Osteopathic manual therapy focuses on the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the body’s structure, whether it is related to the pelvis, peripheral joints, visceral organs, nervous systems, venous system or spine. Osteopathic manual therapists (OMPs) use manipulations to the joints or organs and gentle oscillatory movements to correct biomechanical dysfunctions that are related to neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Additionally, they will also provide advice regarding exercises, diet and lifestyle to augment the body’s own healing capabilities. By restoring proper mechanics to an area, the therapist allows for improved function to reduce pain and to restore normal activity.
OMPs believe the theory of Tensegrity, that abnormal functioning of one area can cause symptoms to present elsewhere in the body. When the body is balanced there is no excessive stress anywhere in the body, but when the body becomes out of balance this can be amplified to other areas. Osteopathic manual therapists regard the whole of the body as greater than a collection of all its parts. They acknowledge the body’s inherent ability to heal itself and seek to support that process by removing any obstacles that impede it. In order for this to happen osteopathic manual therapists specialize in individualized patients management, which includes educating the patient about their particular condition and how they can adjust their lifestyle to allow themselves the best possible chance recovery or optimal management.