Articles

How is Osteopathy Different from Other Forms of Manual Medicine?

I often get asked a series of great questions that go something like this: “How is osteopathy different from myofascial release, or chiropractic, craniosacral work or massage?  Is it energy medicine?  Is it deep tissue work?  Aren’t you a homeopath?”  Or they might say, “This is eastern medicine, isn’t it, like acupuncture?”

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Who Can Benefit From Osteopathy?

I often get reminded of how little people know about traditional osteopathy and its benefits, even within our own profession of D.O.s (Doctors of Osteopathy) and D.O. students.  I recently helped teach a lab for medical students on osteopathic techniques.  One of the students in my group mentioned he had had a number of concussions in the past.  “Osteopathy can’t help with concussions, can it?” he asked me.  A jolt of surprise hit me – and I was reminded again.  Even in the training ground of future D.O.s at a great osteopathic university, the knowledge of our tradition had not perfused through and found its home in people’s world view of medicine.  Undramatically, I turned to the student, and replied, “Yes, it can.”

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