In the US, there are two philosophies of medical education that train and certify persons to be fully licensed physicians in all specialties:
While both have the same set standard education, testing, and training process to be fully licensed medical practitioners, there are unique philosophical differences. Specifically, Osteopathic medicine is centered around observations in science of the interrelated unity of all systems in the body, each working with the other to balance in times of illness. The phenomenal indwelling capacity our body possesses to be normal is a tremendous driving force to heal. Osteopathic physicians are trained to fully take into account these gifts that the patient has in order to help them get better. The principle of using our hands to communicate with the indwelling capacity to heal is emphasized as paramount to the normal physiological workings and wellbeing of the patient. And the Osteopathic physician makes medical decisions to promote this well being by any means at their disposal being medicine, surgery, manual therapy, whichever is best suited.
“Osteopathy is a science which consists of such exact exhaustive and verifiable knowledge of the structure and functions of the human mechanism, anatomy and physiology & psychology including the chemistry and physics of its known elements as is made discernable certain organic laws and resources within the body itself by which nature under scientific treatment peculiar to osteopathic practice apart from all ordinary methods of extraneous, artificial & medicinal stimulation and in harmonious accord with its own mechanical principles, molecular activities and metabolic processes may recover from displacements, derangements, disorganizations and consequent diseases and regain its normal equilibrium of form and function in health and strength.”
“Osteopathy is a science. It’s use is in the healing of the afflicted. It is a philosophy which embraces surgery, obstetrics and general practice. Osteopathy is to me a very sacred science. It is sacred because it is a healing power through all Nature.”
- A.T. Still MD, DO – founder of osteopathy
“Osteopathy is an opportunity to serve the suffering persons in this world through the very humbling experience of coming to know the “magnitude of the heavens” as Dr. Still described. As one grows in this work everything will slowly change until the Truth awakens the desire to serve without any reward.
Our tradition is a living organism that begins with sincere respect for all aspects of our profession…this is what can and will bind us in a healthy expression of community. Traditional Osteopathy is an oral tradition that functions through mutual love between the elders and the beginners and embraces the inner discipline and fortitude to practice what we preach.”
-James Jealous D.O.- founder Osteopathy in Biodynamic Field
If you want to know more about Biodynamic Osteopathy, please check James Jealous' website
What is Osteopathic medicine
Osteopathic Philosophy of Care…
Osteopathy is an art.
Osteopathic principles have been collected from reproducible observations made over hundreds of thousands of successful interfaces with the natural laws of healing, growth and the restoration of normal function in sick patients.
Osteopathic medicine has been helping people with many medical conditions and problems for close to a hundred and fifty years. Not only those with chronic conditions but it is an excellent form of preventative medicine. With the physician’s skill full and precise touch many problems and conditions can be improved or resolved. Osteopathic medicine is based on truths of nature and man’s relationship to divinity.
What is a DO?
A Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine has the initials "DO" after his or her name. And that is exactly what DO stands for, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Again, DO’s are fully licensed physicians to practice medicine and surgery in the US. DOs and MDs are considered equal, legally, and in terms of their authority to diagnose and treat various health conditions, prescribe medications, and perform surgery.
“The Osteopath reasons if he reasons at all, that order and health are inseparable, and that when order in all parts is found, disease cannot prevail, and if order is complete and disease should be found, there is no use for order. And if order and health are universally one in union, then the doctor cannot usefully, physiologically, or philosophically be guided by any scale of reason, otherwise.”
- Philosophy of Osteopathy[Pg 22] by Andrew Taylor Still
In medical school, DOs receive special training in the musculoskeletal system, the body’s intricate system of muscles, nerves and bones. This advanced training involves both physiologic and anatomic study as well as practical experience with using your hands for physical exam, diagnosis, and treatment. This provides DOs with a keen understanding of how the body’s systems are interconnected and how each one affects the others. One might notice the difference between an MD and a DO is in the approach that a DO has to understanding the connection between the musculoskeletal system and disease.
DOs look beyond your symptoms to understand how a person is maintaining their well being. Lifestyle, diet, personality and environmental factors impact your wellbeing, and complete extensive postgraduate and clinical training Osteopathic physicians spend their entire professional lives studying and trying to advance their clinical skills and knowledge for their patients, for humanity and for the profession. Dr. Still was a very spiritual man and a deep thinker who lived very close to nature. He said osteopathy was an expression of natural laws “not framed by human hands.” It takes many years to appreciate the insights and depth osteopathy has to offer. One of the best ways to gain greater insight and understand osteopathy is to receive an osteopathic treatment from a physician who specializes in traditional hands on osteopathy. In this way we begin to feel and experience the profound effects in our own bodies.
It takes osteopathic physicians many years of training and study to become proficient in the use of their hands to diagnose and treat illness and to gain a complete understanding of the philosophy and principles. At the most basic level we could say that osteopathy is an alternative and holistic medical practice that was first envisioned by doctor Andrew Taylor Still M. D. in 1874. Dr. Still was trained as a surgeon and was a doctor during the civil war. Many of his insights arose out of his skill as a surgeon and his deep understanding of anatomy and physiology.
What is Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment?
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, or OMT, is a set of hands-on techniques used by osteopathic physicians (DOs) to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury. Using OMT, a DO moves a patient’s muscles and joints using techniques that include stretching, gentle pressure and resistance. One purpose of osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT) is to restore physiological motion to areas in which there is restriction or dysfunction. By restoring or improving function of the neurovascular, lymphatic, musculo-skeletal system, it is anticipated that the patient will benefit. OMT is aimed at normalizing the overall functional physiology to benefit the whole patient and thereby maximizing the body's homeostatic, self-regulating and healing activities. When appropriate, OMT can complement, and even replace, drugs or surgery. In this way, DOs bring an important dimension to standard medical care.