Osteopathy and health: quick guide to this alternative approach

Taking into account the huge interest that surrounds alternative medical practises, more and more people have heard about osteopathy and its benefits for the health. Despite this recent interest, the practice is one of the oldest in existence, dating back to the end 1800s. Started in the US, this form of alternative medicine rapidly spread throughout the entire world, so that now public and private practises flourish on all five continents. In Australia, if someone wants to become osteopath in Melbourne CBD or any other city, they must go to specialised courses at University for five years and they will be Government-regulated after this period of training.

What does osteopathy do?

The literal translation of the word is “diseases of the bone”. Thus, this alternative practice utilises special techniques to restore the health of the human skeletal system. It is mainly founded on manual therapy and aims to relax muscles and joints, but is also common among practitioners to recommend dietary and lifestyle changes. There are no universal remedies recommended by experts, since one of the main philosophies of osteopathy is that every medical case is different. Treatment is based on the thorough knowledge of the patient’s medical history and lifestyle. In some cases, patients are advised to follow up sessions with physical exercises.


What conditions can be treated with osteopathy?

Osteopathy is most commonly used to treat persistent lower back pain among patients who have suffered spine damage during an accident or have underlying medical conditions. In addition, it has shown promising results for conditions that cause paint in the region of the neck, shoulders or limbs. Osteopathic manipulation is recommended for people in advanced diseases stages, as an alternative to surgery, but it’s often chosen by those who are just starting to notice symptoms. Examples include: office workers with a sedentary lifestyle, senior citizens, women who have just given birth etc.


Differences between osteopathy and conventional medicine

One of the main differences between conventional medicine and osteopathy is that the latter rejects medicines and invasive procedures as much as possible, advocating for the natural way of treating disorders. It believes in gentle, non-invasive procedures. In addition, those who practise it refuse to prescribe a default treatment and aim to understand the patient’s specific lifestyle and condition. The mission of osteopaths is to cure not only the symptom, but also the underlying cause and, in general, promote better overall health.