Osteopathic Medicine is a system of medicine that has been practiced for over 100 years. It was first developed in the late 19th century by a physician named AT Still. Dr. Still was disillusioned with the medical practices of the time, which consisted of mainly poisons and bloodletting. He devised an approach to health that required no outside medications, but instead relied on the natural “medications” produced by the body.
Dr. Still envisioned the body like a machine, a machine which was capable of healing itself and resisting illness if it’s parts were in proper order. Through years of study and practice he was able to piece together a system that allowed him to find disturbances in the body’s machine, the muscular system, and manipulate the parts back into their proper place.
As medical science progressed through the 20th century, Osteopathic physicians began to incorporate more medications into their treatment plans, but they still are trained in delivering “hands-on” medicine. The integration of the musculoskeletal system into the treatment of not just muscular complaints but also systemic diseases is what sets the D.O.s apart from any other system of medicine today.
Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, or Treatment, is practiced by thousands of D.O.s in the country and around the world. It is a gentle, non-painful approach to manipulation which aims to improve the structure, and thus the function, of the body. While there are some similarities to chiropractic, massage, and other types of body work, it is the intent which sets OMM apart. By integrating medical science with an understanding of the relationship between the musculoskeletal system and the rest of the body, D.O.s are capable of providing more complete care than any other health practicioners. It is this ‘whole-person’ approach that keeps patients coming back for more.