A primary healthcare system complementary to other medical practices, Osteopathy is a manual therapy with a long and established history and its own insight as to how the body functions; with an emphasis on the importance of the structural integrity of the body.
Founded in 19th Century America by Andrew Taylor Still, from the experiences of his life as a rural doctor and treating the wounded during the Civil War, it is a system of diagnosis and treatment based on the principle that the wellbeing of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments, connective tissues, blood and lymph all functioning harmoniously together. We treat medical disorders through the manipulation of these tissues.
Osteopaths achieve their end in a variety of ways, A T Still never prescribed techniques, he taught what correct anatomy and health felt like, so there are many different traditions. From those who examine the body to find a causal point to its imbalance, to those who look for disfunction in the area of pain in order to manipulate those tissues, and those who like to balance the whole structure, in the belief that the healthy body will correct the symptom.
Each of these objectives can be carried out in a variety of ways, from pressure on the tissues or sudden manipulation, to gentle movements that you might not even notice. Osteopaths have a long training, including in the medical sciences, and then spend years honing their skills and techniques and building experience, to make them truly effective.