Osteopathy is a form of hands on treatment for the whole-body including joints, muscles, bones, and other tissues such as nerves, organs and blood vessels.
The osteopathic approach is different in that it looks at the human body as a single unit. It not only focusses on the area of pain that a person comes in with but looks for where in the body the problem may actually started from. This is known as a whole-body approach.
Osteopathic philosophy believes that the body has an innate, natural ability to self-regulate and heal itself and that treatment should support this and help restore a state of balance.
Questioning, observation of movements, skilled palpation of tissues, physical examination and special tests are used to form a diagnosis of each person’s condition and to work out a treatment plan.
A variety of techniques may be used depending on what is needed and what suits each individual. These include soft tissue and inhibition techniques, joint articulation, stretching, visceral and neural manipulation and gentle osteopathic cranial techniques. Osteopaths are trained to treat people of all ages including children, adults, seniors and the elderly.
Osteopaths may advise their clients on appropriate exercise, lifestyle, diet posture, lifting and walking to enhance their hands-on treatment, and help with recovery.
In Australia Osteopaths have five years of training at university attaining a Bachelor of Applied Science and Masters in Osteopathy. This includes study of medical science subjects such as anatomy, physiology, radiology, neuroscience and clinical medicine.
Private health insurance covers osteopathy in most cases providing immediate rebates. The insurance needs to have “Extras cover.”
People with chronic conditions may be eligible for Medicare rebates up to five per year. This involves seeing a GP and asking for an EPC referral to see an osteopath.