The legacy and implications of the body-mind-spirit osteopathic tenet: A discussion paper evaluating its clinical relevance in contemporary osteopathic care

  • Rafael Zegarra-Parodi
    Corresponding author. BMS Formation, 7 Rue Georges Ville, 75116, Paris, France.
    A.T. Still Research Institute, A.T. Still University, 800 W. Jefferson St., Kirksville, MO, 63501, USA

    Clinical-Human Research Department, Non-Profit Foundation COME Collaboration, Via A. Vespucci 188, 65126, Pescara, Italy

    BMS Formation, 7 Rue Georges Ville, 75116, Paris, France
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  • Jorge E. Esteves
    Clinical-Human Research Department, Non-Profit Foundation COME Collaboration, Via A. Vespucci 188, 65126, Pescara, Italy

    Research Centre, University College of Osteopathy, 275 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1JE, UK

    Malta ICOM Educational Ltd., 95, St. Georges Beach Complex, San Gorg Street STJ001 San Gilijan, Malta
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  • Christian Lunghi
    Clinical-Human Research Department, Non-Profit Foundation COME Collaboration, Via A. Vespucci 188, 65126, Pescara, Italy

    Malta ICOM Educational Ltd., 95, St. Georges Beach Complex, San Gorg Street STJ001 San Gilijan, Malta
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  • Francesca Baroni
    Clinical-Human Research Department, Non-Profit Foundation COME Collaboration, Via A. Vespucci 188, 65126, Pescara, Italy

    Malta ICOM Educational Ltd., 95, St. Georges Beach Complex, San Gorg Street STJ001 San Gilijan, Malta
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  • Jerry Draper-Rodi
    Research Centre, University College of Osteopathy, 275 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1JE, UK
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  • Francesco Cerritelli
    Clinical-Human Research Department, Non-Profit Foundation COME Collaboration, Via A. Vespucci 188, 65126, Pescara, Italy
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      • The body-mind-spirit osteopathic tenet is not defined and lacks associated clinical practices.
      • The spiritual dimension may be included in existing top-down coping strategies that address meaning and purpose.
      • A predictive processing perspective may account for manual and non-manual approaches in osteopathic care.
      • A predictive processing perspective may account for the spiritual dimension in osteopathic care.
      • A roadmap to initiate an evidence-oriented framework in line with the body-mind-spirit osteopathic tenet is proposed.


      A current osteopathic tenet inherited from Native American principles involves viewing each person as a dynamic interaction of body-mind-spirit (BMS). Because of its traditional medicine heritage and current evidence-based approach, the osteopathic profession is, arguably, uniquely positioned to promote evidence-informed person-centered approaches that transcend improvements in pain and musculoskeletal function. It may be particularly relevant in the context of integrating the BMS tenet into osteopathic care according to the diversity of patients’ values and sociocultural assumptions towards health, symptoms, and subsequent care, which range from the typical Western to complementary and alternative medicine perspectives. There is currently a lack of robust clinical practice frameworks in this area, confusing patients and practitioners and blurring professional identities. The current commentary provides an opportunity to initiate discussions in the profession with a rationale for creating a roadmap to develop an evidence-informed framework for osteopathic care that integrates the BMS tenet.


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