Osteopathic medicine is a system of health care based on the concept that disease results from bodily disharmony. The structure of the human body is considered to be intertwined with its function, and a normally functioning musculoskeletal system plays a crucial role in health.
Osteopathic medicine holds that each person can be considered as a total system made up of the component parts of body, mind, and spirit. Osteopathic medicine further holds that the interdependency of these component parts renders each of them susceptible to imbalances in another.
Thus, Osteopathic medicine attempts to treat the Whole Person and not just the bodily symptom of disease.
Osteopathic medicine stresses the importance of preventive health care and trusts heavily in the wisdom of the human body to know how to care for and heal itself. The role of the Osteopathic physician in this care and healing process is to find and remove the blockages and obstacles in the body’s path to healing itself. The Osteopathic physician attempts to do this by the use of any and all accepted medical means, including medicines, surgical procedures, manipulation of the musculoskeletal system (OMT), physical therapies and preventive patient education.
Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) is a care process in which the physician uses his or her hands to diagnose, prevent and/or treat injuries or disease. A physician using OMT will move muscles and joints using techniques of gentle stretching and resistance. OMT is not a substitute for other medical, prescription or surgical courses of therapy, but its efficacy as a complementary therapy is well understood and accepted by the medical community.