Thomas E. Sabalaske DO
Osteopathic medicine is a unique system of health care that incorporates all modern medical knowledge,
from medicine to surgery, while maintaining the view that we, as doctors, are treating people, not
diseases.  Osteopathy focuses on healthy lifestyle and preventative measures to maintain health, rather
than merely treating disease after it occurs.  In addition to learning all of modern medicine, osteopathic  
physicians also learn hands on manipulation of the body, to aide in the treatment of numerous disorders
of the patient.  Graduates of osteopathic medical schools are granted the title of DO (Doctor of
Osteopathy) and go through four years of training in medical school followed by three to seven years of
post graduate residency training (the same amount as MD medical doctors).  Doctors of Osteopathy can
be licensed in any medical specialty in the United States.  

Osteopathic medicine was founded in 1874 by Andrew Taylor Still MD.  A civil war physician and surgeon,
he was displeased with the system of medicine at that time which included numerous toxic remedies such
as blood letting and mercury.  Realizing that maximizing the function of the musculoskeletal system can
enhance not only the function of the body but also the overall general health of the patient, he opened
the first school in 1892 in Kirksville, Missouri.  

A common question asked is how osteopathy differs from chiropractic care.  Chiropractic schools started
about five years after osteopathic. The first major difference is Doctors of Osteopathy learn all of modern
medicine, as explained above, which can aide in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.  Osteopathy
firmly believes the body can heal itself and does not require maintenance body work to stay healthy if you
are feeling well.  Osteopaths are usually a little more thorough with each treatment, evaluating the entire
body from head to toe (not just focusing on the spine).  Typically the time spent with the patient for
evaluation, treatment and devising a home exercise program is more extensive.  Osteopathic manipulation
is often more gentle than chiropractic, with less "cracking" techniques involved.

To find an osteopathic physician that uses manipulation near you click
here and use the physician finder
in the upper left corner of the American Academy of Osteopathy's website.