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I commonly employ Cranial Osteopathic Manipulation, and I spend 30 minutes with each patient. We recognize that all of your body systems are interrelated, and know that the musculoskeletal system can dramatically affect health through its influence on the nervous, circulatory and immune systems.
There are numerous types of Osteopathic Manipulation. All are designed to correct structural problems and promote healing. I most commonly employ Cranial Osteopathic Manipulation. This is a very gentle approach used to free areas of the body which have restricted motion. It can be safely and effectively applied to infants and children as well as any age adult. Treatment often involves cradling the head or the sacrum (tailbone), using subtle pressure to free movement of restricted bones or other tissues. This type of treatment is also used to treat any area of the body. In addition to providing relief of pain and stiffness, patients usually experience an ongoing, improved sense of well-being and health.
Although most people think of Osteopathic manipulation for back pain or neck pain, it is also employed in the treatment of many disease states. In respiratory problems, for example, manipulation may be used to facilitate sinus drainage, lessen asthmatic symptoms, ease breathing, and improve lymph drainage and immune system function. In digestive problems, it can help hiatal hernia symptoms, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
Osteopathic manipulation is a painless and medication free way to treat infants and small children, where problems such as frequent spitting up, chronic ear infections, colic, head injury and delayed development can be addressed. There is Certification testing for Osteopathic Manipulation offered by the American Academy of Osteopathy.
There are currently less than 500 physicians in the United States who have this certification. Dr. Teitelbaum received his certification in 1991.
Osteopathic manipulation is a natural and painless method for addressing many of the health problems of infants and children. Manipulation helps the recovery from injuries and muscle strains that occur so commonly during childhood years. Perhaps less obvious is the role of manipulation in many other disease syndromes of children. During childbirth, pressure on the skull of the emerging infant has been measured at 27 pounds per square inch! As a result, that tiny skull will often be oddly shaped at birth. Fortunately, the skull usually returns to a normal shape by six weeks of age. However, in some children this resolution is incomplete and problems can result. Gentle manipulation is used to help the head achieve a normal shape which aids in treating many disease conditions.
Colic, for example, is not usually treated medically since it goes away on its own after several months. However, a major nerve that controls stomach movement (the vagus nerve) can be pinched as it emerges from the base of the skull. This can lead to poor digestion and colic. Osteopathic manipulation is able to gently release the compression on the nerve allowing normal function.
Ear infections are another common example. The middle ear is normally drained by the Eustachian tube. If this becomes pinched it will not drain and infection results. These infections are treated with antibiotics. If the antibiotics fail, surgery for the placement of tubes is recommended. Manipulation is able to release any impingement on the Eustachian tubes which allows them to drain, and the body's immune system is then able to handle the infection.
Other respiratory and digestive diseases also respond to Osteopathic manipulation. Seasonal asthma can be lessened in severity by regular treatment of the upper thoracic spine as this helps open the air tubes. Constipation responds to treatment of the lumbar spine and tailbone, since the nerves that control the colon originate in these areas. Natural, effective and without side effects, Osteopathic manipulation is an excellent treatment option for many diseases of infancy and childhood.