Not all medical doctors have an MD after their name. Some doctors have a DO, a doctor of osteopathic medicine. These doctors practice a more hands-on and holistic approach to medicine, using medication or surgical procedures when necessary, but embracing more of a natural healing approach as a rule.
At Santa Cruz Osteopathic Richard Bernstein, DO, uses a holistic approach to the body with his patients in the Capitola, California area. His focus is on the “whole person” when preventing, diagnosing, and treating illness and injury, using nonsurgical, hands-on osteopathic manual medicine to encourage the body’s natural healing process. Here’s what he wants you to know about the benefits of working with a DO.
What is osteopathic medicine?
In 1874 in Kirksville, Missouri, Andrew Taylor Still, MD, established the field of osteopathic medicine. Aware that the medical practices of that time often caused patients more harm than good, he based this distinctive field on the philosophy that “all body systems are interrelated and dependent upon one another for good health.” As such, he promoted the idea of “wellness” and developed a system of hands-on medical care that treated illness within the context of the whole body and took advantage of its ability to heal itself.
Doctors of osteopathic medicine, also known as osteopaths, view the body, mind, and spirit as integral parts of a larger, interconnected system. While they receive special training in healing the musculoskeletal system, they’re licensed in all 50 states to treat the full complement of health conditions that MDs do.
But DOs don’t just treat a patient’s symptoms; masking them is akin to putting on a medical “band-aid” to provide relief. Instead, they’re dedicated to determining the root cause of your symptoms and treating that condition to promote better overall health. To accomplish this, they evaluate your:
- Activity level
- Food consumption
- Physical and mental health
- Stress levels
- Sleep habits
Each category gives clues about what ails you and helps with an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Using osteopathic manipulation
A DO uses osteopathic manipulation, also known as osteopathic manual treatment (OMT) or osteopathic manual manipulation (OMM) as part of the treatment process. It’s a form of hands-on therapy used for musculoskeletal conditions, but it can also handle problems related to other bodily systems, including:
- Chronic pain, from arthritis, fibromyalgia, menstrual cramps, and migraine
- Breathing issues, including asthma and sinus infections
- Bowel problems, such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), diarrhea, and constipation
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Pregnancy problems, including insomnia, edema, and sciatica
A DO uses osteopathic manipulation to adjust a patient’s muscles and joints. The stretches, gentle pressure, and resistance, among other techniques, restore structural balance and create a healing environment for the body as a whole.
The benefits of working with a DO
Working with a DO provides a number of benefits for patients.
- Helps people of all ages and background
- Reduces pain, promotes healing, and improves overall mobility
- Restores muscle and tissue balance
- Improves nerve signaling
- Promotes increased blood flow
- Complements, and sometimes even replaces, medications and surgery
If you want to restore your whole-body health, working with a DO may be just the thing to bring your physical and mental processes into balance. Give Santa Cruz Osteopathic a call at 831-464-1605 to set up an evaluation with Dr. Bernstein, or book online with us today.