About Osteopathy

What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a patient-centered treatment that focuses on the body’s innate ability to heal itself. It is a manual “hands-on” therapy that is based on a highly developed sense of touch to stimulate the body’s natural self-regulating and self-healing capabilities.

Osteopathic Manual Practitioners help to maintain, improve or restore the normal physiological function of interrelated body structures and systems. Various manual assessment and treatment techniques and modalities are utilized to help people of all ages and backgrounds who suffer injury, pain or other health concerns by easing the pain, reducing swelling, improving tissue mobility and promoting efficient healing. They remove restricted or constricted areas of the body which are not moving normally or are “strangled” or “squeezed”.

This may exist in the following systems:

  • •  Musculoskeletal
  • •  Respiratory
  • •  Cardiovascular
  • •  Digestive
  • •  Reproductive
  • •  Nervous

Manual Osteopathy is based on 4 basic principles:

  1. Each structure (bones, muscles, organs, fascia…) in the body supports the body’s functions. If a structure is damaged, out of position, or otherwise not working efficiently, the body will not function at its best.
  2. The natural flow of the body’s fluids – lymphatic, vascular, and neurological – must be preserved and maintained.
  3. The human body is the sum of its parts. It’s not only physical but includes the emotional, social, spiritual, and cognitive systems. They should work in harmony because they don’t work independently.
  4. When the body has no restrictions, it has the inherent ability to heal itself.

The benefits of being treated with Osteopathy may include:

  • •  Addresses the underlying causes of pain
  • •  Offers pain relief through non-invasive treatment
  • •  Helps the body adapt to hormonal and structural changes through the life cycle
  • •  Diminishes trauma resulting from accidents
  • •  Facilitates and encourages the body to heal itself
  • •  Safe and uniquely suited for individuals of all ages

Educational Standards

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes Osteopathy as a distinct manual therapy that differs from other health care professions such as chiropractic or physiotherapy. WHO published Benchmarks for Training in Osteopathy in 2010. This document specifies two types of training: Type 1 full time training which must be a minimum of 4800 hours with 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice, and Type 2 training which is part time training, specifically for those with prior healthcare qualifications. This training must include supervised clinical practice, and all osteopathic and diagnostic subjects must be taught through direct contact ie. not online. As osteopathic training is not yet regulated in BC, it can be difficult for the public to be sure that a practitioner meets WHO benchmarks. Deanna meets these requirements having studied with the Canadian College of Osteopathy that adheres to this protocol along with being a member of OsteopathyBC.

OsteopathyBC is the only BC (non-physician) osteopathic association on whose members have all graduated with a minimum of 4 years education full time or minimum 4 years part-time (or equivalent) for those who are already health professionals. Their goal, therefore, is to keep standards consistent with WHO benchmarks and countries where osteopathy is already regulated. Also, most of the major insurance companies, recognize the high educational standards of their members, when covering the cost of osteopathic treatments.

For more information about Osteopathy and educational standards, please check out the links provided below.