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Osteopathy is a statutorily regulated Primary Health Care profession. Osteopaths treat all types of people, such as - babies a few days old, school children, elite athletes, expectant mothers, office workers and senior citizens. Osteopaths consider each person as an individual. Osteopaths diagnose and treat problems with muscles, ligaments, nerves and joints. Osteopathy recognises the importance of the link between the structure of the human body and the way it functions. In your first treatment a full medical and orthopaedic case history will be taken. Then osteopaths carry out careful physical examination, including relevant orthopaedic and medical evaluation. Utilising a highly developed sense of palpation, they identify problem areas of the body. Your osteopath will normally ask you to remove some of your clothing and perform a series of simple movements. A chaperone can be present if requested. Using gentle stretching and mobilising techniques as well as manipulating joints, an osteopath works with the body to create the perfect conditions to facilitate the healing process. Your osteopath may also show you exercises to do at home and suggest ways to improve your posture and prevent re-injury. The number of treatments depends on your condition. For acute problems 2-3 treatments may be sufficient. For longer standing conditions more may be required, usually 6-8. Many patients then decide they would like periodic preventative treatments to avoid recurring problems. Osteopaths undertake a 4 to 5 year training underpinned by a thorough clinical education and have to be registered with the General Osteopathic Council. It is a criminal offence to call yourself an osteopath unless register with the GOsC. Only practitioners meeting the high standards of safety and competency are eligible to join this register. Proof of good health, good character and professional indemnity insurance cover are required. The public can, therefore, be confident in visiting an osteopath that they will experience safe and competent treatment from a practitioner who adheres to a strict Code of Conduct.


Andrea George


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