What is Osteopathic Medicine?
How is Osteopathic Medicine Different?
Osteopathy is a unique type of medicine which focuses on rebalancing the body holistically – to prompt the body’s innate self-healing mechanism and restore health.
Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, are fully licensed physicians who practice their unique holistic approach with a focus on the musculoskeletal system, including proper function of muscles, nerves, and bones. They have an in-depth understanding of how the body’s systems are interconnected and how each one affects the others.
While Doctors of Osteopathy do have special training and expertise on the musculoskeletal system, they also look beyond your symptoms to understand how diet, habits, physical injuries, lifestyle, and even environmental factors can create illnesses or imbalances in the individual.
These holistic principles of osteopathic medicine provide an all-encompassing healing approach for the patient since all areas of the body are addressed.
Unlike some forms of Western medicine which sees the person more as body parts and organs that need to be repaired or medicated independently, osteopathic medicine understands that the person is a sophisticated combination of body, soul (emotions), and mind (mindset).
Each of these important areas can have a huge impact on the individual’s health and the DO helps patients rebalance through integration and healing protocols that treat deficiencies in various areas. Osteopathic medicine, as well as modern medical science, has discovered that the body is capable of incredible self-healing given the right environment and protocols.
Osteopathy and Alleviating Root Causes of Illness
Osteopathy also focuses deeply on anatomy (structure) and physiology (function). This relates to how movement, diet, sleep practices and more –create or alleviate pain in various areas of the body. When it comes to treating the individual holistically, DOs apply their knowledge of structure and function but also use hands-on adjustments, called osteopathic manipulation, to help reset and retrain the muscles and bones. Understanding structure and function also goes past muscles, bones, and ligaments to the molecular, cellular, tissue levels. For this reason, many DO’s do specialty testing to see the whole picture, including gut, hormone, and metabolic testing.
Osteopaths who specialize in cranial work (the bones of the cranium) and the fascial coverings (meninges), as well as Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), provide therapies that include proper breathing, better sleep practices, improving central nervous system function, and increasing movement of fluids around the brain, along with other helpful therapies.