Osteopathy is a system of medicine founded 150 years in the USA by an American doctor, Andrew Taylor Still MD.
Osteopathy is now closely allied with orthodox medicine and is recognised worldwide. The basis of osteopathic medicine is that the body is able to keep itself healthy by its own means but needs treatment when these internal processes are blocked.
Osteopathy deal with musculoskeletal injuries, for example sports injuries, but also treats the soft vital organs of the body with Visceral Osteopathy. For example hypertension can be treated and reduced.
Osteopathy puts great emphasis on restoring optimal functioning of the body and does by assessing the nature of the bodies tissues and uses physical medicine to restore the bodies normal self-healing abilities. Osteopathy focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of the body. Using many of the diagnostic procedures applied in conventional medical assessment, osteopaths seek to restore the optimal functioning of the body and aid its improvement and intrinsic ability to heal. Following a detailed case history and examination, treatment is based on mobilising soft-tissue work and manipulative techniques, cranial osteopathy reinforced by guidance on lifestyle, environment, posture and exercise and the methods of applied kinesiology.
Colleges, Courses and Status.
Undergraduates undergo very intensive training, that is very similar to its sister profession, orthodox medicine, for up to five years. They then join the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), the counterpart to the GMC. This was established in 1998 after the profession gained a Royal Charter from the Queen in 1993. Osteopathy has therefore joined mainstream medicine. Osteopathy also has strong Royal links: Prince Charles is the President of the GOsC; Princess Diana was the President of the GCRO; and Princess Anne is the patron of the British School of Osteopathy
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends osteopathy for the treatment of pain. A Medical Research Council trial comparing treatment options for lower back pain (UK BEAM Trial), found that osteopathic spinal manipulation is clinically effective and very cost effective.