What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment based on medical sciences for a wide range of health conditions.  
Osteopaths are Primary Health Care Practitioners and their goal is to improve the structure and function of the body, based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments, connective tissues and internal organs functioning smoothly together. 
Osteopathic treatment aims to restore the body to a state of balance, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery.  Osteopaths use touch and physical manipulation to increase joint mobility, relieve muscle tension, enhance blood and nerve supply to tissues, and create the conditions to facilitate the body’s own healing mechanisms.

What osteopaths do

Osteopaths treat people in all stages of life: from newborns to the elderly, from manual workers to elite athletes, from office-based professionals to pregnant women. Animal osteopaths mostly treat dogs and horses. 
The particular range of techniques Osteopaths use and the number of sessions needed depend largely on the patient and on the condition treated. 

Treatment usually includes releasing and relaxing tight muscles and stretching stiff joints, using gentle rhythmical joint movements and muscle release techniques.

Osteopaths may also carry out manipulation using short, quick movements to spinal joints in order to help restore normal joint function and mobility.
During the first session Osteopaths take a full medical history and investigate in detail the presenting complaint. This is followed by a careful physical examination. Utilizing a highly developed sense of touch, Osteopaths use their hands to identify abnormalities in the structure of the body, and to assess areas of weakness, tenderness, restriction or strain. Once a diagnosis is reached a treatment plan is discussed and commenced. 

Osteopaths also provide advice on posture, health and exercise, to aid recovery, prevent symptoms from reoccurring, and to promote health and quality of life. 

Trainings and regulations

In most countries it is a legal requirement for a practitioner to be fully insured and registered with the general osteopathic governing body to call themselves an Osteopath. 

The importance of this regulation provides patients with the same assurances and protection as those given by doctors and dentists. If unsure, please check the therapist treating you or your animal is fully qualified and insured. 

A legitimate and qualified osteopath will be happy to provide all the details.

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