The Osteopathic Alliance has been working hard over a considerable length of time to develop a brief descriptor to summarise what osteopathy is. The aim of this work has been to formulate a definition that can work regardless of the style of osteopathy being practised. Here at SOAP we are committed to promoting these ideals and the descriptor reads as follows:
“Osteopathy is a philosophy of healthcare that acknowledges that the living body is a self-renewing, self-regenerating, self-recuperating system which maintains health constantly throughout life. Whenever that health-maintaining system is compromised, symptoms or disease could develop. Osteopathy is concerned with that which has compromised health rather than the resulting condition.
Osteopaths have been regulated by statute since 1993. They are trained to diagnose conventionally and also to use their hands to assess body function and dysfunction. This gives the osteopath uniquely sensitive information about the disability within the body and how this insight might be used to help restore health.
Although people commonly describe their symptoms in terms of conventional medical conditions, osteopaths do not primarily treat medical conditions; they are more concerned with the cascade of events which could have contributed to the development of those medical conditions.”