What is osteopathy?

iStock_000006622937XSmallA treatment suitable for all ages from cradle to rocking chair.

Osteopathy is a holistic system of medicine using a variety of manual therapy techniques including advanced massage, mobilisation, articulation, traction and manipulation, with the aim of restoring balance to the individual and encouraging the body’s natural healing mechanisms to become fully effective so assisting recovery. While no two treatments are the same, some common outcomes from most treatments include increased mobility, pain reduction and improved function of the body itself.

Osteopath’s pride themselves in having a patient-centred approach to health and always consider symptoms in relation to the patient’s  medical history as well as their lifestyle.  This holistic approach ensures all treatment is tailored to the individual patient.

Your osteopath will incorporate highly skilled diagnosis and treatment, supported by practical lifestyle advice,  helping you to reach and maintain your  best physical health.

A Brief History

AJSAndrew Taylor Still, the father of osteopathy, trained as a physician and went on to serve as an army surgeon in the American Civil War. Having lost a wife and several children to infectious diseases, he spent ten years studying the body to find a better way of treating. In 1874 he announced to the world his new medical science, osteopathy.

From all his research and clinical experience he concluded the balance of the musculo-skeletal system was an important factor in health and disease. Simply put, Still believed that by correcting the structure of the body with manual therapy techniques, the functioning of the body and it’s ability to heal itself would be improved.

Still opened the first school of osteopathy in Kirksville, USA in 1892. Many influential practitioners allegedly studied under his guidance including D.D. Palmer who went on to develop chiropractics, W.G. Sutherland who went on to develop cranial osteopathy and J.M. Littlejohn a Scottish physiologist who brought osteopathy to the UK and founded the British School of Osteopathy.

While in America osteopathy was soon integrated into mainstream medicine, in the UK it has taken substantially longer. It is now against the law in the UK for anyone to call themselves an osteopath without being fully registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) who ensure high standards of competency among all of its members.

There are approximately 4000 osteopaths registered and working in the UK today who carry out millions of consultations every year. While most osteopaths still work in the private sector it is becoming more common to find osteopathy available on the NHS.

(It is worth asking your GP or local Primary Care Trust if osteopathy is available on the NHS in your  area)


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General Osteopathic CouncilOur osteopaths are fully registered and adhere to the code of conduct and ethics as set out by GOsC, the governing body.