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The Inclusive Osteopathic Dictionary
Editor: Steve Paulus, DO, MS

The purpose of the Inclusive Osteopathic Dictionary is to present important and often used words, terms, and phrases utilized by the international Osteopathic community. It is also a collection of common words used in my Osteopathic practice and teaching. Some definitions include modifications of standardized terms developed by American Osteopathic organizations, others come from typical medical and non-medical dictionaries, and additional terms are historical expressions used by Osteopaths in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I have taken orthodox Osteopathic terms and reorganized their definitions to make them more accessible. Included are clarifications of overlapping terms utilized in other professions such as physical therapy, Chiropractics, and other related disciplines that utilize hands-on manual therapies.

This dictionary does not exclude widespread terms utilized by DOs outside of the United States. It contains common terms utilized by DOs in non-academic clinical practice that did not pass through the gatekeepers found on professional review committees. This dictionary also accepts colloquial terms that are used to describe the perceptual experience occurring during an Osteopathic Treatment.

The Inclusive Osteopathic Dictionary is not meant to replace the standard Glossary of Osteopathic Terminology developed by the American Association of the Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. This dictionary is meant to complement the Glossary as well as any official dictionaries developed by professional societies in the international Osteopathic community.

This particular collection of Osteopathic definitions is a work in progress. Clearly defining key words used in the hands-on work of Osteopathy is very important. By making these definitions as unambiguous as possible, I am attempting to create a common perceptual language that permit Osteopaths to tell their stories, i.e. clinical case histories, to other DOs in a way that will allow all of us to learn from each other more effectively. I invite your comments and suggestions for improving the language in these definitions to make them more accessible.

Click here for the Inclusive Osteopathic Dictionary in PDF format.