What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathic medicine is a unique form of American medical care that was started in 1874 by Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO. 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.

Dr. Still developed a philosophy of medicine based on ideas that date back to Hippocrates, the father of medicine. That philosophy focuses on the unity of all body parts. Dr. Still identified the musculoskeletal system as a key element of health. He recognized the body's ability to heal itself and stressed preventive medicine, eating properly and keeping fit.

What is Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT)?

Osteopathic manipulative treatment, or OMT, is hands-on care. It involves using the hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury. Using OMT, your osteopathic physician (DO) will move your muscles and joints using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure and resistance. Osteopathic physicians use their hands to diagnose and treat illness and injury. The goal of an osteopathic treatment is to encourage your body to heal itself.


What is Osteopathy in the Cranial Field?

Osteopathy in the Cranial Field was discovered, developed and taught by William Garner Sutherland, DO in the early to mid 1900s. He was the first to perceive a subtle palpable movement within the bones of the cranium and throughout all tissues of the body. This subtle motion is a rhythmic alternating expansion and contraction that can be experienced throughout the central nervous system. This motion is involuntary, just as the lungs breathe and the heart beats. Dr. Sutherland referred to this inherent activity as the Primary Respiratory Mechanism. He likened it to a respiratory like motion because it has an "inhalation" and an "exhalation" phase. The Primary Respiratory Mechanism affects every cell of the body, thereby influencing all body functions. Physicians trained in cranial osteopathy can place their hands on any part of the patient to perceive and influence this important mechanism.