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Osteopathic Medicine: Terminology

This guide will provide useful information on finding resources in osteopathic medicine.

Osteopathic Glossary

Chapman's Reflex
A system of reflex points that present as predictable anterior and posterior fascial tissue texture abnormalities(plaque-like changes or stringiness of the involved tissues) assumed to be reflections of visceral dysfunction or pathology.


A system of diagnosis and treatment that considers the dysfunction to be a continuing,inappropriate strain reflex, which is inhibited by applying a position of mild strain in the direction exactly opposite to that of the reflex; this is accomplished by specific directed positioning about the point of tenderness to achieve the desired therapeutic response.


Manual Medicine
The skillful use of the hands to diagnose and treat structural and functional abnormalities in various tissues and organs throughout the body,including bones, joints, muscles and other soft tissues as an integral part of complete medical care.


Myofascial Release
A system of diagnosis and treatment first described by Andrew Taylor Still and his early students, which engages continual palpatory feedback to achieve release of myofascial tissues.


Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy
The therapeutic application of manually guided forces by an osteopath to improve physiological function and/or support homeostasis that has been altered by somatic dysfunction.


Osteopathic Medicine 
Osteopathic medicine was founded in the late 1800s in Kirksville, Missouri, by Andrew Taylor Still, MD, who recognized that the medical practices of the day often caused more harm than good. Still focused on developing a system of medical care that would promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself. He called this system of medicine osteopathy, now known as osteopathic medicine. Osteopathic medicine provides all of the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery, and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury. It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine. Osteopathic medicine emphasizes helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention.


Trigger Point(myofascial trigger point)
A small hypersensitive site that, when stimulated, consistently produces a reflex mechanism that gives rise to referred pain and/or other manifestations in a consistent reference zone that is consistent from person to person.

© 2016 New York Institute of Technology