Osteopathy is regarded as one of the principal “Big 5” complementary and alternative medicines, according to a House of Lords report, meaning that it is highly regarded due to its individual diagnostic approach, the fact that it is regulated and the level of research evidence supporting its effectiveness.
It is a form of drug-free, non-invasive manual medicine that focuses on total body health by treating the musculoskeletal framework, including the joints and muscles. Its aim is to positively affect the body’s nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems. This provides a unique, whole body approach to health care. Osteopaths do not simply concentrate on treating the problem area; we use manual techniques to balance all the systems of the body, to provide overall good health and wellbeing.
Osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners, offering patients a diagnosis based upon careful, holistic history-taking and examination. Treatment involves hands-on techniques including soft tissue stretching, deep pressure and mobilization or manipulation of joints, supported by exercise and lifestyle advice.
All osteopaths are subject to statutory regulation through a professional governing body – the General Osteopathic Council (see “Links” section). In order to maintain registration, osteopaths are required to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training on an annual basis.