Harpenden Osteopaths

General Osteopathic Council

All our Osteopaths are registered with the General Osteopathic Council.

What is osteopathy?

The term ‘osteopathy’ was first used by a Dr Andrew Taylor Still in America to describe his approach to the treatment of disease. He took a natural had holistic perspective as opposed to the orthodox view at the time, which involved poorly researched and often dangerous drugs and crude surgery.

Dr Still felt that the structure and function of the whole body and a good, uninterrupted circulatory system were vital for good health and he developed a system of treatment involving massage, stretch and mobilisation, together with advice on diet and activity.

Osteopathy in its modern form gained approval from the British Medical Association since 1992 and achieved full statutory recognition in 2000. It is described by the General Osteopathic Council as “an established, recognised system of diagnosis and treatment that lays its main emphasis on the structural integrity of the body. It is distinct in the fact that it recognises that much of the pain and disability we suffer stems from abnormalities in the function of the body structure as well as damage caused to it by disease.”

On the whole, osteopathy deals with problems affecting the mechanics of the body - anything from painful low backs to frozen shoulder, ankle sprains to tennis elbow. It always applies the same basic principles whereby the whole body is assessed to ascertain the various stresses and strains affecting the musculo-skeletal system as well as the influence of posture, work, sport and general health and their impact on the presenting complaint. The General Osteopathic council says: “Osteopathy uses many of the diagnostic procedures used in conventional medical assessment and diagnosis. Its main strength, however, lays within the unique way the patient is assessed from a mechanical, functional and postural standpoint and the manual methods of treatment applied to suit the needs of the individual patient.”