Osteopathy is a manual therapy, which is highly regulated by medical boards around the World. This fact alone will help dispel many of the common myths. Below is an examination of five of the more popular myths about osteopathy.
Myth 1: Osteopaths Only Focus on Your Bones
This is false, but it is an assumption that is understandable. After all the word ‘osteo’ does come from the Greek word ‘osteon’ which means bone. Adding weight to this myth is the mere name of the conditions osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, which are degenerative bone diseases. When first founded, osteopaths did solely focus on bones, however this approach quickly shifted to encompass all joints, muscles and body systems. However the name was never changed.
Osteopathy is one of the most complete manual medical disciplines. It treats all your bones, muscles, joints and body systems.
Myth 2: Osteopaths, Physiotherapists and Chiropractors are all the Same
False. Osteopaths, physiotherapists and chiropractors were all founded on different philosophies and treatment methods. Although very simplistic, osteopaths focus on treating the entire body, physiotherapists focus on local area rehabilitation and chiropractors focus on the spine and the surrounding nerve pathways.
Myth 3: Osteopathy is an Unproven ‘Witch Doctor’ Remedy
False. As indicated above, osteopathy is firmly recognised by the medical community and has its roots based on sound evidence. This is supported by the following facts:
- Australian osteopaths must complete an intensive five year degree, including two years of performing supervised treatments on paying patients
- The practice of osteopathy is strictly regulated by government bodies. In order to practice, osteopaths must be officially registered
- All osteopaths are classified as primary health care providers. This means that you do not need to organise a referral from your GP prior to a treatment
Myth 4: Osteopathy is a Simple 5 Week Course
False. As previously indicated, becoming an osteopath is hard work. All osteopaths must complete an intensive five years of university study. In addition to the physical elements of treatments, osteopaths also learn the intricacies of anatomy, physiology, pathology, radiology and clinical medicine.
In addition, an osteopath in training must also complete two years of supervised osteopathy treatments before graduating. This supervision gives students access to some of Australia’s leading osteopaths, which further boosts the quality of the care they provide.
Myth 5: Osteopathy is a New Form of Treatment
False. Osteopathy was one of the first manual therapies (some say it was the first). Osteopathy was founded in 1874, by Dr Andrew Still. To compare, chiropractic therapy was founded in 1895, and modern physiotherapy founded in 1896.
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