"Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine which facilitates healing by focusing on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit."
There are many different answers to this question. For me personally I would answer "A person who treats not only the symptoms eg pain but looks to identify the cause, including any lifestyle factors that may be influencing the site of pain. Lifestyle factors could include; diet, exercise, stress, occupation or sleeping issues. Osteopaths use gentle, hands on techniques like soft tissue massage, joint mobilization and manipulation."
The osteopathic consultation includes a case history about the presenting issue and general medical questions, to gauge the full picture of the patients medical background and health. This is followed by an examination of movements, joint mobilty and muscle flexibility and tender points. Medical examinations like blood pressure, may be carried out if applicable. Once a diagnosis is made treatment and tailored advice is given.
Osteopaths treat a wide range of aches and pains including;
Tennis & Golfers Elbow
Sprains & Strains
Pregnancy aches & pains
Lower back pain
Hip & pelvic pain
Osteopathic treatment is covered by ACC. This means your treatment cost is subsidized by ACC. Treatments covered by ACC are injuries that related pain that was a direct result of an accident. For example lifting a heavy box or tripping and falling.
To become an osteopath in New Zealand you must complete a 3 year bachelors course in applied science, majoring in Osteopathy. Then a 2years masters course, complete with clinic time and a thesis. Osteopaths in New Zealand must also do continued professional development courses to keep up to date.