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What is Osteopathy?: Our Services

What is Osteopathy?

osteopathic medicine can help pregnant mothers, babies, newborns, toddlers with trouble nursing.
"To find health should be the object of the doctor.  Anyone can find disease." 
​-A. T. Still MD, DO
What is a DO?

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, are fully licensed physicians who practice in all areas of medicine. Emphasizing a whole-person approach to treatment and care, DOs are trained to listen and partner with their patients to help them get healthy and stay well.

DOs receive extensive training in the musculoskeletal system, with a strong emphasis on the inter-relationships of the body’s nerves, muscles, bones and organs. DOs believe that all of the body’s systems, including the nervous and musculoskeletal system, work together and that disturbances in one system may impact function somewhere else in the body.

Osteopathic physicians focus on prevention, tuning into how a patient's lifestyle and environment can impact their wellbeing. DOs strive to help their patients be truly healthy in mind, body and spirit -- not just free of symptoms.

What is Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment?

For any medical condition, osteopathic physicians understand that each individual expresses health and disease differently and that the absence of disease does not imply the presence of health. Therefore, osteopathic physicians are trained to recognize changes in body structure that alter function which may contribute to “dis-ease.”

In addition to managing medical conditions with pills or surgery, DOs are trained in osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). OMT or Osteopathy is the therapeutic application of manual techniques by an osteopathic physician to address the changes in body structure to improve physiologic function. An Osteopathic physician utilizes a variety of techniques to treat the body.

How does Osteopathy work?

Osteopaths believe that a patient’s history of illness and trauma are written into the body’s structure.  An Osteopath’s sense of touch is highly developed so as to palpate the patient’s “living anatomy” (i.e. flow of fluids, motion and texture of tissues, and structural make-up).

Osteopaths have found that falls, accidents and even mental or emotional stress often have long lasting repercussions.  Although the pain of an injury disappears, the affected region of the body may become less mobile, causing other parts of the body to compensate, thereby reducing the total system efficiency.

An accumulation of such events over time depletes the body of vitality. Pain or other symptoms may appear years after the original event.  Resolving such dysfunction involves unlocking the effects of accumulated traumas by gentle Osteopathic treatment, and allowing the body to return to a healthier state.

The Osteopath's job is to enable the body to heal itself.  An Osteopath promotes movement of bodily fluids to release compressed bones and joints and restore more normal function in tissues.

Who can benefit from Osteopathy?

People of all ages, from newborns to senior adults, can benefit from Osteopathy. Osteopathy can help patients with a vast number of other health problems such as:


Musculoskeletal pain (e.g. neck, back, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle, foot)

Postural problems  |   Injuries and traumas   |   Headache and TMJ   |   Neurologic disturbances

Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)   |   Balance issues   |   Hypermobility   |   Fibromyalgia

Chronic fatigue   |   Menstrual pain   |   Anxiety and insomnia   |   Digestive issues



Breastfeeding/chestfeeding/ bottle feeding difficulties   |   Birth trauma

Torticollis   |   Plagiocephaly   |   Tongue-tie   |   Colic, irritability, sleep disturbances

Developmental delays   |   Ear infections   |   Learning disabilities   |   Behavioral difficulties

How is Osteopathy different from other body work?

The primary differences between Osteopathic physicians and other body work (e.g. chiropractic, massage, cranio-sacral therapy) are the level of training and scope of practice. Osteopathic physicians attend four years of medical school in addition to residency training. After obtaining their medical degree, they then complete a residency in the specialty of their choice (3-8 years more of training depending on specialty). Osteopathic physicians that specialize in Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine complete either a three-year residency in this specialty or complete a three year family medicine residency and then an additional year specializing in Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine to become board certified.

Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) is based upon the principle that the human body possesses self healing/self regulating mechanisms that are the source of true healing. The Osteopath is trained to discover the treatment plan that these forces have already designed, in that moment, specifically for that patient. The focus in treatment, therefore, goes beyond spinal alignment, to dealing directly with the abnormal body physiology using an array of direct and indirect techniques. This more holistic healthcare perspective affords the Osteopath a broader spectrum of therapeutic options in addition to thrust techniques, among which are  myofascial release, muscle energy, counterstrain, visceral manipulation, Osteopathy in The Cranial Field, and Biodynamics.

This broader range of diagnostic and therapeutic options allows the Osteopathic physician to custom fit their treatment plan to the patient’s unique needs, respecting the fact that each of us is not necessarily meant to look and function the same way. This also means that the Osteopath does not prescribe months or years of treatment at the first visit, but lets the prescription unfold as the treatment process proceeds.

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