Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, or OMT, is the unique hands-on manual medicine utilized by DOs. Each DO resonates with one or more of many different hands-on approaches and then applies them in an individualized way for each patient. Some of the techniques are very subtle and utilize gentle pressure while other techniques are more directly physical engaging the tissues in a more assertive way. We don’t just employ a technique like a drug or like a physical therapy modality.
It is important for me to emphasize that Osteopathy is not just a technique or even a collection of techniques. Osteopathy is a practical clinical philosophy.
Osteopathic Treatment: My Unique Style
I have a very eclectic Osteopathic style. I use a wide variety of methods to help patients achieve a greater expression of health and wholism. I don’t have a cookbook approach and do not utilize the same treatment plan for every patient or for every diagnosis.
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment is not painful. My goal is not to find the painful areas and push on them to get your attention. The goal of an Osteopathic Treatment is not to “pound down the high spots.”
Several elements determine my way of treating. The age of the patient, the size of the individual, their gender, their overall medical condition, and the complexity of the dysfunction that is being addressed all weigh into the complex decision making process that determines the completeness of an Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment.
The Osteopathic style that I utilize is created in the moment for an individual patient with a unique problem. By using Osteopathic philosophy in a patient-specific way, I am able to be present with that person and help them distinctively. Each of the many directions that I can utilize is flexible enough to allow for great creativity.
What does Osteopathic Manipulation Treat?
Sometimes Osteopathic Manipulation is used as the primary form of treatment. In other situations, it is used to complement medical or surgical interventions and is a part of a team approach to the overall care of a patient.
In general, Osteopathic Manipulation can be used to treat and restore harmonious function and normal structure to any aspect of the body. Osteopathy Treatment can re-establish normal arterial, venous, and lymphatic flow by relieving obstructions; resolve fascial and connective tissue strains; helps coordinate the normal functioning of the nervous system; directly treat dysfunctions relating to the organs or viscera; and stimulate the function of the immune system.
My Holistic Osteopathic Approach
I am an expert in several Osteopathic styles and I utilize these tools selectively for specific situations. Specifically, I utilize indirect action techniques, facilitated positional release, Cranial Osteopathy, Muscle Energy, direct action myofascial release, articulatory technique, and many other approaches. By having many different tools, I have a greater ability to help a higher percentage of patients with a greater variety of medical issues. In a typical office visit I may at some point utilize each of these distinct approaches in a seamless and elegant therapeutic dance.
It is important for me to restate that Osteopathy is not just a technique it is an applied clinical philosophy. Osteopathic philosophy informs the technique. The technique does not define Osteopathy.
Steve Paulus, DO, MS
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