Osteopathy is guided by the principal that a body’s structure and its functioning are interrelated. It recognizes that the body is a unit, self-organized into ‘systems’ (i.e. musculoskeletal, circulatory, digestive, etc.) that work together in an orchestrated fashion. Like an orchestra expressing a melody, a body that is “in tune” will be best able to express health.
Osteopathic manual therapists (OMTs) are trained to always consider the anatomical, physiological, and biomechanical interrelationships that exist within the body. They rely on the finesse of their palpation to perceive the unique needs of the client, a skill that builds through both experience and practicing presence. During assessment/ treatment, manual (hands-on) techniques applied may involve gentle compression and stretch of the tissues (i.e. muscles, joints, organs, fascia), often coordinated with specific muscular contraction from the client themselves, to promote normal tissue tone, circulation, and mobility. In this way osteopathy offers significant support to a person’s well-being and can be an excellent compliment to other therapeutic approaches.
The scope of an OMT (also DipOMP- diploma in osteopathy manual practice) differs from that of an osteopathic physician (DO). DOs are medical doctors trained in American osteopathic medical colleges. Unlike DOs, OMTs do not make medical diagnoses, prescribe medicine, or perform surgery. Osteopathy is not a substitution for medical evaluation/ treatment.