Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy (OMT) is one type of BODYWORK


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Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy is one type of Bodywork

            by Richard J. Clofine, D.O. (Aumdoc)

Bodywork is a generic term for therapeutic hands-on healing.  

Using the term bodywork is more inclusive than referring to a specific school or style of therapy.  

Wikepedia defines it clearly:

Bodywork is a term used in alternative medicine or complementary medicine to describe any therapeutic, healing or personal development work which involves some form of touching, energetic work or the physical manipulation of a practically oriented physical and somatic understanding of the body.

The broadest use of the term is inclusive of many forms and systems including (but surely not limited to):

  • Western Medical Styles of Bodywork (e.g. Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy, Chiropractic Medicine, Physical Therapy)
  • Ethnic forms of Bodywork (e.g. Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Tui Na, Thai massage);
  • Holistic Approaches to Bodywork (e.g. Structural Integration (Rolfing), Feldenkrais Method, Trager Approach, Polarity Therapy);
  • Alternative Approaches (e.g. Reflexology, Energy Medicine)
  • Spiritual Approaches (e.g. Yoga, Holotrophic Breathwork)
  • Movement Styles (Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Gabrielle Roth) 

I am an Osteopathic Physician trained in that particular school of bodywork. 

Yet I no longer feel comfortable describing my hands on healing work as Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy. 

Its form and application can no longer be contained within that specific label.

While standing on the firm foundation of OSTEOPTHIC MEDICINE my bodywork has changed so much in 27 years, and has been informed by so many different things, that it no longer fits neatly into the category of Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy (OMT).  My current sessions look nothing like the OMT I was taught in medical school and initially utilized in practice. While the form has changed considerably, much of what I do in a session is still firmly rooted in Osteopathic Philosophy and Principles.  My bodywork sessions address both specific issues and how they fit into the big picture of your life.  This applies issues of mind, body and spirit.

Today, my hands are informed by much that wasn’t present initially; all the babies I’ve delivered and the surgery I have performed; and all the other benefits drawn from years of practice and experience.  It is deeply influenced by my practice of meditation and my study of Shamanism.  My sessions now integrate Energy Medicine, Mind-Body Medicine and Shamanic Healing practices.  Initially I was taught a form of Physical Medicine set in the context of Osteopathic medical practice.  Through my life experiences and personal interests it has transformed into a Spiritual Medicine not easily categorized.  I like it that way, and so do my patients!














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