Osteopathy is a drug-free approach to medicine. By manipulating and kneading the musculoskeletal framework of the body, osteopathy is able to remedy the complications of both minor and major illnesses. Osteopaths understand that the body is capable of self-healing if the ‘framework’ or core of the body is tended to and strengthened from harmful threats. Despite their being thousands of osteopaths, clinicians, and satisfied clients, osteopathy has not yet made the leap into conventional medicine, and is still considered by some to be unorthodox.
Similarities & differences between osteopathy and massage therapy
Osteopathy is best understood as a CAM (complementary and alternative medicine). It is very patient-centered. It focuses in particular on the application of techniques such as soft tissue tech and joint manipulation, along with consultation in regards to diet and exercise. At the heart of contemporary osteotherapy lies the understanding that proper maintenance of the structure and function of the body’s tissues, fluids, and systems are all that is essential to relieve the body from disease.
Massage therapy, on the other hand, is less holistic and more therapeutic. The techniques associated with massage are associated with alleviating discomfort, as opposed to osteopathy, which is about healing and restoring the functions of the body.
Both the massage therapist and the osteopath need to ensure respect for the patient, responsible care, integrity and patient-professional relationship to make sure that neither the patient nor the expert is harmed in any way. Ethical behavior, interpersonal skills, experience & expertise, and various other qualities matter a lot in a therapeutic relationship.
- Both treat musculoskeletal pain.
- Both require a comprehensive knowledge of the human anatomy (academically, speaking).
- Registration number and insurance is essential.
- Both are not allowed to offer medical diagnosis or perform independent medical evaluations.
- Both fall under the category ‘Natural Medicine’.
- Both ensure patient-centered care.
- Both use manual therapy techniques, like myofascial release, strain-counterstrain and facilitated positional releases.
- Osteotherapy is about holistic treatment and wellness. Massage therapy is more therapeutic, serving for relaxation and short-term discomfort release.
- Osteopaths can give manual diagnosis while massage therapists cannot.
- Some of their treatment technique differs, as some of the osteotherapy techniques require specific training and higher education, while most massage therapy techniques are easy to learn.
- Massage therapy is more popular around the world as compared with osteotherapy, due to lack of much knowledge about the latter.
There is a lot of overlap, which is why most people get confused between the two. In simple words, both the forms of natural healthcare focus on the patients’ preferences, health history & needs accordingly. Both apply manual therapy techniques to treat pain and dysfunction.
Facts about osteopathy
Whom should you visit: Chiropractor, Osteopath or Physiotherapist?
A chiropractor is more focused on the spine and joints, while the osteopath looks at the body as a whole. On the other hand, a physiotherapist focuses on the mobility of the body, whereas an osteopath focuses on the structure of the body.
Although they all occupy a similar territory in healthcare, there are important differences between the three of them. If you are unsure which is right for you, visit a practitioner and discuss your problem with them.
Conventional Medicine Vs. Alternative Medicine
- Alternative medicine emphasizes whole-body treatments while conventional medicine specializes in affected parts only.
- Conventional medicine experts focus on the physical treatment of diseases whereas alternative medicine experts take care to ensure emotional and spiritual healing as well.
- Conventional medicine is usually a means to tackle a problem. One of the functions of alternative medicine is to monitor and prevent illnesses before they develop.
Although alternative medicine seems more beneficial to the body, there are certain setbacks too, such as:
- Ambiguity. It is not clear to the general public what osteotherapy is.
- Some in the scientific community do not regard osteopathy as a ‘conventional’ treatment, arguing that the scientific evidence for its usefulness is lacking.
- Some techniques may be dangerous if the patient/client’s medical history is not fully understood.
Benefits & side effects of osteotherapy
- The pain in muscles and joints is reduced notably.
- It improves joint mobility.
- It increases the blood circulation in the body.
- It encourages the natural treatment of diseases.
- It heals the body from many problems by re-adjusting the musculoskeletal framework.
- It decreases tension in the body.
- It treats medical conditions like headaches, backaches, digestive issues, arthritis, postural problems, and tennis elbow.
- Physical discomfort.
- Allergic reactions.
- Dissatisfaction due to improper treatment techniques.
Why do people prefer conventional medicine to osteotherapy?
Although osteotherapy is recognized all over the U.S. and other parts of the world, it is still not considered an equal to a doctor of conventional medicine. Osteopaths are also known as doctors without M.D.(s), even if they are fully licensed and have been practicing for many years. Osteopathy treats the entire body; however, it cannot cure certain conditions because osteopaths don’t prescribe western medicine. Contrary to popular belief, not every disease or physical condition can be cured with readjustment of the musculoskeletal framework; some medical conditions require medicines to ease the pain or strengthen the body.
The number of ‘DO’ (doctor of osteopathic medicine) colleges around the world is tiny when compared to standard medicine colleges. Moreover, a majority of medical colleges do not offer M.D. degrees in osteopathy. For some, osteopathy is considered to be a pseudoscience like many other natural therapy methods. Due to the many side-effects, limited applications and lack of awareness about osteopathy, most people prefer conventional medicine to osteopathy.
Visit a great osteopath today
Regulation is an essential in all fields of medicine, including conventional and CAM. Unlike Ontario, the osteopaths in England are some of the most heavily regulated on earth. This is to ensure ethical and professional standards. The chances are, if you visit a London health clinic with a practising osteopath, they will be one of the safest and best in the industry.
Osteotherapy, the holistic approach to healthcare, includes manual therapy, where the doctor uses hands-on treatment to cure physical dysfunction, joint and muscle pain and strengthen the body to make sure that it can fight against threats on its own. Clients, patients, and osteopaths the world over will testify of osteopathy’s ability to restore and enhance a person’s well-being. And perhaps better than other forms of medicine. Whether it will gain more acceptance in mainstream circles and move into the ‘conventional’ remains to be seen.
Don’t hesitate to visit a DO in your neighborhood if you are facing any of the above-mentioned problems; just make sure that he/she is a licensed practitioner and have sufficient experience to cure your illness.
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