What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a unique system of holistic manual medicine, based on unique principles, which recognise 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.


Osteopaths look at every body as being unique. We believe that only by treating the individual, not just the symptoms, can problems be alleviated, and a true sense of well being restored.

Using skilled evaluation, diagnosis and a wide range of gentle, safe and effective hands-on techniques, Osteopaths can identify dysfunction in your body. Osteopaths aim to optimise the function of your body and thereby alleviate symptoms.

The World Health Organisation recognises the Osteopathic concept of somatic dysfunction as being scientifically proven, and the British Medical Association also recognises Osteopathy as a discrete medical discipline.

In Australia, Osteopaths are statutorily registered practitioners with five years full-time university training. Their studies include anatomy, physiology, pathology, radiology, neuroscience, orthodox medical diagnosis as well as Osteopathic philosophy and technique.

Osteopaths are primary care practitioners, and are trained to recognise conditions that require medical referral. They are also trained to perform orthodox Physical, Orthopaedic and Neurological examination.


An American Doctor, Andrew Taylor Still developed the concept of Osteopathy in Missouri in the 1870’s. An outbreak of spinal meningitis, which took the life of several family members, drove Dr. Still to develop medical theories that differed dramatically from the popular medical theories of his time.

He criticized the inappropriate use of aggressive drug therapy, and advocated the treatment of the individual rather than the disease in isolation. Despite ridicule from his peers, Dr Still persisted with the development of his theories. His success and popularity in practice led ultimately to the establishment of the American School of Osteopathy in 1892. At this time, the College offered two-year courses in Osteopathy. Under the guidance of Dr Still, these courses were open to women and minority groups. In the late 1800 this practice was considered outrageous.

Osteopathy has evolved further to the point where it is now widely recognised throughout the world.

For more information, please visit…

Australian Osteopathic Association