The Connection Between Osteopathic Medicine and Mental Health


Image by GoldenViolinist from Pixabay

Photo : GoldenViolinist from Pixabay

What Is Osteopathic Medicine?

Osteopathic medicine is a practice that takes a unique approach to medicine. With Osteopathic medicine, you cure the entire body instead of focusing on the symptoms. Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DOs) focus on preventive health care, helping to develop positive attitudes and lifestyles for patients instead of just fighting their illnesses. 

How Is Osteopathic Medicine Different?

DOs are qualified physicians who, as with regular doctors, are licensed to perform surgeries or prescribe medication in any state. DOs are unique regarding medicine in one critical aspect; they take a holistic approach to caring for patients. 

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine are doctors first by nature and play the role of specialists second. Most DOs are family-friendly primary care physicians. Many practices in small rural areas and towns where they are often the sole care provider for entire families and communities. 

How Long Does it Take to Become a DO?

To become a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, you must take four years of schooling. Over these four years, your studies will emphasize preventive medicine and holistic patient care practices. DOs are required to serve an internship of one year once they graduate. This internship helps them gain hands-on experience in not only family medicine but internal medicine, obstetrics-gynecology, pediatrics, and surgery as well. 

The experience gained over this year-long period ensures that osteopathic physicians are fully capable of being primary care physicians regardless if they plan to pursue a specialty field or not. DOs commonly will go on after their internships to complete a residency program in a specialty area of their choice. This typically adds two to six years of additional training.

What Is Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine?

Osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) is a unique approach to health care. In OMM, DOs manipulate the musculoskeletal system, which is your body's system of nerves, muscles, and bones. This interconnected highway makes up 67% of your body mass. The training in osteopathic manipulative medicine gives physicians a better understanding of how one aspect of the body can affect another.

All osteopathic physicians use OMM within their training. A DO will use their hands to diagnose injuries and illnesses. This is done to emphasize the natural tendency of good health within your body. By compiling all these medical procedures with OMM, a DO can give their patients the most extensive medical care available today. 

How Osteopathic Medicine Relates to Mental Health

Osteopathic medicine is a means of treating people with mental health issues. However, the approach does not stop at medicating these conditions. These holistic doctors go for treating all aspects of the mental disorders such as depression, anxieties, and other mental illnesses.

Treating mental health problems with Osteopathic treatments gives the patients a type of full-body peace of mind instead of just going after the pain alone. Many different types of mental health issues can be relieved through a more natural form of treatments. Here are a list of mental health disorders that Osteopathy treats:

  • Depression

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Anxiety

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • ADD

  • Personality Disorders

  • ADHD

  • Schizophrenia

  • Schizoaffective Disorder

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

How Does Osteopathy Treat Mental Health?

Osteopathic therapy can be a powerful means of healing when done correctly. There are numerous examples of cases where it heals. Here are some examples of how Osteopathy can help treat mental health:

  • Use craniofacial therapy to Improve sleep and relaxation

  • Reduce any inflammation

  • Recalibrate the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems by practicing a vagus nerve stimulation

  • Calm the HPA axis to improve the bodys' stress tolerance and reduce cortisol 

If you are interested in finding out more about osteopathic manipulative medicine that can help your mental health status click here. We hope you have a safe and calming journey to find inner peace.

© 2024 University Herald, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
* This is a contributed article and this content does not necessarily represent the views of
Join the Discussion
Real Time Analytics