what is osteopathy

Osteopathy is primary healthcare system, complementary to other medical practices.  Osteopathy is a “whole body” system of manual therapy, based on unique biomechanical principles, which uses a wide range of techniques to treate musculo-skeletal problems and other functional disorders of the body.


Osteopaths use ‘hands-on’ techniques to influence the way the body works.  By manipulating muscles, tendons, joints, connective tissue and ligaments, treatment can provide relief to the musculo-skeletal system, the nervous system, and also the circulatory, respiratory and immune systems of the body.  In this way, it is seen as a form of manual medicine which can influence all the systems of the body towards a more efficient and holistic state of health.

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A core principle behind osteopathy is the idea of the body being an integrated and indivisible whole, and containing self-healing mechanisms that can be utilised as part of the treatment.  No part of the body works, or can be considered, in isolation.  We understand the importance of treating the whole person, not just isolated symptoms of pain or disease.

The key tools for osteopathic diagnosis include listening to the patient’s history, examining muscles and joints, and observing movements.   Osteopathic treatment includes the therapeutic application of a wide range of gentle, non-invasive manual techniques such as deep tissue massage, joint articulation and manipulation and gentle fascial manipulation.


Osteopaths sutdy for a minimum of 4 years on a degree course, similar to a medical degree, with emphasis on anatomy and musculoskeletal medicine.  Osteopathic training includes anatomy, physiology, embryology, neurology, biomechanics, pharmacology and nutrition and more than 1000 hours of clinical training with patients.  All Osteopaths are required to be registered with their regulating body – the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and are required be to renew their registration each year and are given an annual license to practice.  The GOsC checks that all osteopaths are of good character, in good health, are insured and have met the requirement for annual continuing professional development.