What is osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a manual therapy which works primarily with the musculoskeletal system and is based on the principle that helping to restore optimal function in these tissues, can facilitate healing, reduce symptoms and contribute to overall well-being.
Osteopaths use a wide variety of techniques. We are probably best known for "clicking" or manipulating joints. In fact, although this can be highly effective in the right case, it is not always appropriate and many successful treatments do not include this technique. Osteopaths use a wide range of soft tissue approaches including massage, trigger point pressure, stretches and others. We also work on joints with repetitive passive movement, called articulation, and use gentle traction-release and functional joint positioning. Overall your osteopath is likely to use a mixture of manual treatment types and may also use ultrasound or hot/cold therapy. The skill lies in selecting the best approach to get the best results.
4,500 G.Os.C. Registered Osteopaths. 90% practise in the UK (83% in England). 7 million consultations per year. Almost equal numbers of male and female practitioners. Most Osteopaths self employed in private practice. Small number in NHS, Occupational Health, private companies. Treatment costs typically £30 - £50 for 30 minute session. 90% of patients self funded. Most Health Insurers cover osteopathic treatment.
1874: Osteopathy conceived by Andrew Taylor Still, American physician and surgeon. 1892: American School of Osteopathy Founded. 1917 : British School of Osteopathy founded by John Martin Littlejohn – pupil of A.T. Still and Dean of Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. 1993: Osteopaths Act passed by Parliament. 1997: General Osteopathic Council established.
All osteopaths must be registered with G.Os.C. (one of nine statutory healthcare regulators in the UK). Must renew registration each year – annual license to practise. Professional indemnity insurance. Must be of good health and character. Mandatory ongoing training.
The title 'osteopath' is protected by law. The G.Os.C.  prosecutes any individual who practises as an osteopath if they are not on the Register.
11 osteopathic education institutions recognised by the General Osteopathic Council. Four or five-year degree course. Studies include anatomy, physiology, embryology, pathology, nutrition, biomechanics and osteopathy! Minimum of 1,000 hours of clinical training.
G.Os.C. publish “Osteopathic Practice Standards” against which all osteopaths are judged in any complaint or revalidation process. Areas covered ; Communication and patient partnership, Knowledge, skills and performance, Safety and quality in practice, Professionalism.