Osteopathy is the science which holds that the relationship that the various parts of the body have with one another, directly or indirectly, determines the state of health in that body. All body tissues, for health, are dependent upon arterial blood supply to, venous and lymphatic drainage from and axonal transport (flow of proteins and various other substances through nerve fibres) for their health. Osteopathy sees disease as an adaptive process of normal physiology which occurs when tissues are deprived of any of these fundamental processes because of poor structural integrity, organisation and movement of fluids such as lymph.
The aim of classical osteopathy is to assist our bodily structure achieve an improved relationship with gravitational forces, its process during treatment is to establish an improvement in relationship and organisation between parts by adjusting the structure using gentle rhythmic movements through the four limbs and careful specific adjustments are used where necessary, if indicated the face and cranium are also treated releasing energy for our bodies innate sense to organise the healing process. In this way classical osteopathy can be used to help people recover from all manner of symptoms that will often defy medical diagnosis as well as helping back pain and all the ailments that are commonly ascribed to osteopathic treatment.
A commonly asked when is "what is the difference between osteopathy and chiropractic" or "osteopaths and chiropractors" the answer is that it depends, modern osteopathy and chiropractic education is similar in a lot of ways. Classical osteopathy is different to both of these and it tends to focus on the whole of the individual rather than just musculoskeletal care. It does not restrict itself to relief of musculoskeletal symptoms, but focus’s on structural integrity, stability and physiological function. Because of this it is often helpful for long term chronic health problems that defy an orthodox diagnosis. It is gentle and relaxing and treats the person as an individual and every treatment is different, most people enjoy it and feel better for it. Learning classical or traditional osteopathy requires extensive post graduate education.
Osteopathy is regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) which is a statutory self regulated body. It is illegal to practise as an osteopath unless registered by the GOsC. This protects the public by ensuring adequate training of osteopaths and ongoing learning (continual professional development or CPD is mandatory) is taking place to ensure knowledge is kept upto date. Visit the General Osteopathic Council site www.osteopathy.org.uk