What is osteopathy?

Detailed and thorough patient examination, diagnosis and treatment involving the use of highly developed palpatory skills allows the osteopath to deal with a wide variety of conditions that respond to the manual osteopathic technique. The range of such conditions is wider than commonly supposed. For example, some kinds of headaches, asthma and other conditions not apparently connected with the musculo-skeletal system can benefit considerably from osteopathic treatment. Some of the discomfort experienced by women during and after pregnancy can be treated with great success. Apart from adults, children and babies can also benefit from osteopathic treatment


Osteopathy is a manual medicine which focuses on the mobility of and in the body. This mobility is necessary to function properly and without complaints. Quality of tissue and the possibility of tissue to recover is directly dependent upon the exchange on tissue level. There must be a free and generous supply of fuels and building materials and the waste must be disposed of efficiently. The local exchange on tissue-level depends on a good circulation: not only of blood, but also of lymph. This flow can occur only when a good mobility is present in all tissues.

The arteries have a muscle layer in their vascular wall that propels the blood. The flow in the veins and lymphatic vessels are dependent upon movement of the environment. The self-healing power of the body is so depending on an unobstructed flow of liquids and thus of movement. Not only the movement of the muscles and joints, but also of the chest and its contents (lungs, heart), the abdominal organs, the diaphragm etc. Osteopathy is a manual method of treatment which focuses on finding and treating loss of mobility in the body that could cause complaints or maintain already existing ones.


An osteopath approaches the body as a whole. Loss of mobility can cause complaints. Because all tissues are interconnected pain may radiate to other parts of the body. An osteopath examines the body for loss of mobility and restores the cooperation between the tissues. Because of this interconnection of tissues treatment sometimes focuses on an area where you are experiencing no complaints. An osteopath works exclusively with his hands. He/she does not use drugs or devices.


An osteopath works with three systems within the body that may not be viewed separately. The first system is the locomotive system: the system of bones, joints, muscles and joint capsules. The second system is the organic system: the thoracic organs like heart and lungs, and the abdominal organs like stomach, intestines, liver, kidneys etc. The third system is the craniosacral system: the ‘lining’ of the central nervous system. This system consists of the membranes around brain and spinal cord and the skull bones. All these three systems are being examined for loss of mobility. During treatment the loss of mobility will be restored as much as possible thus restoring the self healing properties of the body in those areas.

An osteopath is no substitute for the general practitioner or specialist. If necessary the osteopath will refer you to your general practitioner.

An osteopath is directly accessible, there is no need for a referral of family doctor or medical specialist.

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