Stephanie Nani
Submitted to The Union

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December 31, 2013
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Osteopathic Medicine: A uniquely effective approach

Whether you struggle with chronic pain or illness, recently suffered an injury or simply want to enjoy a higher level of overall health, osteopathic medicine can help.

Osteopathy is not a set of techniques, it is an approach to health and healing that when applied in medical practice can have a profound impact on a patients’ health. The human body is always working to maintain a state of balance (or homeostasis). The goal of osteopathic medicine is simply to assist in that process. It is a very hands-on approach to health care that incorporates many different therapies, from medicines and surgery to manual therapies and natural remedies. The goal is to bring a body that has been altered through stress, injury or disease into a more balanced state.

It is a “holistic” approach in that we are always looking at the whole body, recognizing that all body systems function in unison and that a disturbance in one system may alter function in another. Osteopathic physicians acknowledge the inherent ability of the body to heal itself when given the right help. For example, a patient comes in with asthma. She was in a severe car accident many years ago in which her chest hit the steering wheel. She recovered well but within a year of the accident she began having symptoms of asthma that continued to worsen until she needed to use daily medications, including steroids, to breath. Using osteopathic principals we looked at all aspects of her body, not just her lungs. We found that because of the severe impact to her chest there were multiple injuries to the musculoskeletal system that had never been addressed. Her ribs were frozen, unable to move, this prevented her chest cavity from being able to expand and contract as it should which created diminished immune function in the region. When this happens we know that inflammation and irritability of the lungs can occur and will continue to worsen until the patient has symptoms, in this case asthma. When we addressed the underlying issues her asthma began to resolve and over a few months she was able to stop taking all her medications.

Osteopathic medicine is an excellent way to treat people of all ages with a wide range of acute or chronic conditions, and is especially helpful in the treatment of chronic pain.

*A doctor of osteopathic medicine is a fully licensed physician whose training includes all aspects of medicine and surgery.

*There are 59,000 osteopaths in the country today. Most function as primary care physicians or provide care within various medical specialties such as surgery, cardiology or neurology.

*Osteopaths complete four years of training in medical school then a year internship at an approved teaching hospital. Most will go on to another 1-7 years of additional training in a residency program of their choice.

*Currently one in six physicians graduating from medical school today is an osteopathic physician.

Stephanie Nani, D.O. has an office at 565 Brunswick Road, Suite 1 in Grass Valley. She accepts many insurances in her practice, including Medicare. Contact her at 530-274-7197 or

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The Union Updated Dec 31, 2013 12:02PM Published Jan 2, 2014 12:19PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.