Osteopathy is a holistic approach to health care that strives to balance all the systems of the body, and provide overall good health and wellbeing.
It is drug-free and non-invasive, focusing on treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework, which includes the joints, muscles and spine. Osteopathy's aim is to positively affect the body's nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems.
Osteopathic medicine is a unique form of American medical care that was developed by Andrew Taylor Still, M.D. Dr. Still was dissatisfied with the effectiveness of 19th century medicine. He believed that many of the medications of his day were useless or even harmful. Dr. Still was one of the first in his time to study the attributes of good health so that he could better understand the process of disease.
In response 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. He identified the musculoskeletal system as a key element of health. He recognized the body's ability to heal itself and stressed preventative medicine, eating properly, and keeping fit.
Dr. Still pioneered the concept of wellness over 100 years ago. In today's terms, personal health risks such as smoking, high blood pressure, excessive cholesterol levels, stress levels and other lifestyle factors, are evaluated for each individual. In coordination with appropriate medical treatment, the Osteopathic Physician acts as a teacher to help patients take more responsibility for their own well being and change unhealthy patterns.
Sports medicine is also a natural outgrowth of Osteopathic practice because of its focus on the musculoskeletal system, Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, diet, exercise, and fitness. Many professional sports team physicians, Olympic physicians and personal sports medicine physicians are D.O.s.
D.O.s and M.D.s are alike in many ways: