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Eland honored for promoting osteopathic medicine

Provides osteopathic manipulation, knowledge to School of Dance

By Richard Heck
May 25, 2010

David C. Eland, D.O., FAOO, professor of osteopathic manipulative medicine at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, received the Osteopathic Spirit Award for 2010-2011 because of a “dynamic” nomination from outside the field of medicine.

Madeleine Scott, director and professor at the Ohio University School of Dance, called Eland a “true ambassador” for osteopathic medicine in her letter of nomination.

Established in 2004 and presented by the Advocates for the Ohio Osteopathic Association (AOOA), the award honors individuals who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to promoting the osteopathic medical profession. Recipients of the award must meet the following criteria:

  • Promotes osteopathic public education and awareness.
  • Provides volunteer service to either patients and/or the community.
  • Exemplifies the spirit of caring that embodies the osteopathic profession.
  • Has served the osteopathic profession for five or more years.


Scott noted that college athletes routinely have access to trainers, physical therapists or medical doctors who provide support for enhanced function.  They provide support that teaches athletes how to care for their injuries and how to train for peak performance.  Eland has provided similar services to not only dance majors at Ohio University since 1995, but to School of Dance faculty as well, she said.

“Dr. Eland has volunteered his services to our dance major curricula through special presentations to Dance Kinesiology and Movement Fundamentals courses,” Scott wrote.

“In these courses he informed our artist-athletes about the value of osteopathic manipulation to their overall health and well-being.  His presentations included informative lecture materials and experiential sessions that acknowledged that the heart of integrated learning for the dancer is in the body,” Scott said.  “His classes demonstrated that the Osteopathic approach respected the dancers’ values and aesthetics even as it addressed individual needs.”   

Calling the award “very special,” Eland said he first began working with the School of Dance after he and his wife became friends with Scott soon after first coming to Athens. He explained that as athletes, dancers experience issues and injuries that osteopathic manipulation can address.

“Even though dancers are extremely flexible, even a little imbalance can cause them problems.  I help them identify that imbalance and find ways to bring their balance to its optimal point. It synchronizes well with what we can offer with osteopathic manipulation.”

Scott noted that often physicians prescribe medications or periods of inactivity to dancers, which can cause side effects contributing to loss of training and practice.

“They have learned through working with Dr. Eland that (osteopathic medicine) offers a constructive and positive way for them to take care of injury, institute healthy practices and build a long and physically successful career,” she said. “I often hear injured student dancers sing his praises as the doctor with magic hands.”

The faculty in the School of Dance see him regularly for osteopathic manipulation and support and recommend him to students and visiting artists who are in need, Scott said. “Their work with him has extended the quality of their performing and teaching lives,” she said.

Jane Routh, awards committee chairwoman for the AOOA, said the committee was pleased to receive a nomination for the award from someone outside the medical field. “This is saying what really is happening with osteopathic medicine, she said.

Since Eland was not able to attend the presentation of the award at the Ohio Osteopathic Symposium in April, Routh presented him with the award on Tuesday, May 25, at his office at OU-COM.

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