Many people ask me – What is osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a primary health care system, complementary to other medical practices. It is suitable for almost anyone and can contribute to the treatment and management of a wide range of conditions. Osteopaths primarily work through the neuro-musculo-skeletal system, mostly on muscles and joints, using holistic and patient-centred approaches.

A core principle behind osteopathy is the idea that the body is an integrated and indivisible whole, and contains self-healing mechanisms that can be utilised as part of the treatment. No part of the body works, or can be considered, in isolation. Relevant psychological and social factors also form part of the process of patient diagnosis.

The key tools for osteopathic diagnosis include listening to the patient’s history, examining muscles and joints and observing movements. X -rays, scans and other clinical investigations are also used if required. A wide range of gentle, non-invasive manual techniques such as deep tissue massage, joint articulation and manipulation are applied therapeutically.

Osteopaths’ patients include the young, older people, manual workers, office professionals, pregnant women, children and sports people. Patients seek treatment for a wide variety of conditions, including back pain, changes to posture in pregnancy, postural problems caused by driving or work strain, the pain of arthritis and minor sports injuries.

All osteopaths in the UK are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and Osteopaths are required to renew their registration each year. As part of this process, the GOsC checks that osteopaths have current professional indemnity insurance, remain in good health and of good character, and have met mandatory continuing professional development requirements.

For more information please visit http://www.osteopathy.org.uk/home/

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