Frequent questions

In this section you can consult the most frequently asked questions and their answers on topics of greatest interest regarding osteopathy, its practice, its fields of application and much more..


Osteopaths are first-contact health professionals, which means you do not need to be referred to them by a doctor. To this day, word of mouth remains the main means used to reach an osteopath, at the suggestion of a friend or an acquaintance, who have benefited from osteopathic treatments.

After interpreting the clinical data, an osteopath performs an osteopathic evaluation through observation, perceptive palpation and osteopathic tests to detect the presence of clinical signs of somatic dysfunctions of the musculoskeletal system.

Osteopaths work in this way:

  1. initially they plan the osteopathic treatment and administer the appropriate techniques, which are exclusively manual and non-invasive;
  2. they performs the treatment safely and with respect for the dignity and sensitivity of the patient, especially customizing the treatments individually;
  3. they assess treatment outcomes and plan the follow-ups;
  4. finally, they promote educational programs for their patients to develop self-management skills.
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Courses and training

In the UK osteopathy is an healthcare profession.

The British Parliament granted full recognition of the osteopathic profession in 1993 with the Osteopaths Act.

Through the Osteopaths Act the osteopathic profession has been recognised the same legal status as other healthcare professions including statutory self-regulation, therefore osteopathy has its own statute which regulates its practice.

Osteopaths must register with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) in order to practice the profession in the UK. To be allowed to register with the GOsC a recognised qualification is required. The GOsC provides a list of recognised educational institutions and courses on their website which we have reproduced on this website.

The following is the list of all institutions currently authorised to provide osteopathic courses in the UK as recognised by the GOsC:

  • The British College of Osteopathic Medicine, London
  • The College of Osteopaths, London and Stoke on Trent
  • The European School of Osteopathy, Kent
  • The London College of Osteopathic Medicine (for medical doctors only), London
  • The London School of Osteopathy, London
  • NESCOT (validated by Kingston University) previously Surrey
  • Institute of Osteopathic Medicine (SIOM), Surrey
  • Swansea University, Swansea
  • University College of Osteopathy, London
  • The University of St Mark and St John, Plymouth (Marjon), Plymouth

These institutions provide either a Degree in Osteopathy (a BSc Hons, BOst or BOstMed) or a Master's Degree (MOst) or both. Their courses will usually last 4 years full-time and 5 years part-time, with possible combinations of the two and accelerated course of study for students already possessing a degree in Medicine or Physical Therapy. Each qualification would normally include 1000 hours of clinical training.


Osteopathy is a first-contact health porfession. Its skills consist in prevention, management and treatment of patients. It is an exclusively manual form of therapy, addressed to all citizens, from newborn babies to elderly people and pregnant women.

Osteopathy does not resort to the use of drugs and addresses the body as a whole: starting from the symptom and its manifestation (pain) focuses on listening to the body in its entirety, on the search for the triggers in order to be able to intervene on them through specific manipulative treatments aimed at rebalancing the body.

Using specific manipulations and maneuvers, osteopathy is effective for the prevention, evaluation and treatment of disorders affecting not only the neuro-musculoskeletal apparatus, but also the skull-sacral (the link between the skull, the spine and the sacrum) and visceral (interventions on the mobility of visceral organs) ones.

According to the Osteopathis science all parts of the body are considered in relation to each other, even those parts that are normally seen as distant and independent. In truth, neurological, mechanical, vascular, immune and psychic relationships are always present in the course of a pathology, be it either functional or organic.

Pain is always understood as an alarm bell of some sort of dysfunction within the body.

Osteopathy can be helpful, especially on dysfunctions affecting the musculoskeletal, digestive and dental systems, even in neonatal and pediatric age. Among the ailments for which an osteopath's advice is seeked there are headache, joint and muscle pain, otitis, postural problems, gastritis and reflux, irregular menstrual cycle and post-trauma problems in sports.

Absolutely! Osteopathy also successfully treats dysfunctions and problems of pediatric patients, from the first minutes or days of their life. It is very effective for baby colics, positional plagiocephaly, evacuation difficulties and much more. There are more and more neonatal ICUs in many Italian hospitals to provide osteopathic manipulative treatments for infants, even premature ones.

Several studies show the importance of the osteopathic "touch" as a real path of care for newborns for the stimulation of the senses, therefore to improve the clinical status of these patients.

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