What is osteopathy?

Osteopathy is based on the principle that a person’s wellbeing depends on their joints, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue working together smoothly.

So, for example, you might have lower back pain because your upper back is a bit stiff and tight.

Mandy will treat the joints, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues in your upper back. She will increase mobility in the joints, improve the flow of blood to your muscles and ligaments, and your lower back pain will not feel so bad.

The history of osteopathy
Osteopathy started 150 years ago by Andrew Taylor Still in wild west America. He was the son of a preacher and doctor and trained to be a doctor himself. He lost three children to viral meningitis and came to the conclusion that the medicine of his day was poisonous. They used medicines like arsenic and performed insanitary operations.

He found that he could stop himself having a headache by lying on a rope. He studied anatomy extensively and based his manual therapy on his understanding of anatomy. He believed that the body contained all the resources needed to heal itself. It didn’t need drugs, nor was he healing the body. The body was healing itself.

He started an osteopathy school in America. Osteopathy spread across the world. Each country welcomed osteopathy in different ways. In the US osteopaths are trained doctors. In the UK we are a sister profession to chiropractors and physiotherapists.

In the UK osteopaths have been regulated following the Osteopaths Act in 1993. This made osteopathy the first complementary healthcare profession to have a statutory regulatory framework. In the same year the British Medical Association recognised osteopathy as being a “discrete clinical discipline”.

The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) was formed to set standards of training, professional and ethical conduct for the whole profession www.osteopathy.org.uk

All osteopaths must be registered by the General Osteopathic Council. Only those who can satisfy the GOsC’s requirements are admitted to its register and entitled to call themselves “osteopaths”. We are required to be insured, educated to degree standard (or if an osteopath before registration came in, to pass a test) and perform continuing professional development.

This means that a patient consulting an osteopath has the same safeguards as visiting a doctor or any other statutory regulated healthcare professional.

Osteopathy started as an alternative to the medicine of its day and now works alongside the medical profession.