Episode 20: James Aston D.O. Founder of Rollin' Bones & OMT Practitioner
Play • 34 min

Dr. Aston is a Philadelphia college of osteopathic medicine alumnus, who did a Family practice residency at Unity Health in Arkansas,  and further training in Osteopathic Manipulative medicine (OMM)  at the university of north Texas.  He currently works at the University of North Texas Health Science Center's family medicine clinic and residency. In addition to these accolades, Dr. Aston was the very first fellow to be trained at the performing arts medicine fellowship, where he uses OMM to treat musicians and dancers.

Dr. Aston is dedicated to the study of osteopathy, and in an effort to educate students and the public about his passion, has created a Podcast, Rollin’ Bones, where he discusses topics from the history of osteopathic medicine to the intricate details of specific osteopathic techniques.  If you are interested in learning more about osteopathy, I highly recommend listening to his podcast.  A link can be found in the podcast section of our website.

Before we begin this episode, I think it is important to take a minute to define some terms which will be discussed with Dr. Aston

Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM), Osteopathic manipulative Therapy (OMT)  and Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (NMM) are all synonymous terms that describe the study and practice of the manual techniques that make DO’s unique.  OMM is not meant to  replace standard surgery and medical therapies but to COMPLIMENT them.  Using manual medicine the physician or “operator”  uses his hands to fix “somatic dysfunction.”   Somatic dysfunction are problems with the body’s structure which when repaired can  improve nerve, lymphatic and or blood flow in order to help return internal balance or homeostasis which in turn will accelerate the body’s  natural healing process

The main Osteopathic Techniques include:

1) soft tissue, and Myofascial  release where the physician massages muscles and superficial connective tissue to release tension. 

2)  High velocity low amplitude Thrusting technique (HVLA)- the classic “cracking” technique, where joints are aligned into their barrier and then forced back into place with quick, forceful movements. 

3) Muscle Energy... where the physician engages the point of restriction and uses the patient’s strength to counteract that force, bringing the muscle to relax

4) Counterstrain, where we put the tense tissues into a position of ease to relax tenderpoints in the tissues. 

There are also two very specialized techniques which frequently take years of extra study to master which are:

Visceral osteopathy which  focuses on facilitating the functions of the internal organs, such as the stomach, liver, and heart And Cranial osteopathy where the operator aims at releasing tension and stress in the body’s internal rhythms and impulses which we can feel with our hands, through our patient’s heads, and returning their body to a balanced rhythm

I encourage any listeners who are interested in learning more about OMM, and how neuromuscular medicine can be an incredibly helpful and important treatment modality for all patients.

I hope you enjoy this interview.  Although I know that our previous episodes have clearly shown the attributes which make osteopathic physicians special, this interview demonstrates what makes us unique. 

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