What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopaths intend to influence the body’s natural healing abilities to promote health, and view the body as a holistic unit. Osteopaths are interested in how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs all function within the individual.
An osteopathic consultation will involve a thorough evaluation, followed by a diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Osteopaths can identify dysfunction within the body, and employ a wide range of manual techniques, such as stretching and massage for treatment of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) along with mobilisation of specific joints, to alleviate symptoms. Osteopathy aims to remove or reduce the degree of dysfunction present in the body, improve health, reduce pain, and improve mobility.
In Australia, osteopaths are government registered practitioners who complete a minimum of five years’ university training. This training incorporates study of anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, general medical diagnosis and osteopathic techniques. Osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners and are trained to recognise conditions which may require referral to a medical practitioner.