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What is Osteopathy?

Posted on February 28th, 2013 by | 4 views

Osteopathy for your Pregnancy, Birth, and Baby

During the entire process of pregnancy, the female body is constantly changing to adapt to the baby's growth and needs. The structural and physiological changes can cause increased discomfort and/or structural dysfunction. These structural changes can affect the process of labor and the newborn's birth experience. Birth is a beautiful process, but it can also be one of the most traumatic experiences for you and your baby. Studies of newborns done by Viola Frymann, D.O. showed that 80% of newborns experience some form of birth trauma. Osteopathic Medicine can help ease this trauma and can assist in a quicker recovery, allowing more time for bonding between mother, baby, and family.

What is Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine?

Osteopathy is based on the relationship of structure and function. Every part of the body has a specific action to allow the body to function optimally as a whole.

Osteopathic physicians (D.O.) are trained through many years to achieve perceptive, skillful hands to diagnose and treat the structural and functional changes within the whole body. The human body has an innate healing ability that compensates and corrects itself from traumas, illnesses, and injuries. However, if an injury or multiple traumas occur beyond the body’s healing ability then the body is less likely to properly defend from infection and/or completely heal from dysfunction. Osteopathic physicians utilize gentle manipulative techniques and cranial osteopathy to restore optimal function in areas of dysfunction with the goal of restoring the body as a functioning whole.

What is Cranial Osteopathy?

The cranial bones and structures within with the nervous system are capable of motion that helps regulate the body’s function. Osteopathic physicians treat these areas with the awareness of its effects on the rest of the body. A simplified and limited form of cranial osteopathy called “Cranio-Sacral Therapy” is taught to other healthcare practitioners such as massage therapists, physical therapists, and chiropractors.

Osteopathic Physicians

D.O.s and M.D.s are both fully licensed physicians in the United States, and can prescribe medication and perform surgery. Although the medical training between D.O.s and M.D.s are similar, D.O. physicians spend greater than 500 hours in the study of the human body's musculoskeletal system and manipulative treatment techniques. Osteopaths treat at all body levels, such as bone, muscle, brain, nerves, viscera (organs), fascia, and fluids. Osteopathic physicians use their hands to diagnose illness and injury in a "whole person" approach.

Find an Osteopathic practitioner in your area by refering to our Directory of Osteopathic Physicians.


This information was contributed by Dr. Julie Mai, D.O.. For more information on Dr. Mai visit her website at