Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopaths focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit. Using skilled evaluation, diagnosis and a wide range of hands-on techniques, osteopaths can identify important types of dysfunction in your body.
Osteopathic treatment uses techniques such as stretching and massage for general treatment of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) along with mobilisation and manipulation of specific joints.
Osteopaths treat the whole person considering psychological factors, nutritional status, lifestyle and stress reduction. For this reason Osteopaths offer personal advice on stretching and strengthening exercises, posture, diet and hydration, correct lifting procedures and stress management.
In Australia, osteopaths are government registered practitioners who complete a minimum of five years’ university training in anatomy, physiology, pathology, general medical diagnosis and osteopathic techniques. Osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners and are trained to recognise conditions which require medical referral. They are also trained to perform standard medical examinations of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems.
Osteopathy is covered by most private health funds and the Medicare Enhanced Primary Care scheme. Osteopaths are registered providers for workers’ compensation schemes, motor accident insurers and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
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