December 8, 2004

The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of North Texas Health Science Center a $1.8 million research grant to study osteopathic manipulative medicine and its impact on the human body.

The three-year grant marks the first time the NIH has funded the study of OMM, which incorporates massage and chiropractic methods, such as stretching, gentle pressure and resistance, to restore motion to joints and muscles. OMM is practiced by licensed physicians “traditionally doctors of osteopathic medicine” who can be board certified to practice the unique therapy option.

â??We live in an evidence-based medical age,â? said Michael S. Smith, PhD, chair and professor of integrative physiology and primary investigator for the study. “It is important for us to understand the impact of OMM on the body.”

The study, which is a collaborative effort between the health science center and the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University, looks at the effectiveness of OMM on the body’s physiology through three research emphases. The first looks at how OMM affects the body at the tissue level. The second studies how OMM alters blood flow to different areas of the body. The third looks at how OMM treatment reduces pain in patients by studying their sympathetic nervous system, which activates what is often termed the “fight or flight response” of the body.

“By studying osteopathic manipulative medicine at these three levels, we hope to better understand how it works and how we can better use it as a treatment option for such conditions as edema and arthritis,” said Scott Stoll, DO, PhD, chair and associate professor of manipulative medicine.


Contact: Becky Purvis, bpurvis@hsc.unt.edu, 817-735-5152, pager: 817-216-0345 or 8172160345@archwireless.net

The University of North Texas Health Science Center is composed of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the School of Public Health and the School of Health Professions. The centerâ??s Institutes for Discovery conduct leading-edge research on select health issues, including vision, aging, cancer, heart disease, physical medicine, and public health. A 100-member physician group practice, The Physicians & Surgeons Medical Group, manages nearly 200,000 Fort Worth-area patient visits yearly. The institution injects nearly $500 million into Tarrant County and Texasâ?? economies annually.

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