What is Osteopathy?

In the 19th Century Andrew Taylor Still developed osteopathy in the United States, it was then brought over to the UK in the early 20th Century and has become established as primary health care system, complementary to other medical practices and one that GPs can refer patients to.  It is a 'hands on' manual therapy that has a natural approach to treating injuries and conditions in the joints, muscles ligaments, fascia (connective tissue covering the muscles) and tendons without the need of pharmacological intervention. It helps the body to repair itself, improving movement replenishing tissues and providing nourishment that then enables the body to remain balanced and functioning optimally, improves health and provides a greater sense of well being with more vitality and energy.

In 1993 under the Osteopaths Act, osteopathy became the first complementary health care profession to be awarded statutory recognition. The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) are responsible for regulating and promoting the osteopathic profession and they hold a register of all osteopaths who are registered and qualified in the UK.  

Osteopathy is recognised within the NHS as a form of diagnosis and treatment to aid the body in healing itself. It focuses on listening to the patients’ history, assessing the body from a mechanical and structural viewpoint that includes observing and examining muscles and joints as well as the patients’ freedom of movement through a holistic and patient-centred approach.  Treatments are tailored to individual patients’ needs and situation.

Osteopathic training takes four years of extensive full time training to gain thorough knowledge of anatomy, physiology, neurology, pathology, orthopaedics, pharmacology, embryology, biomechanics, medical imaging analysis and reporting, rehabilitative exercises and nutrition.  A minimum of 1,000 supervised clinical hours is undertaken prior to qualification being awarded.