Osteopaths are required to undergo a minimum of four years undergraduate training and must demonstrate competence in clinical diagnosis and patient care in order to qualify. All osteopaths working in the UK are required to be on the Register of Osteopaths, held by the General Osteopathic Council (official state regulator, equivalent to the General Medical Council) who are responsible for maintaining standards and safe practice.
Osteopathy is a whole-body system of medicine that involves the diagnosis and treatment of mechanical or structural dysfunction within the body. The study of anatomy and physiology demonstrates the inter-dependence of the internal organs and musculoskeletal system. Osteopaths believe that physical imbalances can influence the function of related organs and structures. Another fundamental principle of osteopathy acknowledges the body’s intrinsic tendency towards self-healing and self-regulation. By using osteopathy to correct strains within tissues, osteopaths are enabling the body to maintain a better state of health. We believe that health is much more than the absence of disease and ease within the structure of the body is essential for physical and emotional wellbeing.
Our musculoskeletal system is located close to the outer surface of the body and as such serves to protect organs within. This means that it is also the part of our body that is most affected by stress and strain. We accumulate effects from physical or emotional trauma and the adaptability of the body means that we learn to accommodate and grow with these. Osteopathic techniques vary significantly but all aim to restore a state of balance within the body which is required for optimum health. Using gentle and non-invasive manual techniques, osteopaths aim to improve the mobility of joints, reduce muscle tension and increase the blood supply and optimize nerve function.