Original Contribution  |   October 2019
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment for Allostatic Load Lowering
Author Notes
  • From the Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Vallejo, California (Dr Nuño and Student Doctors Siu and Deol) and the Department of Psychiatry and Addiction at the University of Montreal (Dr Juster). 
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  • Support: None reported. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Victor Nuño, DO, Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, 1310 Club Dr, Vallejo, CA 94592-1187. Email: victor.nuno@tu.edu
     
Article Information
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment
Original Contribution   |   October 2019
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment for Allostatic Load Lowering
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, October 2019, Vol. 119, 646-654. doi:https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2019.112
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, October 2019, Vol. 119, 646-654. doi:https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2019.112
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1
Abstract

Context: Limited research has been done to examine osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) effects on modulating a compilation of allostatic load (AL) biomarkers that work to measure the body's multisystem response to homeostatic deviation.

Objective: To examine the efficacy of OMT on graduate students’ overall health through an objective index of representative AL biomarkers.

Methods: A within-subject pre- and postintervention study was conducted at Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in California during the fall 2017 semester. Graduate students enrolled in the Masters of Science in Medical Health Sciences program volunteered to participate in the study and received treatment by an osteopathic physician. The participants were evaluated using the following measures: Trier Inventory for the Assessment of Chronic Stress; diurnal urine cortisol and catecholamines; dried blood glycated hemoglobin, dehydroepiandrosterone, high-density lipoprotein, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein; blood pressure, body mass index, and waist-to-hip ratio before (preintervention) and after (postintervention) OMT.

Results: The study consisted of 1 man (participant 1) and 1 woman (participant 2) aged 23 and 22 years, respectively. Participants were enrolled in the same academic program and received 3 OMT sessions in 7 weeks. Analysis of AL biomarkers revealed a decrease in overall AL scores from preintervention to postintervention in participant 1 (from 7 to 4) and participant 2 (from 9 to 7). Analysis of Trier Inventory for the Assessment of Chronic Stress scores revealed a decrease in self-perceived stress from preintervention to postintervention in participant 1 (from 18 to 15) and in participant 2 (from 40 to 13).

Conclusion: The OMT protocol used in the current study decreased measures of overall AL and self-perceived stress in both participants. This finding suggests that OMT may represent a reasonable modality to reduce AL and self-perceived stress in graduate students. Since the current study is limited by its small sample size, further research is warranted.

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