You probably didn’t know you need a doctor of osteopathic medicine in your life and I didn’t either until I first saw one. I’m writing this to tell you that OMM, though not as well-known as other manipulative medicine like chiropractics, is one of the most valuable things you can do for your health.
My physician let me interview her while she worked on me, so this post is a spotlight Dr. Shannon Crout, D.O. at Des Moines University.
What is OMM?
Osteopathic Manual Medicine is a core set of techniques of osteopathy and osteopathic medicine distinguishing these fields from the rest of medicine. It’s a foreign language in which Dr. Crout is fluent. An OMM treatment is Dr. Crout listening to a patient’s tissues and seeing what they need. They could need more pressure, less pressure, attention in one area, and they can tell her what layer there is dysfunction on.
Dysfunction in the tissues can be caused by a number of things that are stored through cellular memory. Emotion and trauma are stored within the tissues so when Dr. Crout connects with your body, she can tap into that and listen to what the body really needs and then give it just that. These emotions or traumatic events can be recent or as far back as when you were in the womb. It may not feel like she’s working hard on your body, like chiropractic work feels, but she is constantly demanding things of the tissues and seeing where the body needs change to reach its healthy state. She can take a patient with pain that’s been persistent for years figure out the root cause and get it resolved, whether the source is physical, emotional, maybe even psychological.
“I became a physician because I saw a lot of suffering in the world, and I wanted to alleviate some of that suffering.”
What causes pain?
OMM may be seen as something odd, complicated or invalid but, in the words of Dr. Crout, it’s very simple: it’s anatomy and physiology. It’s a foreign language because anatomy has its own way of communicating what’s wrong and OMM is having the palpatory skills to pick up on the differences of tissues. The four indicators of abnormal activity in anatomy are tissue tenderness, asymmetry, restricted range of motion and quality change. Something physiologically could be causing the anatomy to change or something anatomical could cause physiology to change and Dr. Crout can detect which is occurring and how to get rid of the root cause of that pain.
Who does she treat?
Dr. Crout can treat anyone starting from the very first hours they’re alive. While one of the most gratifying things she experiences as a D.O. is healing deep-rooted and chronic issues, she enjoys working with pregnant women as well. She’s had pregnant patients tell her their babies have turned after a treatment or they’ve been more active. She’s heard it done, though has yet to personally do it, where a D.O. can line up the midline of the baby and the midline of the mom and turn a breach baby so they can deliver naturally.
“Newborns to palliative or hospice care; no matter the age or the stage, I can make a difference.”
The Importance of Thought
Everyone has experienced trauma, some more than others. Dr. Crout wishes everyone could receive OMM treatments because she believes people would suffer a lot less. A big component, she’s found, is the thought process surrounding pain. The relationship with people and their pain is very interesting to Dr. Crout and she knows some people hold on to pain and it serves them well. How you view and perceive pain or illness can stop someone in their tracks and keep them from growing. Part of her hope in healing peoples’ deepest wounds is that she will help them let go of false perceptions of pain and the pain that holds her patients back.
My Personal Gratitude
I first came to Dr. Crout at a time when I’d recorded migraines that occurred nearly every day and had sometimes lasted for up to 72 hours at a time. Her work has not only diminished the amount of migraines I have tenfold, she’s healed my body in ways I never thought she could, from minor problems like sinus pressure to major ones like migraines and post-surgery change. My appreciation for Dr. Crout is beyond words.
*All quotes attributed to Dr. Shannon Crout
Profile image courtesy of Des Moines University
Featured image courtesy of OMICS International