Osteopaths have been working in the United Kingdom for nearly 100 years and were the first complementary health care profession to receive statutory recognition under “The Osteopath’s Act” of 1993. Today the profession is regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). The GOsC has been given powers by Parliament to set standards of education and conduct for osteopaths and to maintain a register those entitled to practise.
Osteopathy is an independent system of healthcare that places its emphasis on the diagnosis of movement restrictions in the body. These restrictions can occur anywhere in the body but are commonly felt in the musculoskeletal system. Such restrictions are a sign to the osteopath that the structures of that area are unable to function to their best ability
Osteopaths use their refined sense of touch (known as palpation) to diagnose and treat these areas of restriction. The aim is is to help reduce any restrictions, helping the body move and function normally.
Anatomy illustrates the relationship of one tissue to another in each part of the body. Osteopathic techniques are then based upon knowledge of these relations; how to move one tissue against another. Since it forms such a large part of our body structure the musculoskeletal system of bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments is given particular emphasis.
Treatment is based on osteopathic manual techniques that rhythmically move the tissues of the body for therapeutic purposes.
For example every joint should be able to move smoothly and freely throughout its full range.
Osteopaths are trained to assess and differentiate those conditions which may be helped by manual techniques from those which require help in another way.
For further information on the principles of osteopathic healthcare, common conditions treated and what to expect on your visit to an osteopath click here.
Osteopaths have always considered themselves to be practitioners who diagnose and treat a full range of conditions. In recent decades there has been a growth of osteopathic work in particular areas: these have become known to many people as cranial and visceral osteopathy.
Cranial osteopathy is a subtle and refined form of osteopathic treatment using light touch. It is extremely gentle and aims to encourage the release of stresses and tensions found throughout the body.
Cranial osteopaths are trained to feel for the subtle rhythmical shape change that occurs in all body tissues. This shape change is known as the “cranial rhythm” or “involuntary motion”.
The name “involuntary motion” is perhaps more apt as it reflects the fact that this rhythmical shape change occurs without influence from other bodily processes.
The involuntary motion may be disrupted by tensions in the body. Through their assessment of where these disruptions have occurred the practitioner can then offer treatment aimed at releasing the “tension patterns”.
For further information on cranial osteopathy click here.