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What is Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT)?

enero 30, 2023

As a board-certified osteopathic family physician, people have often asked me what the difference is between a DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine)  and an MD (Doctor of Medicine) physician.  On the one hand, many of the DO and MD school curriculums are identical, involving 4-years of comprehensive training in all systems of the body with additional OMT training that DO physicians receive. On the other hand, it may be challenging to explain the philosophical differences that make osteopathic medicine unique.

Essentially, how DOs learn to practice medicine is based upon “The Tenets of Osteopathic Medicine”:

  1. The body is a unit; the person is a unit of body, mind, and spirit.
  2. The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and health maintenance.
  3. Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.
  4. Rational treatment is based upon an understanding of the basic principles of body unity, self-regulation, and the correlation of structure and function.

The five models of osteopathic medicine (Biomechanical, Neurological, Respiratory-Circulatory, Metabolic, and Behavioral) are at the cornerstone of osteopathy, and a practical application of this is by utilizing OMT as a process to treat an endless amount of health conditions affecting any of the five models mentioned above. As a result, OMT has the potential to decrease healthcare costs and to improve pain/function or optimize health for patients in body, mind, & spirit. Specifically, OMT incorporates a group of techniques used to treat body dysfunction. These manual or “hands-on” techniques may be similar to those used by physical therapists, massage therapists, or chiropractors involving indirect or direct approaches; however, there remain some techniques that are exclusive to osteopathic physicians that often involve combining indirect-direct manual techniques with various maneuvers that involve multiple musculoskeletal structures.

Ultimately, the goal of OMT is to develop a personalized treatment plan to address the patient’s unique needs and allows the body’s self-healing and self-regulating mechanisms at the point of care.

“Give them a chance to work, give them full nourishment, and the victory will be on the side of the intelligent engineer. Never surrender, but die in the last ditch!” ~Andrew Taylor Still, Founder of Osteopathy, 1828-1917.

by Dr. Nicole Waters, DO

Posted in Blog by márketing

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