Proactive medicine, activating the body’s inherent wisdom
Founded in the late 1800s by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, osteopathic medicine takes a hands-on approach to restoring function, inherent motion, and vitality to bodily tissues compromised by a variety of medical conditions. Neurological and musculoskeletal concerns in particular often respond well to osteopathic medicine.
Throughout our lifetime, we are exposed to stressors, trauma, disease, environmental toxins, and inappropriate nutrition that affect the expression of our innate health. Due to these factors, we may feel or be in a “dis-eased state.” Osteopathy looks at the spectrum of influences on our health and treats the whole person, not just an isolated part or problem.
Doctors of osteopathy
Osteopaths are board-certified physicians–just like your family doctor–that also have specialized expertise in osteopathic manipulation techniques. There is a separate board certification for Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.
How osteopathy works
Osteopaths give special attention to the relationships and interdependencies of the systems, structures and tissues of the body. They use multiple techniques to
- Return the body to proper alignment
Activate the body’s natural healing mechanisms
These techniques “remind” the body about things it may have forgotten, such as the right way for a joint to work, the correct position of the rib cage above the hips, where the liver should be located relative to the heart, how nerves should “glide” smoothly through tissue, or how to relax a chronically tensed muscle to its natural resting length.
- Myofascial release – stretching the “fascia” that encases and connects our tissues
- Strain/counterstrain – moving the body into positions that relieve structural stress
- Balanced ligamentous tension – applying directional pressure to joints and connective tissue
- High Velocity Low Amplitude (HLVA) manipulations – improving alignment and relieving tension by giving a controlled, decisive push to a specific part of the body
- Lymphatic mobilization – moving and clearing the fluid in the lymphatic system, which plays an important role in detoxification and immunity
- Trigger point treatment – applying massage or pressure to distressed muscles that may also be impinging nerves or causing discomfort in other parts of the body
- Muscle energy – activating certain muscles by flexing them while parts of the body are held in very specific positions
Osteopathy treatment sessions
Because each patient is unique, each osteopathy session is unique. A doctor of osteopathy determines the right techniques and order of treatment based on your body’s natural healing mechanisms; your health status and specific concerns; your typical physical, environmental; psychological forces acting upon and within you; and your health goals.