Our job is to help the body help itself. We work mostly on connective tissue, muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, tendons etc but we take a holistic approach and we look at the ways that these tissues relate to the body as a whole. As osteopaths, we have a highly developed sense of touch, which enables us to assess the quality of movement and to recognise subtle changes in the body’s tissues. We believe that a body that moves freely has the best chance of functioning well and shrugging off disease.
All osteopaths have a four or five year training, during which they learn Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Neurology, Clinical skills, Embryology, Nutrition and Biomechanics. They also have over one thousand hours of clinical training.
Andrew Taylor Still, our founder, was a doctor in the American Civil War of the 1860s. He got sick of seeing battle injuries turn fit young soldiers into broken men. He believed that a good blood supply was the key to good health. Helping these injured men to move more freely would allow the blood vessels to get to the damaged area and improve healing. While osteopathy is not a complete cure, it is a way of releasing strains in the tissues and improving our resistance to further injury.
In Britain, our profession is regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), a state registered body. The GOsC sets the standard for osteopathic education and requires us to keep up-to-date, with a yearly programme of continuing professional development.