Osteopathy is a ‘whole body’ system of manual medicine, this has been in practice for over 100 years! This system utilizes unique biomechanical principles to treat musculoskeletal problems and other functional disorders of the body. It was developed in the 1870’s by an American physician, Dr Andrew Taylor Still, who recognised the body to be equipped with everything necessary to heal itself and in doing so derived four key principles on which to base the philosophy of Osteopathic treatment:
- The body is a single unit of mind, body and spirit
- Structure and function are interrelated
- The body is capable of healing and regulating itself
- Treatment is based on the above three principles
In Australia, Osteopaths are recognised as primary health care providers and are trained to recognise conditions that require referral to medical practitioners or other allied health. Osteopathic university graduates hold either a double Bachelors or Master qualification. They complete a minimum of five years university training in anatomy, physiology, pathology, general medical diagnosis and osteopathic techniques to enable them to perform standard medical examinations of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems.
Osteopaths are required by Australian law, to maintain ongoing professional development and education every year to stay in practice. In Australia, all osteopaths are required to be government registered practitioners. If an osteopath does not appear on this register they should not practice. The register can be found at: http://www.ahpra.gov.au/Registration/Registers-of-Practitioners.aspx