What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a way of detecting and treating damaged parts of the body such as muscles, ligaments, joints and nerves. When the body is balanced and efficient, just like a well-tuned engine, it will function with the minimum of wear and tear, leaving more energy for living.
Is Osteopathy regulated?
Absolutely. The Statutory Register of the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) opened on 9 May 1998. The title "osteopath" became protected by law from May 2000 and as a result it is a criminal offence, liable to prosecution, to describe oneself as an osteopath in the UK unless registered with the GOsC. Only practitioners meeting high standards of safety and competency are accepted on to this register.
Who needs an Osteopath?
Potentially everybody, of any age. Osteopathy is a hands-on, drug-free therapy, and our most frequent visitors are manual workers, athletes, parents and pregnant women, and office workers - especially those spending lots of time at computers. If a problem is recent, you may only need one visit. If you suffer from a long-term problem, it may take a little longer but can still be treated successfully.
What do Osteopaths treat?
Most people associate osteopathic treatment with back pain, and many of our patients consult with low back problems. Research shows a high level of supporting evidence for its efficiency, but that is not all that osteopaths treat. Patients consult us with a wide range of problems, from sciatica or frozen shoulder to RSI and sports injuries. Pain associated with arthritis and discomfort from digestive problems can also be treated using osteopathic techniques.
If you are unsure whether osteopathy is suitable for you, please contact us. Osteopathic training allows the practitioner to recognise and understand health conditions and if some other method of treatment would be more appropriate, you may be advised to see another practitioner, such as your GP.
Osteopaths do not have prescribing rights, so if you need prescription medication, you will need to go to your GP.
What should you wear when visiting an osteopath?
You may be asked to undress to your underwear. However, if this would make you feel uncomfortable, bring loose clothing such as shorts and t-shirt to change into. Heavy or thick clothes such as jeans restrict movement and make it very difficult to work out what is going on.
If you would like more information on osteopathy, check out the following websites:
(The General Osteopathic Council)
(The British Osteopathic Association).
With thanks to the late Peter Mason for original text, and to Dr Alastair West for above photo.