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What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is the science of human mechanics. It is the system of diagnosis and treatment which lays emphasis on the structural and mechanical problems of the body, which may lead to disease.

what is osteopathy


Osteopathy was founded at the end of the 19th Century by an American doctor, Andrew Taylor Still. In 1917 the first school was set up in London and there are now eight osteopathic schools with over two thousand osteopaths in Britain. In 1935 the GCRO (General Council and Register of Osteopaths) was set up to control standards of training and an ethical code of practice.

In 1993 the Osteopaths Act was passed, giving osteopaths state recognition and the same responsibility for patients as doctors and dentists. The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) was set up in May 1999 so that no-one can call themselves an osteopath unless registered with the GOsC.


Registered Osteopaths have trained full time for four years at the recognised schools. The pre-clinical course is equivalent to that of medical school, allowing students to make an orthodox diagnosis and to recognise the presence of serious pathology. The osteopathic student receives advanced training in the detailed examination of the musculoskeletal system and this is followed by over one thousand hours of supervised clinical training, allowing students to absorb the art and science of osteopathy.

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