What is Osteopathy? Osteopathy is a system of manual medicine for the whole body that can be used to treat problems involving the joints, bones and soft tissues of the musculoskeletal system and other functional disorders of the body.
Osteopathy was developed by an American physician in the 19th century who was opposed to the inappropriate use of drug therapy and promoted treatments that considered the broader health (mental, emotional and spiritual), of the individual not only their disease.
Osteopathy has continued to evolve and is widely recognised as a gentle, safe and effective form of treatment for people of all ages.
Osteopathic Principles The osteopathic approach is unique because of four key philosophical principles:
The body is a unit: an osteopath considers the interaction of your whole body, not just the area that is hurting or not working well.
Structure and function are inter-related: an osteopath aims to find the problem area and considers the other surrounding body tissues. For example, if a muscle that attaches to one of your ribs is tight, the rib may not move fully when you breathe.
The body is capable of self-regulation and self-healing: osteopathic treatment encourages the body to self-regulate and heal by increasing the movement of body fluids, joints and their related tissues to improve their function.
Rational treatment of the body is based on consideration of the other three principles: an osteopath considers these principles when determining their approach to your treatment. Treatment is modified according to the needs of the individual.
Osteopathic diagnosis and treatment also considers the impact of your lifestyle, diet and exercise. Advice on managing these lifestyle factors helps you to improve your health outside the treatment room.
Education In Australia, osteopathic students must complete a five year university degree that covers subject areas that include anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, pathology, general medical diagnosis, orthopaedic testing, and neurological testing as well as osteopathic techniques.
Australian osteopaths are government registered primary health care practitioners, and are trained to be able to recognise conditions that require medical referral.
Working with other Health Professionals Osteopaths often work with other health professional as part of health team and osteopathy is an effective additional treatment approach for many conditions.
Common treatment combinations include:
Want to know more about Osteopathy? Visit the Australian Osteopathy Association Site. Click Here.