Osteopathy is an established and recognised system of diagnosis and treatment primarily concerned with the structural and functional integrity of the body. Osteopathic practice is based on sound principles and requires a high level of palpatory (touch) skills. This enables us to feel for subtle changes and damage to body tissues through trauma and disease. As osteopaths we recognise that much of the pain which we suffer stems from suboptimal arrangements of the parts of the body and their movements.
All osteopaths in the UK are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). Osteopaths are required to renew their registration each year. As part of this process, the GOsC checks that osteopaths have current professional indemnity insurance, remain in good health and of good character, and have met mandatory continuing professional development requirements.
At the initial consultation you will be asked about any current health problems and any relevant medical history. This will help the practitioner gain insight into your general health, and how your body copes with internal and external stresses.
The osteopath will then examine your body framework. Usually at this stage you will be asked to remove your outer clothes. The actual examination will depend on your symptoms. It will always include palpation (touch), which is a way of feeling the body tissues to identify problem areas. The areas local to where you experience symptoms are likely to be palpated. It may also include muscle strength and joint mobility testing, or specialised orthopaedic assessment, reflex testing or your blood pressure taken.
The osteopath will then discuss their findings with you, and tell you what treatment is most likely to benefit you. This may involve you attending several sessions. The practitioner will use a variety of treatment approaches, from manipulation through soft tissue work and more subtle techniques (e.g. functional, visceral & cranial) according to your needs, as well as your preference. Postural advice and rehabilitative exercises may also be prescribed to aid your recovery.
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