Osteopathy is a hands on manual therapy and a recognised system of diagnosis and treatment, which lays its main emphasis on the structural and functional integrity of the body. It is distinctive by the fact that it recognises that much of the pain and disability which we suffer stems from abnormalities in the function of the body structure as well as damage caused to it by disease. General Osteopathic Council (2001)
Osteopaths are Primary Healthcare Practitioners, which means that you do not need to be referred by a doctor to see one. They are qualified to diagnose, treat and/or refer you for your condition. For this reason Osteopaths have all undergone rigorous training, undertaking a four-year honours degree and all are registered to the General Osteopathic Council (a government regulatory body similar to the General Medical Council for doctors).
Osteopaths are trained to examine the muscles and joints as well as the major systems i.e. cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous etc. This enables them to form an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
In order to maintain registration Osteopaths must keep their skills up-to-date and every year they are expected to undertake at least 35 hours of further training.