What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a well-established approach to health care, which is based on a unique system of clinical diagnosis and manual treatment. A caring approach and attention to the individual are particularly important.
Osteopathy is based on the principle of total wellbeing of an individual
The patient’s condition is seen in the context of their lives. All aspects are considered – previous trauma, stresses on the body, repetitive actions, weak areas, posture, body shape and symmetry, activities, work, sports, hobbies and culture. Together with the patients’ symptoms and medical history a diagnosis can be made.
By viewing the person as a whole the causative factors can be found, so the Osteopath will not only treat the symptomatic area but also treat other areas of the body that will have directly led to or contributed to the problem. Seeking out and dealing with the predisposing and maintaining factors (ie the cause) helps to prevent the symptoms from returning.
Physical manipulation of muscle tissue and bones
Osteopaths diagnose and treat problems with muscles, ligaments, nerves and joints to help the body’s natural healing ability. The treatment involves various manual techniques; easing pain, reducing swelling and improving mobility. This is achieved through relaxing soft tissues like muscles and encouraging movements of joints.
In 1993, osteopathy became the first major complementary health care profession to be accorded statutory recognition. This has led to a General Osteopathic Council being set up, and from 1998, only those practitioners able to satisfy its educational and ethical standards are able to join this register and call themselves osteopaths. Patients now have the same safeguards as when they consult a doctor or dentist.