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WesternU / College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) and COMP-Northwest / Faculty, Staff & Departments / Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (NMM/OMM)

Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (NMM/OMM)

Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine/Osteopathic Medicine (NMM/OMM)

The mission of the Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine/Osteopathic Medicine (NMM/OMM) Department at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) & COMP-Northwest is threefold:

  • To educate and train current and future healthcare professionals in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine,
  • To research Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine,
  • To promote Osteopathic patient care.

Departmental Contact:
Carlos Mendez
cmendez@westernu.edu

Faculty & Staff

Portrait of

Rebecca Giusti, DO

COMP

Chair & Associate Professor of NMM/OMM and Family Medicine

rgiusti@westernu.edu

Portrait of

Janice Blumer, DO, FAAO

COMP-Northwest

Vice Chair & Associate Professor of NMM/OMM and Family Medicine

jblumer@westernu.edu

Portrait of

Brian Loveless, DO

COMP

Associate Professor of NMM/OMM and Family Medicine

bloveless@westernu.edu

Portrait of

Edward K. Goering, DO

COMP-Northwest

Assistant Professor of NMM/OMM and Family Medicine

egoering@westernu.edu

Portrait of

Raymond J. Hruby, DO, MS, FAAO

COMP

Professor of NMM/OMM and Family Medicine

rhruby@westernu.edu

Portrait of

Bachtuyet Le, DO

COMP-Northwest

Assistant Professor of NMM/OMM and Family Medicine

bachtuyetle@westernu.edu

Portrait of

Mary Ann Magoun, DO

COMP

Assistant Professor of NMM/OMM and Pediatrics

mmagoun@westernu.edu

Portrait of

Kara Mintier, DO

COMP-Northwest

Assistant Professor of NMM/OMM and Family Medicine

kmintier@westernu.edu

Portrait of

David Redding, DO

COMP

Associate Professor of NMM/OMM and Family Medicine

dredding@westernu.edu

Portrait of

Jesus Sanchez, DO

COMP

Assistant Dean, Academic Affairs
Professor of NMM/OMM and Family Medicine

jsanchez@westernu.edu

Emeritus Faculty

Portrait of

Michael Seffinger, DO

COMP

Professor of NMM/OMM and Family Medicine (Emeritus)

mseffinger@westernu.edu

Administrative Team

Portrait of

Carlos Mendez, MBA, Management

COMP/COMP-Northwest

Manager, NMM/OMM and PM&
Manager of Auxiliary Staff

(909) 469-5280

cmendez@westernu.edu

Portrait of

Valerie Lemus

COMP

Administrative Assistant III

(909) 469-5282

vlemus@westernu.edu

Portrait of

Laura Hysell

COMP-Northwest

Manager, Family Medicine and NMM/OMM

lhysell@westernu.edu

Portrait of

Shaina Burnett

COMP-Northwest

Curriculum Coordinator, Family Medicine and NMM/OMM

sburnett@westernu.edu

Portrait of

Tiffany Scott

COMP-Northwest

Curriculum Coordinator, Family Medicine and NMM/OMM

tscott@westernu.edu

  • NMM/OMM Fellows

    What is an Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
    Pre-Doctoral Teaching Fellow?

    The Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Pre-Doctoral Teaching Fellowship Program is a twelve-month training program integrated within the student’s third and fourth clinical clerkship years. An additional year is added to the student’s osteopathic medical training to accommodate his/her clinical clerkship and fellowship obligations. The fellowship program affords students the opportunity to teach the science and art of osteopathic principles and practice (OPP). It also allows the interested student to practice and perfect his/her skills while working under supervision of experienced osteopathic physicians.

    The goals of the fellowship program are to help develop future osteopathic physicians who:

    • Have the ability to teach applications of osteopathic philosophy and principles in practice
    • Have advanced skills in osteopathic diagnosis and manipulative treatment
    • Contribute to advancing the discipline of neuromuscular medicine/osteopathic manipulative medicine through education, research and clinical practice

    The NMM/OMM PDT Fellows are respected members of the teaching, research, and service team in COMP’s NMM/OMM Department. The position requires a strong commitment to the department faculty, peers, patients, and to the students who depend heavily upon the Fellows’ assistance and expertise.

