A Brief Introduction to Osteopathic Manual Medicine
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Osteopathic physicians (D.O.) are specialty physicians. They are fully trained medical doctors licensed to prescribe medication and perform surgery identical to allopathic physicians (MD) and who have added training in Osteopathic Manual Medicine (OMM). You have probably seen a physician in the past assuming they were an MD when in fact they were a DO. In fact in most medical settings you would not be able to differentiate between a DO and MD unless you looked closely at the diploma on the wall. However not all osteopathic physicians choose to utilize OMM in their care of patients. Many specialize in other areas such as cardiology, internal medicine, orthopedics, family medicine, etc. In the United States only about 2500 D.O.'s utilize OMM exclusively and even fewer are board certified in this specialty. Dr. Xenos is board certified in Osteopathic Manual Medicine and her practice focuses exclusively on the use of this treatment modality.
Osteopathic medicine was historically formalized in 1874 by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still who defined the medical approach as follows:
A system of healthcare based on the theory that the body is capable of making its own remedies against disease and other toxic conditions when in normal structural relationship and has favorable environmental conditions and adequate nutrition. It utilizes generally accepted physical, pharmacological, and surgical methods of diagnosis and therapy, while placing strong emphasis on the importance of body mechanics and manipulative methods to detect and correct faulty structure and functions.
Dr. Still founded a philosophy of medicine based on ideas that date back to Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine. The philosophy focuses on the unity of all body parts with the musculoskeletal system, which comprises 60% of the human body, as a key element of health. He stressed preventive medicine, eating properly and staying physically fit. The conventional medical approach often simply attempts to rid you of symptoms or deals solely with specific disease entities. Osteopathy is a science of medicine that works from a premise that encompasses the entire human system. This approach endeavors to reach the cause of your symptom complex and to potentiate your inherent capacity to heal and maintain good health.
D.O.'s are fully licensed to practice all phases of medicine in all 50 states. There are only 21 osteopathic medical schools in the United States and D.O.'s represent 5.5% of all U.S. physicians. Over half of all D.O.'s provide primary healthcare to individuals and the remaining 45% are specialists.
Osteopathic manual medicine is a gentle form of physical manipulation. This should not to be confused with physical therapy modalities such as massage, etc. although such modalities can and will often be combined with OMM by your osteopathic physician. OMM must be rendered by the physician not the physical therapist or chiropractor. The osteopathic approach works extensively with manipulation to enhance structure and restore tissue mobility optimizing the free flow of vital nutrients and restore function within your musculoskeletal, nervous, lymphatic, organ and vascular systems. Dr. Xenos practices all forms of osteopathic medicine and has further specialized in cranial sacral therapy.
Individuals will respond differently to treatments. The severity and duration of the problem and your general health will determine your response. Some respond immediately to treatments. Others respond more progressively over a series of treatments. Sometimes discomfort may occur after your treatment but this generally happens in less than 20% of all patients and will subside in a matter of hours taking some of the original complaints with it. Do not be alarmed. It is nothing to be concerned about and as a matter of fact alerts Dr. Xenos to certain important information concerning your particular unique biomechanical composition and structure. Remember the body functions as a whole with systems interacting so that as one structure or system begins normalization other systems or areas may begin their transition as well since they have previously adapted to a system that is under duress and is malfunctioning. Dr. Xenos will discuss this more with you at your initial evaluation.