Osteopathy is a treatment diagnosis system that is focused mainly on the body structure and its functioning. Osteopathy is thus concerned with the influence of the well-being of the human skeleton, muscles, joints, nerves, ligament, internal organs and connective tissues to the general health of an individual.
People who practice Osteopathy are also known as Osteopath. Osteopaths believe that with the right manual techniques, the body should be able to heal naturally without the use of surgeries or consistent use of drugs. Hence, osteopathy in its very nature is a manual kind of health care involving such manual techniques as massage, stretches and physical manipulation of the body structure (joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, etc.)
The Healing Power of Osteopathy
Osteopathy is believed to treat a broad range of medical conditions. These conditions include shoulder pain, lower backaches, neck pain, hips, legs and pelvis problems, sports injuries such as muscle pull, asthma and posture problems due to strains i.e. while driving, typing or due to pregnancy. Although this case is not scientifically proven, there are beliefs that Osteopathy can treat health conditions such as cramps, headaches, colic, digestive disorders, and depressions.
Treatment Techniques in Osteopathy
In the practice of osteopathy, practitioners utilize manual techniques such as physical manipulation of body structures, traction, stretching, pumping, counter-strains and muscle energy techniques amongst others. Often, once a patient reports to an osteopath, his/her body functioning will be examined in different ways to determine which parts will need special scrutiny.
Hence the body functioning is observed while the client is sitting, lying down and standing. The osteopath may also utilize palpation for the same purpose while also paying significant attention to major body parts such as the spine, pelvis, and shoulders amongst others. After the examination, the osteopath thus determines whether osteopathy is appropriate for the patient and advise him/her accordingly.
Who Requires Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is suitable for anybody who might need it, from children, adults, and seniors. Also very beneficial for pregnant women, babies, sports people and both manual and professional workers.
How to Become an Osteopath
Just like most professional careers, osteopathy requires academic excellence. Hence, to become an osteopath one needs to graduate with a double degree University course in Bachelor of Science – Clinical Science/Master of Health Science – Osteopathy. Often, an osteopathic training should take a minimum of five years. After that, one can then register with a notable Osteopathic Council to obtain a license to begin practicing osteopathy legally. Often, the license will require annual renewal. The purpose of these regulations is to ensure that all practicing osteopaths meet the essential continuing professional development requirements, maintain good character and are in good health to perform their professional duty.
The regulations also prevent unqualified persons from practicing osteopathy thus promoting high-quality services and competence. Since osteopathy is in its nature a manual kind of healthcare, protection by law minimizes chances of risks that could result from improper osteopathy practices.
How to Access Osteopathy
Evidently, osteopathy is not widely available in most places. However, one can use a Local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to find the nearest osteopathy center. Often, patients privately pay for osteopathy treatment. However, some private insurance providers provide osteopathy treatment cover.
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