Osteopath uses many healing techniques
Suzie Daggett interviews Veronica E. Daggett, D.O., (no relation), a doctor who integrates Cranial Osteopathy, nutrition and western herbs in her practice as she assists patients in finding their unique healing process.
How did you get interested in medicine and osteopathy?
I have been interested in health since I was young, but I was discouraged from going into medicine. I got my degree in Environmental Toxicology, which in many ways helped when I went to medical school eight years later.
My parents were in a severe car accident in which my dad passed and my mom was in intensive care for five weeks. I wanted and needed to know everything that was going on with my mom. Most of her care was excellent, and some was not.
Being in the hospital, being proactive with her care, rekindled my interest in medicine. I had connected with a D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) and I loved his approach to health. He asked questions such as: “What was your mom’s health like during her pregnancy, what was the birth like, what childhood illnesses did you get, how often are you sick now?” and so on.
No physician had taken a thorough history of my health or tried to understand the whole of my life before this. He understood having the best possible health today and not waiting until you have an obvious disease. His work led me to become an osteopath.
What is osteopathy?
Osteopathy was founded in the late 1800s by Andrew Taylor Still, a frontier doctor who was dissatisfied with the ineffectiveness of medicine at that time.
Osteopathy is based on the belief that the body has the ability to heal itself, and it recognizes the importance of preventative medicine. The focus is on the patient, not just on the disease or symptoms.
Osteopaths are trained to use all of the techniques of modern medicine, including drugs and surgery. In addition, osteopaths are trained to use their hands as a tool for diagnosis and treatment. Today you may find a D.O. in any specialty of medicine.
What distinguishes your work from an M.D. or other D.O.s?
I specialize in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, particularly Cranial Osteopathy. Only about 5 percent of osteopaths work in this arena. It is a treatment of the entire body.
This approach affects the structure and fluid surrounding the central nervous system, as well as the fascial connections throughout the body. There is a profound effect on the total body, directly influencing the body’s inherent capacity to heal itself.
I recognize what the body should structurally feel and look like under my hands. In this approach, hands need to be trained for about five years to become healing hands. The goal is to bring the body to its normal function through thinking, feeling fingers.
The basic training is the same for both allopathic physicians (M.D.) and osteopathic (D.O.) physicians. Osteopaths spend hundreds of additional hours learning hands-on diagnosis and techniques and often spend more time learning anatomy and physiology. Also, our approach to the patient is generally more humanistic.
What does a patient experience with your work?
After the patient fills out a long history form, we talk – I want to know the whole context of their life.
I use osteopathic manipulative techniques, and with every treatment I observe the processes of transformation and transmutation. This means the body reorganizes itself back to the perfection that is in our DNA.
For some this is deep healing, for others, the change comes gradually. Patients feel different after a treatment, often expressing a sense of improved overall well-being. I also counsel patients on lifestyle, particularly diet, because it is so important to our overall health.
My nutrition philosophy is based on traditional nutrient- dense foods that have nourished our ancestors for thousands of years and the current scientific validation of these foods.
I am also an herbalist, sometimes recommending herbs that will assist with a particular situation. I do ask all patients to have a primary care physician to cover labs, hospital visits, emergencies and prescriptions.
What do you get out of your work?
I delight in seeing people that have been everywhere for relief, to be able to help them. I enjoy teaching patients how to engage their health independent of me by changing their diet, working with stresses and finding a physical activity that is appropriate to them.
Veronica Daggett can be reached at her Nevada City office, 530-265-2425. In the fall, she will be presenting a lecture series on nutrient health. Information on nutrition can be found at http://www.westonaprice.org
Suzie Daggett is the TV host of Healing INsights on NCTV, and the publisher of INSIGHT, the Directory of Healing Arts Practitioners; she can be reached at 265-9255. http://www.insightdirectory.com
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