Thursday, March 14, 2019

Choosing an Osteopathic Therapist

Choosing an Osteopathic Therapist

When it comes to choosing an osteopathic therapist, there are a few things you should consider:


Currently, osteopathy is an unregulated profession in Ontario. Meaning, there is no regulating college of osteopathy that standardizes the level of education osteopathic students must receive. Programs currently range from introductory studies of 6 months, to advanced programs of 5 years plus a thesis (1-2 years to complete). The challenge for the public is that those that have completed the 6-month study call themselves an Osteopathic practitioner.

Working osteopathically is quite a complex field. I encourage you to ensure that you choose practitioners that have the full advanced training.  The following are also considerations when choosing a practitioner who is going to be working on your health with you:


What makes osteopathy unique, is that the osteopath uses their hands to feel where tensions exist in the body. Unlike most therapies, osteopathy requires that the osteopaths have soft hands, so they are able to feel the different tissues & layers within the body. Once those areas are identified, then the osteopath can treat those tissues so that the tensions release. You want to choose someone who has spent a lot of time working with their hands and developing their sense of palpation/touch. 

It conjunction with their osteopathic hands-on experience, it helps to look at a person's pre-osteopathic education. Graduating from other manual therapies such as athletic therapy, physiotherapy & massage therapy help with the experience level. 


You should feel comfortable asking your therapist questions about anything related directly to your treatment or any other goals you are looking to achieve. Conversely, you want a therapist who is able to answer your questions and is able to discuss any other concerns you may have.

Osteopathy is a very detailed approach to assessing and treating the body, as the osteopath is trying to determine how the 12 different systems in the body are interacting with each other. Being able to determine what a person's problems are, in addition to the approach of treating them, is something that needs to be properly communicated to a patient.


You have to feel comfortable with your therapist, and not just from a hands-on stand point. The therapist should provide a sense of comfort and caring. You should feel a sense of trust with them: if you have something of a sensitive nature, you should not feel like you cannot open up to them.

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