What is osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together.
To an osteopath, for your body to work well, its structure must also work well. So osteopaths work to restore your body to a state of balance, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery. Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension, to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, and to help your body’s own healing mechanisms. They may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.
Do I need a referral to see an osteopath?
No, a referral is not needed to see an osteopath, although patients are often referred to an osteopath by their G.P. Osteopaths are primary health practitioners, consequently osteopaths are qualified to treat patients without a referral.
Do you need qualifications to be an osteopath?
All practising osteopaths should be registered with the 'General Osteopathic Council', and to not be is illegal. A registered osteopath is a primary health professional who has undergone minimum of 4 years’ study at university, which incorporates anatomy, physiology, neurology, pathology, biomechanics and osteopathic technique. A minimum of 1000 hours of clinical practice is required as part of an osteopath's study.
Do my joints have to be manipulated?
No, although some treatments may benefit from a high velocity thrust (known as HVTs). This is when a joint is manipulated, which may or may not cause a popping or clicking sound. Such techniques are safe to perform and we will proceed only if the patient is deemed safe and is happy. If you are not, alternative effective techniques can be employed.