What is Osteopathic Medicine?

Americans have relied on osteopathic medicine for more than 130 years. Established in 1874 by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, this unique branch of medicine takes a more holistic approach to care. 

Holistic Healing and the Art of Caring

A Doctor of Osteopathy, or D.O., strives to learn about the whole patient and makes recommendations that may include lifestyle changes to help prevent illness and offer treatments beyond prescriptions. D.O.’s are fully licensed physicians who practice in all areas of medicine.

Based on the philosophy that all body systems are interrelated and dependent upon one another for good health, osteopathic medicine provides all of the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury. 

The Five Principles of Osteopathic Medicine

  1. The body is a unit. A person is a unit of body, mind and spirit.
  2. The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing and health maintenance.
  3. Structure and function of the body are mutually interrelated.
  4. There is a musculoskeletal component of disease and manipulative treatment can restore the body’s function, enhance wellness and assist in the recovery from disease and injury.
  5. Treatment is based on an understanding of these basic principles.


Preventing disease is a fundamental concept in osteopathic medicine. Osteopathic physicians recommend lifestyle changes and other measures to allow the body to function at maximum potential, free of disease and pain. 

The Science of Medicine

Many D.O.s work on the most advanced research, and our physician-scientists are leading studies ranging from breast cancer therapies and Parkinson’s disease to curing cerebral malaria in children.

Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine

Osteopathic manipulative medicine is the application of osteopathic philosophy, structural diagnosis, and the use of osteopathic manipulative treatment, or OMT. This treatment is a set of hands-on techniques designed to treat structural and functional issues, and to promote self-healing by ensuring a balance between the diagnosis and care of the patient.

This non-surgical treatment is used to improve mobility of tissues and restore the body to normal physiological motion. Patients with physical ailments such as migraines, back pain, asthma and arthritis may benefit from OMT.