  • Pomona Fellows
    FALL 2021
    Portrait Myra Gutierrez
    Myra Gutierrez
    COMP
    5th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    myra.gutierrez@westernu.edu
    SPRING 2022
    Portrait Justine Tran
    Justine Tran
    COMP
    5th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    justine.tran@westernu.edu
    Portrait Nader Batal
    Nader Batal
    COMP
    5th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    nader.batal@westernu.edu
    Portrait Michael Jaso
    Michael Jaso
    COMP
    5th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    michael.jaso@westernu.edu
    Portrait Pari Vanjara
    Pari Vanjara
    COMP
    5th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    pari.vanjara@westernu.edu
    Portrait Mitchell Sauder
    Mitchell Sauder
    COMP
    5th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    mitchell.sauder@westernu.edu
    Portrait Victoria Nguyen
    Victoria Nguyen
    COMP
    5th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    victoria.nguyen@westernu.edu
    Portrait Robert Camarillo
    Robert Camarillo
    COMP
    5th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    robert.camarillo@westernu.edu
    Portrait Brianna Ahn
    Brianna Ahn
    COMP
    4th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    brianna.ahn@westernu.edu
    Portrait Gilbert Hernandez
    Gilbert Hernandez
    COMP
    4th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    gilbert.hernandez@westernu.edu
    Portrait Caitlin Jackson
    Caitlin Jackson
    COMP
    4th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    caitlin.jackson@westernu.edu
    Portrait Hannah Fadenrecht
    Hannah Fadenrecht
    COMP
    4th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    hannah.fadenrecht@westernu.edu
    Portrait Julia Ramirez
    Julia Ramirez
    COMP
    4th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    Julia.ramirez@westernu.edu
    Portrait Michael McCreary
    Michael McCreary
    4th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    Michael.mccreary@westernu.edu
    Portrait Kelly Patapoff
    Kelly Patapoff
    COMP
    4th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    kelly.patapoff@westernu.edu
    Portrait Sheryl Hefti
    Sheryl Hefti
    COMP
    4th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    sheryl.hefti@westernu.edu
    Portrait Hana Hadiprodjo
    Hana Hadiprodjo
    COMP
    3rd Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    hana.hadiprodjo@westernu.edu
    Portrait Eric Beveridge
    Eric Beveridge
    COMP
    3rd Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    eric.beveridge@westernu.edu
    Portrait Ian Stellar
    Ian Stellar
    COMP
    3rd Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    ian.stellar@westernu.edu
    Portrait Haley Lehtola
    Haley Lehtola
    COMP
    3rd Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    haley.lehtola@westernu.edu
    Portrait Cameron Wildhalm
    Cameron Wildhalm
    COMP
    3rd Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    cameron.wildhalm@westernu.edu
    Portrait Patrick Maehler
    Patrick Maehler
    COMP
    3rd Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    patrick.maehler@westernu.edu
    Portrait Cameron Wildhalm
    Vacant
    Portrait Arielle Marie Magpoc
    Arielle Marie Magpoc
    COMP
    3rd Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    ariellemarie.magpoc@westernu.edu
    Portrait vacant
    vacant
    Portrait Madelaine Towbin
    Madelaine Towbin
    COMP
    3rd Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    madeline.towbin@westernu.edu
  • Oregon Fellows
    FALL 2021
    Portrait Abigail Calkins
    Abigail Calkins
    COMP-Northwest
    5th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    abigail.calkins@westernu.edu
    SPRING 2022
    Portrait Jan Garo
    Jan Garo
    COMP-Northwest
    5th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    janandrea.garo@westernu.edu
    Portrait Kaori Morimoto
    Kaori Morimoto
    COMP-Northwest
    5th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    kaori.morimoto@westernu.edu
    Portrait Yuriy Dasar
    Yuriy Dasar
    COMP-Northwest
    5th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    yuriy.dasar@westernu.edu
    Portrait Andrew Boyer
    Andrew Boyer
    COMP-Northwest
    4th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    andrew.boyer@westernu.edu
    Portrait Alisha Harrington
    Alisha Harrington
    COMP-Northwest
    4th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    alisha.harrington@westernu.edu
    Portrait Dayton Dean
    Dayton Dean
    COMP-Northwest
    4th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    dayton.dean@westernu.edu
    Portrait Gabrielle Chang
    Gabrielle Chang
    COMP-Northwest
    4th Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    gabrielle.chang@westernu.edu
    Portrait Claudia Nelson
    Claudia Nelson
    COMP-Northwest
    3rd Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    claudia.nelson@westernu.edu
    Portrait Morgan Nichols
    Morgan Nichols
    COMP-Northwest
    3rd Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    morgan.nichols@westernu.edu
    Portrait John Henderson
    John Henderson
    COMP-Northwest
    3rd Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    john.henderson@westernu.edu
    Portrait LJ McKenzie
    L.J. McKenzie
    COMP-Northwest
    3rd Year NMM/OMM PDT Fellow
    l.j.mckenzie@westernu.edu
  • Additional Department Information

