Osteopathy is a primary health care system that is complementary to standard medical care.

What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is an established, recognised medical discipline in the primary healthcare system.

Osteopathy is drug-free non-invasive manual medicine that focuses aligning and strengthening the whole body framework, which includes the joints, muscles and spine. By ensuring the body has a good alignment and mobility; it can alleviate the body of pain and create a positive effect on the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems.

Osteopaths use physical manipulation, stretching and massage, with the aim of:

  • increasing the mobility of joints
  • relieving muscle tension
  • enhancing the blood supply to tissues

Osteopathy is a whole body approach to health care. Osteopaths do not simply treat the symptomatic area, but uses gentle and effective hands-on technique and nutritional advice to balance all systems of the body, to provide overall good health and wellbeing.

Common uses

Most people who see an osteopath do so for help with conditions that affect the muscles, bones and joints, such as:

Osteopathy – A recognised Therapy

In 1993, the Osteopaths Act gave Osteopaths a similar legal status as doctors and dentists. This means that professional standards now protect Osteopathic patients in the same way as patients of doctors and dentists. All Osteopaths are registered with the General Osteopathic Council, which maintains the highest standards of education and ethics. Osteopathy was the first ‘alternative medicine’ to be given statutory self-regulation in this country. When you see an Osteopath, you’re in safe hands.

What qualifications do osteopaths have?

Osteopaths complete a four- or five-year honors degree programme (bachelor’s or master’s), which involves at least 1,000 hours of clinical training. Some osteopaths are qualified to PhD level

The First Osteopathy Consultation

The first consultation will take about 45 – 60 minutes. Most people pay for osteopathy treatment privately. Treatment costs vary, but typically range from £35 to £50 for a 30-40 minute session. You don’t need to be referred by your GP to see an osteopath privately. Most private health insurance providers also provide cover for osteopathic treatment.

Before any treatment can begin, the osteopath will want to discuss details about your general health, previous illnesses, your lifestyle and family medical history. This all helps to form a diagnosis.

The osteopath will then want to observe your posture and movement and then carry out physical examinations of which you will be asked to dress down to your underwear. You are more than welcome to bring a pair of shorts with you.

More specific clinical tests may also be undertaken. After the examination, the osteopath will explain their findings to you and if appropriate a suitable course of treatment will be prescribed.

Sometimes additional investigations may be required. These can include blood or urine tests and perhaps x-rays or scans. It is usual that you will be referred back to your doctor at this stage.

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