Margaret Sorrel, DO, FCA - Osteopathic Manual Medicine

Dr. Margaret Sorrel was drawn to the distinctive philosophy of osteopathic medicine during her college years. She was blessed to have mentors in osteopathic college who recognized her special gifts in osteopathic manual treatment and offered her opportunities to teach while still a student.

Dr. Sorrel graduated from Michigan State University, College of Osteopathic Medicine and opened her private practice in Seattle after completion of her post graduate training. Throughout her career she held memberships in the American Osteopathic Association, the American Academy of Osteopathy, and the Osteopathic Cranial Academy. The Washington Osteopathic Medical Association awarded her Physician of the Year in 1997. She was awarded a Fellow of the Osteopathic Cranial Academy in 1995 and served as President and Board Member of the Osteopathic Cranial Academy. She is internationally recognized for her expertise in the osteopathic treatment of children and has lectured nationally and internationally, training osteopathic physicians in osteopathic manual medicine. She has published on the osteopathic treatment of children with Down Syndrome and those with autistic spectrum disorders.

She loves her work and has often said that if everyone had a job they loved as much as she loves hers, the world would be a very happy place.

Margaret Speaks of Her Own Path to Osteopathic Practice

Like most college students interested in medicine, I applied to many MD schools. But when I realized that I could pursue a degree that would give me a unrestricted medical license and in addition a tool enabling me to address many of the underlying causes of medical problems, there was no contest; it was like having my cake and eating it too.

In the spring semester of my first year of study, my osteopathic manual medicine professor asked, one day after class, if he could "feel my head." He found something that concerned him, evidenced by his many questions relating to head trauma. All I could recall besides a few childhood falls, was my long history of orthodontia.

When I arose from the treatment table that day, I saw out the window the many shades of green that I now know are a part of the new leaves of spring. Before this, I had only seen a single color that I called green. The traffic light, the new leaves on the maple tree, and the needles of an evergreen tree were all the same color to me.

In the weeks that followed I found that my test scores improved and I needed fewer study hours to master the vast quantities of medical information coming at me. Clearly, through releasing the effects of earlier head trauma, he offered me a better functioning brain. I continue to be grateful for this gift.

First-Hand Evidence

During my sophomore year, an upperclassman asked me to accompany him to a hospital 60 miles away so that I could treat a classmate injured in a small plane crash. He was in a full body cast, on high doses of morphine and unresponsive. As I completed working on several fracture sites he opened his eyes and asked for less pain killer.

It was becoming clearer and clearer that my desire to practice pure osteopathy was the right path for me.

Two experiences in my post graduate training helped confirm my choice. I was called urgently to the room of a post surgical patient whose blood pressure was dangerously high. The nurses were desperate for a doctor's order in the patient chart allowing them to administer an intravenous medication that would lower the blood pressure quickly. I assured them I would be happy to write that order but I wanted five minutes to do an osteopathic manual treatment known to help rid the body of something it no longer needs. (I knew this woman's blood pressure was not serving any useful purpose for her.) Amid some panic the nurses left the room. I accomplished the treatment, the patient's blood pressure returned to a safe level and remained there.

On another occasion, I was called urgently to the newborn nursery. A baby, whose delivery I had assisted with the night before, was unable to suck. The physician in charge had written an order for a feeding tube to be placed but the nurses were anxious to see if my "magic hands" could accomplish a small miracle here. I gently released a bony restriction at the base of the skull, releasing an impingement on the nerve that supplies the tongue, and the baby immediately took four ounces by bottle.

"Our daughter had a rough birth, vacuum, forceps and finally a C-section. Both her temples were bruised. As an infant she furrowed her brow, squinted her eyes and she cried every day as though she was in pain. It appeared to us and to our pediatrician that she had a headache and he referred us to Margaret Sorrel. Shortly after beginning treatment, she stopped the painful crying, her facial grimacing completely went away and she slept much better. She has blossomed into a fine young girl, full of health and vitality."
—Larry F-D


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