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  • Tony-Boggess

    Dr. Boggess (Medical Director)

    Dr. Tony Boggess is a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician, speaker, and writer who specializes in Nutritional and... read more

Physical Medicine Approaches

  • Osteopathy & Cranial
  • Acupuncture
  • Frequency Specific Microcurrent

Osteopathic & Cranial

What is a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO)? A DO is a fully licensed physician and surgeon in the US, who completed 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, and 4 or more years of postgraduate specialty training. We are similar yet distinct from our allopathic (MD) colleagues in that we also learn osteopathic principals and practice which is a “whole-person” system of evaluation and treatment designed to achieve and maintain health using manual modalities similar to, but distinctly different, from chiropractic, massage, and physical/occupational therapy.

Osteopathy (theory) maintains that much illness, pain and disability stems from an improper relationship between structure and function. Thus, DOs use Osteopathic Manual Medicine (OMM), a soft manual therapy to align the musculo-skeletal system correctly in order to reduce tension and improve physical and physiological functions. DOs learn that organ systems and bodily tissues, which rely on the musculo-skeletal frame for support, benefit from such treatment and the circulatory, lymphatic and other fluid systems associated with the body’s innate healing mechanisms function more efficiently after one or more treatments.

Cranial Osteopaths, are Doctors of Osteopathy (DOs) who, in addition to osteopathic manipulation, specialize in cranial manipulation. A set of highly regarded sub-techniques of osteopathic medicine referred to as Osteopathy in the Cranial Field (OCF), to be distinguished from “cranial-sacral healing” and various other techniques practiced by physical and massage therapists.

OCF (theory) maintain that subtle, coordinated, rhythmic movements of fluids and tissues related to micro movements in skull joints (or sutures) provide osteopathic access to diagnose and treat dysfunctions not only in and around the brain and spinal cord as they relate to the local dysfunction, but also throughout the entire body as they relate to the whole person. DOs that practice this form of manipulation have a highly refined sense of touch used to identify subtle disturbances as well as a gentle, yet verifiable way of balancing and correcting them. While OCF can treat any number of ailments, it is clearly helpful for dizziness, headaches, untoward effects of difficult deliveries on babies and children as well as any musculo-skeletal anomaly for which other osteopathic techniques are appropriate.

Cranial Rhythmic Impulse (CRI): The cranio-sacral system is considered the generator for Cranial Rhythmic Impulse, which along with the cardiovascular and respiratory impulses, is one of three life-maintaining impulses of the human body. The components that make up this system include the fine membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, 22 skull bones divided into midline and paired bones, the sacrum (tail bone), and the cerebrospinal fluid (clear fluid derived from blood) that circulates around and bathes the brain and nervous system. Also via its subtle connections, its influence extends to the entire body via fascia or layers of connective tissue that encloses organs, nerves and muscles. Together, these structures pulsate in rhythmic fashion and where imbalance is detected in the CRI, there is strain in the system. Thus, OCF is used to both diagnose and treat patients.

The safe practice of this form of manipulation requires rigorous study in applied anatomy, physiology, embryology and pathology. Though the techniques seem simple enough, post-treatment reactions that speak to their profound effect on patients such as nausea, vomiting, headaches and outburst of crying do occur. Osteopathic medical schools require their students to understand only the basics of OCF, so most physicians who specialize in these techniques have hundreds of additional hours of study. While many non-medical persons claim adeptness in cranial-sacral manipulation, choosing one trained in the entire scope of medicine (DOs, MDs, and DMDs) is advantageous because extensive medical background is needed to apply these techniques comprehensively and safely.

In essence, we intervene, and then allow the body to heal itself—like watering dry grass, we add water in intervals and let nature do the rest. Because not all osteopathic physicians stick to their roots in manual medicine, one should inquire if OMM is part of any given osteopathic physician’s skill set.

OMM remains a significant part of my daily work with children and adult patients.


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