  • History of Osteopathic Medicine

    Osteopathic History and Principles

    Osteopathic medicine as we know it begins with Andrew Taylor Still, M.D. (1828 – 1917), who introduced its concepts in 1874. Still’s basic idea — that the human body was much like a machine, one that would function well if all its parts were in proper mechanical relationship — was unique compared to the medical thinking of the time.

    Doctor Still believed that the human body should be studied as a whole, and that all elements of a person’s body, mind and spirit had to be incorporated into the total care of that person. He believed that the body had self-regulatory and self-healing powers, that the body contained within it all the substances necessary for maintaining health. When the body was properly stimulated, Still believed that these substances would also assist in recovering from illness. He did not view disease as an outside agent somehow inflicting itself on the body. Rather, disease was the result of alterations in the structural relationships of the body parts that led to an inability of the body to resist or recover from illness.

    “Osteopathy is based on the perfection of Nature’s work. When all parts of the human body are in line we have health. When they are not the effect is disease. When the parts are readjusted disease gives place to health. The work of the osteopath is to adjust the body from the abnormal to the normal; then the abnormal condition gives place to the normal and health is the result of the normal condition.”

    Still applied this philosophy to his medical practice with great success, while continuing to prudently utilize the medical and surgical approaches available to him. As a result of his years of study, and the application of his ideas to his practice, he was able to leave us with a set of general principles that are still central to the contemporary practice of osteopathic medicine.

    • The human body is a unit, an integrated organism in which no part functions independently. According to this principle, abnormalities in the structure or function of one part of the body may unfavorably influence other parts, and eventually, the body as a whole.
    • The body has an inherent capacity to maintain its own health and to heal itself. By extension, this principle implies that there must be adequate circulation to and from all tissues of the body, and there must be proper nervous system function in order to coordinate the actions of all of the body’s organs and systems.
    • Structure and function are interrelated, and the musculoskeletal system can reflect changes in and can produce changes in other body systems. Still considered the human body to be a machine. He saw that the musculoskeletal system (bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues) was the largest collective system of the body, making up 60 percent or more of the body’s mass. Through careful study and experimentation, he was able to associate abnormalities in the structural system of the body with signs and symptoms of various diseases. He developed manipulative methods (now known as osteopathic manipulative treatment) to remove these structural abnormalities to alleviate the patient’s illness.
    • Rational treatment is based upon integration of the first three principles into the total care of the patient. Thus treatment is based on the principles of body unity, self-regulatory and self-healing mechanisms, the somatic component of disease, the interrelationship between structure and function, and the appropriate use of manipulative treatment.

    The Osteopathic View of Health and Disease

    What an osteopathic physician does for a patient (aside from the use of osteopathic manipulative treatment) is often not different from what any physician might do when faced with a similar situation. What is different about the osteopathic physician is how he or she thinks about health and disease. The difference is found in the previously described philosophical concepts and principles of osteopathic medicine.

    Under normal circumstances, the body’s own self-regulatory and self-healing mechanisms are able to counteract these stressors and thus maintain health. However, should stressors accumulate to the point where these mechanisms are overwhelmed, the body’s inherent tendency toward health is weakened. Continuation of this process over time leads to the signs and symptoms of illness. The osteopathic physician recognizes that these signs and symptoms are not the illness itself, but are only the outward signs of the illness. The illness is the result of the stressors’ impact on the body’s systems. Treatment must be directed toward the stressors, as symptomatic treatment alone will not guarantee the restoration of health.

    Medicine has classically been preoccupied with internal organs (viscera), but life as we experience it does not consist of the sum total of the activity of one’s viscera. Life is much more than that. Life is what we see each other do, and the human being is not just a biological entity that performs functions such as vasodilatation and peristalsis. The human being also runs, works, plays music, and is creative. In all of these activities the body as a whole or in part moves. Thus human life is expressed through movement, and the movement that is expressed is carried out by the musculoskeletal system. This musculoskeletal system is the machinery by which even our thoughts and wishes are carried out, by which even our highest intellectual activities are communicated to others and turned into action. Thus, from the osteopathic point of view, the musculoskeletal system is the primary machinery of life.

