In the vibrant landscape of New York, Dr. Francis Yoo finds joy in savoring sushi, strumming the electric guitar, and immersing himself in the realms of sci-fi/fantasy stories and personal development.
As a physician trained in the United States with deep Asian roots, his journey unfolds at the intersection of Eastern and Western perspectives, weaving a tapestry of diverse experiences in health and medicine. It is this rich tapestry that he brings to the table, committed to assisting you on your path to optimal health and wellness.
Read more about this amazing D.O. in the latest MysticMag interview.
Can you explain the core principles and techniques of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) and its applications in patient care?
The core principles of and applications OMM are based on the tenets of Osteopathic Medicine:
- The body is a unit; the person is a unit of body, mind, and spirit.
- The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and health maintenance.
- Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.
- Rational treatment is based upon an understanding of the basic principles of body unity, self-regulation, and the interrelationship of structure and function.
In addition, it is health and person-centered as opposed to being symptom or disease-focused. It is about discovering and working with the Health that my patients have within them and assisting them in resolving obstacles to their healing process.
How do you assess the appropriateness of OMM for a given patient, and what safety measures and patient education do you provide when administering OMM treatments?
Everyone can benefit from OMM and the key is to determine what type of approach, how much, and how often is best for a particular person. My patients receive written descriptions of the procedures I perform as well as potential adverse effects. I instruct my patients that the treatments will involve manual palpation and treatments that involve various degrees and dimensions of movement and as I touch on more specific aspects that I working with at the moment I give further explanations to the patient at the level that they can understand. In particular, I have extensive training in various approaches in OMM including Osteopathy in the Cranial Field and the related Biodynamics perspective. I work on everything from joints, muscles, fascia, organs, lymphatics, cerebrospinal fluid, breathing, energetics, emotions, and thoughts in all areas of the body, head to toe including the face, mouth, and abdomen. I do a thorough evaluation of every patient to determine what approach is best for them at the moment and which areas need my help.
What is your approach to Integrative Medicine, and how do you combine conventional and complementary therapies to address the unique healthcare needs of your patients?
My main modality of treatment is Osteopathy / OMM and guided movement/meditation/breathwork exercises. I also sometimes include acupuncture, homeopathic medicines, herbs, and supplements (including vitamins, and minerals. I have the option of prescribing medications but I rarely need to do so. I refer my patients to other physicians, specialists, and therapists based on their needs. Health and healing is a team activity.
Can you share a patient case where you successfully integrated treatments into their treatment plan and the outcomes of this approach?
I remember a patient who asked for my help with a sense of being disembodied, fatigue, having low energy, issues with self-worth, and various other symptoms. I treated him with OMM, acupuncture, and a Chinese herbal as well as giving him specific exercises to do including self-massage for a specific extraordinary meridian (in Chinese medicine). He said that he is feeling significantly better and grounded as well as noticed a change in his daily life. I also referred him to a functional medicine physician colleague because I perceived that he would need help with some laboratory testing and follow-ups.
What are the key aspects that distinguish Family Medicine, and how do you establish and maintain long-term relationships with your patients and their families?
While I no longer practice Family Medicine from a primary care perspective I see patients of all ages from babies to elderly patients. Though there are some patients I can help very quickly after a few visits, I also have patients that I see regularly. Besides doing an extensive intake that includes asking about symptoms I also ask about social-connected health, emotional well-being, and religious/psychospiritual perspectives; this and continued work with people helps me develop superb rapport with my patients.
Can you share your approach to balancing effective pain relief with the potential risks of opioid use and addiction, particularly in the context of chronic pain management?
I have had years of experience practicing pain medicine with a heavier focus on opioids and other medications with high benefit and risk profiles but have pivoted entirely to my current practice of Osteopathy, acupuncture, and lifestyle changes including guided breathwork-meditation-movement. To put it simply, I have had greater results treating people with chronic pain and other issues with my current style versus when I was focusing on prescription medications. For example, I had a patient who had chronic pain for years after an accident but I was able to help that resolve completely within two visits. That said, I believe there is a key role that prescription medications can play in the treatment of chronic pain but it is more essential to tune into the Health and needs of the patient. What is this pain telling us about the development of the patient’s pain and how can I help this patient so that they can have less or no pain and take less or no prescription medications; that’s not to say I can help everyone or have this effect on everyone but my goal is to do my best by using all of my knowledge and experience to connect with my patients’ Health and work out unresolved areas of impaired healing whether that is physical, emotional, relational, mental, energetic, spiritual – anything in between and beyond.