American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Tenets of Osteopathic Medicine



Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, are trained to promote the body's natural tendency toward self-healing and health. Their caring, holistic approach to wellness is rooted in the latest advances in medicine, but DOs also consider options that can complement pharmaceuticals and surgery.

Tenets of Osteopathic Medicine

The Tenets of Osteopathic Medicine express the underlying philosophy of osteopathic medicine and were approved by the AOA House of Delegates as policy.

  1. The body is a unit; the person is a unit of body, mind, and spirit.

  2. The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and health maintenance.

  3. Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.

  4. Rational treatment is based upon an understanding of the basic principles of body unity, self-regulation, and the interrelationship of structure and function.



To find a DO near you or to learn more about DOs' unique approach to care and the health benefits of osteopathic manipulative treatment, visit DoctorsThatDO.org.