From our patient letter  "Pain Free News"

Last updated on January 27, 2021

Woman with questions about Osteopathy

It took me over a year at college to start to understand Osteopathy.

So if you are uncertain, I can sympathise. Perhaps it's easier to say what it is not.

Osteopathy isn't a relaxing massage.
Not that we deliberately set out to hurt you. But we have to concentrate on tight, painful areas. Our approach feels slightly more stressful than regular massage. But most people find this satisfying. It's palpable evidence that we have got to grips with the problem.

Osteo is not about putting bones back.
However much it feels likes your vertebra has moved - it hasn't. Your bones get pulled around by muscle spasm when you have a bad back. But unless you have had some severe trauma, they are still where they should be. If a bone is out you are more likely to be in an ICU than to be talking to an Osteopath about it.

It is not all about clicking joints.
That is just a tool we use to improve mobility. It is dramatic, so you don't forget it. In certain conditions manipulation can give instant relief. However, this technique is not magic or compulsory. If you can't stand the idea of having your neck clicked, don't worry. We have alternative methods. Less spectacular, more relaxing and equally effective mobilising techniques.

It has not much to do with bones.
Despite being called Osteo-pathy. One regret I have about becoming an Osteopath is the terrible  name. The full meaning is disease of bones. So our name describes a condition that is entirely unsuitable for our treatment! Too late for re-branding now, after 150 years.

What it is:

Osteopathy is
                       a way of adjusting physical tension
                                                                                  and improving mobility
                                                                                                                         to resolve pain.


Philip Hambly