Osteopaths treat the neuro-musculo-skeletal systems, working on damaged muscles, ligaments, nerves and joints, to increase balance and efficiency in the bodyâ€™s structure and function and encourage the bodyâ€™s own self-healing abilities. Thereby aiming to increase mobility and reduce pain. This typically involves gentle manual techniques, with some joint manipulation.
What does an osteopath treat?
Osteopathy is particularly sought for back, neck and shoulder pain, along with headaches â€“ possibly brought on by sports or work-related injuries, or by postural irregularities.
It is also deemed to be beneficial for, amongst others, pregnancy care, period pain, migraine, sleeping disorders, asthma, arthritic pain, repetitive strain injury, sciatica, digestive disorders and infantile colic.
Osteopathy is potentially very useful in combination with nutritional therapy in that structural correction can benefit the working of the internal organs and improve the operation of the nervous system and blood circulation.
Osteopathy was founded by an American doctor, Dr Andrew Still, in 1874. He formed the opinion that many of his patients ailments resulted from the way in which they were using their bodies and developed a treatment that addressed this. He established his first school in 1892 and the first UK school was opened in London in 1917.
Is osteopathy regulated?
Under UK law, all osteopaths must be registered with their regulatory body, the General Osteopathic Council.
They typically have undertaken a 4-5 year degree course, involving extensive clinical training, and are obliged to commit to Continuing Professional Development.
Can I be referred by my GP?
Guidelines issued by the General Medical Council and the British Medical Association allow for GP referral, though access on the NHS is still limited.
A typical session?
The initial session is likely to be a little longer to allow for history taking, but subsequently, sessions will be 30-40 mins. and cost in the region of Â£40
Where can I get more information?
General Osteopathy Council
www.osteopathy.org.uk or 020 7357 6655
British Osteopathic Association
www.osteopath.org or 01582 488 455
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