     If this is so, then what about the viscera, those internal organs with which medicine is always so concerned? Again, from the osteopathic point of view, their role is supportive in nature. They are the secondary machinery of life. The viscera are not less important, but rather are put into a different perspective. Their role is to care for and maintain the primary machinery, which means that they are concerned with providing nutrients, oxygen and other such materials, disposing of waste products, and providing defense and repair mechanisms for the body. In other words, the viscera are concerned with regulating the internal environment in which the cells of the primary machinery carry out their function. From moment to moment, the viscera bring into harmony all the functions necessary to meet the current demands of the primary machinery, the neuromusculoskeletal system.

    We use the term ‘neuromusculoskeletal’ system, because it is through the nervous system that the primary and secondary machinery communicate and maintain the body’s state of dynamic equilibrium. We are particularly interested in the autonomic nervous system, and most particularly in the sympathetic portion of the autonomic system. While all parts of the nervous system are important in the body’s ability to function, the sympathetic system provides the most direct anatomical link between the soma and the viscera, since it has fibers that reach every tissue in the human body. Thus, the role of the autonomic nervous system is given more importance in the osteopathic physician’s approach to the patient.

    The primary and secondary machinery communicate with each other by way of the nervous system, and especially through the sympathetic nervous system. When all goes well, and proper communication is maintained, the body is said to be in a state of wellness or homeostasis. But when illness occurs in an internal organ, the neural connections between that organ and its related body wall region experience a continued heightened state of activity known as facilitation. Likewise, when an injury to the soma occurs, these same neural connections can result in a facilitated state that results in visceral symptoms, even though the problem is not primarily in the viscera.

    When this happens, standard medical practice focuses on and treats the visceral aspects of the problem. However, the osteopathic physician knows that the somatic component of any given illness is at least as important as the visceral aspect. Furthermore, the osteopathic physician knows that the somatic component can be accessed through palpation and treated with osteopathic manipulative methods. This not only helps to alleviate symptoms, but also improves blood supply, nerve function and immune response in the affected viscera, thus optimizing the body’s self-regulatory and self-healing mechanisms. The patient is in a better position to recover with perhaps little or no intervention with drugs or surgery, and is more capable of maintaining an improved state of health over a long period of time. This is the rationale for stressing the importance of the interrelationship between structure and function, and for the use of osteopathic manipulative methods as part of the total care of the patient.

  • Faculty Publications

    Rebecca Giusti, DO

    When the Clinical Environment Is Closed to Students: The Harsh Reality of COVID-19 and Implications for Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine


    Brian Loveless, DO

    The Use of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine in the Management of Recurrent Mastitis

    Defining Osteopathic Continuing Medical Education


    David Redding, DO

    Accuracy of Anterior Superior Iliac Spine Symmetry Assessment by Routine Structural Examination

    Osteopathic Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

    A Pilot Study on the Effects of Nut Consumption on Cardiovascular Biomarkers


    Jesus Sanchez Jr, DO

    Uncontrolled Asthma: Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment Applied in a Rural Setting (PDF file)


    Michael Seffinger, DO

    Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine: Philosophy, Science, Clinical Applications and Research 4th Edition

    Osteopathic manipulative treatment in individuals with vertigo and somatic dysfunction: a randomized, controlled, comparative feasibility study

    The Role of Musculoskeletal Disorders in Chronic Disease: A Narrative Review 

    Musculoskeletal Conditions in Patients With Diabetes: A Narrative Review

    Empathy in Medicine Self and Other in Medical Education: Initial Emotional Intelligence Trend Analysis Widens the Lens Around Empathy and Burnout

    Correlation of Personal Experience and Acquired Knowledge With Intent to Recommend Adjunctive Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment or Yoga for Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain

    Content Validity of Manual Spinal Palpatory Exams. A Systematic Review (PDF file)

    Reliability of Spinal Palpation for Diagnosis of Back and Neck Pain (PDF file)

    Spinal Palpation: The Challenges of Information Retrieval Using Available Databases (PDF file)

    Spinal palpatory diagnostic procedures utilized by practitioners of spinal manipulation: annotated bibliography of content vadity and reliability studies (PDF file)

    Osteopathic Philosophy and History (PDF file)

     

     

     

  • Useful Links