are a unique type of medical practitioner.  They have full practice rights in all 50 states, and numerous countries.  This means they can do surgery, practice in any general or specialized area of medicine, prescribe medication, etc.  Some DO’s choose to also practice osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) or osteopathic manipulative technique (OMT).  These are explained below.  Osteopathic physicians have a more holistic philosophy, and are taught to treat the entire person – not just the disease.  DO’s should have the goal of helping the body heal itself, and educating the patient to achieve that goal.

OMM/OMT is divided into several different modalities, or techniques.  One popular technique, HVLA, is commonly what people refer to as “cracking” joints.  However, HVLA can also be used on muscles, widening its use.  Osteopaths will also use several “soft tissue” techniques, which help relax the musculature, and allows an increase of circulation to the area, assisting with the healing process.  Some advanced practitioners will use other techniques to assist with colds, GI problems, and many other maladies that patients might have.

At this point, you may be thinking (like I was) “where do I sign up?”  Unfortunately (I feel), DO’s have OMM/OMT as one tool in their toolbox, and quite a few DO’s do not practice OMM/OMT, preferring to use more conventional methods of medicine on their patients.  I don’t necessarily think that this is a bad thing, but if I have a choice between OMM/OMT and surgery, I’ll try almost ANYTHING before I have to choose surgery.

Look for more posts in the future about osteopathic medicine, osteopathic manipulation, and specific treatment techniques, as I will be doing features on these subjects, as well as many other more *conventional* medical treatments.

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One Response to “Osteopathic Medicine – a basic holistic approach”

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