What is European Style Osteopathy?
European Style Osteopathy is a drug-free, non-invasive manual medicine that focuses on total body health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework, which includes the joints, muscles and spine. Its aim is to positively affect the body's nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems.
This therapy is a unique holistic (whole body) approach to health care. Osteopaths do not simply concentrate on treating the problem area, but use manual techniques to balance all the systems of the body, to provide overall good health and wellbeing.
Dr. Andrew Taylor Still established the practice of Osteopathy in the late 1800s in the United States of America, with the aim of using manual 'hands on' techniques to improve circulation and correct altered biomechanics, without the use of drugs.
The philosophy of Osteopathy is what sets it apart from other medical disciplines. The key principles are based on all parts of the body functioning together in an integrated manner. If one part of the body is restricted, then the rest of the body must adapt and compensate for this, eventually leading to inflammation, pain, stiffness and other health conditions. Osteopathic treatment assists the body with pain minimization, reduced stress and greater mobility providing the opportunity for the inherent Health to heal the individual.
Osteopaths use a broad range of gentle hands-on techniques including soft tissue stretching, deep tactile pressure, and mobilisation or manipulation of joints.
In some cases, Osteopaths can complement the advice given by GPs. For example, people who suffer from arthritis are often prescribed medication by their GP. In addition to that, Osteopaths can ease the pain caused by joint and muscle stiffness, by improving joint mobility and the flow of blood to the joints, and show arthritis sufferers how to prevent causing injury to themselves.
Osteopaths believe in working as part of a health system of health providers and often refer back to the G.P. or another allied health professional where appropriate.
Osteopaths respect the body's natural ability as a self-regulating mechanism and only intervene when pain or discomfort is present. The benefits of osteopathy are the general improvement in mobility and structural stability of the body. In turn, other systems of the body such as the circulatory, nervous and lymphatic systems function more effectively and for a number of general conditions, minimal treatment is required.
Osteopathic treatment positively affects the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems, to deliver a more balanced body and better health overall. This combined with good dietary and /or exercise prescription can enhance a patient's well being and often leads to a positive approach to individual health responsibility.
What is the difference between European Style Osteopathy and American Osteopathy?
The founder of osteopathy,Dr Andrew Taylor Still established the first Osteopathic College in 1892 in Kirksville, Missouri. Since then, Osteopathy has spread around the world. After his death in 1917 Osteopathy split into two branches. One branch merged with and became an allopathic medical degree. It is only possible to study this form of Osteopathy in the U.S.A. Graduates receive the title Doctor of Osteopathy, D.O. The other branch remained separate from mainstream medicine and established itself in Europe. These practitioners are called Osteopaths in Europe and Osteopathic Manual Practitioners in the U.S.A.
Osteopaths trained outside of the US are generally limited in practice to non-invasive manual therapies,as well as providing nutritional, postural, and other health advice. Like their American counterparts, non-US osteopaths are primary contact health care practitioners. They are usually trained in the biomedical sciences and general medical diagnosis, with the addition of osteopathic techniques, but without pharmacology and surgery. Osteopathic treatment is considered complementary to mainstream medicine.
In Germany, Osteopathic Manual Practitioners undergo a 5 year full-time training to receive a MSc in osteopathic therapy. Physical Therapists, Naturopathic Doctors and Medical Doctors only require 5 year part-time study.
For more information on Manual Osteopathic Practice, please visit International Osteopathic Association.