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Osteopathy - what is it actually?

Osteopathy is a manual procedure for the examination and treatment of the musculoskeletal system, organs and tissues, based on the assumption that possible complaints of the affected person are the result of movement restrictions or blockages. Osteopathy is based on the assumption that the body - if there are no blockages - is able to heal itself. With the help of osteopathy, which is used today as a supplement to conventional medicine, the causes and triggers of the complaints are sought.

The linchpin: the fasciae

The method was founded over 130 years ago by the American doctor Andrew Still. The holistic method is based on the fact that the body consists of countless structures that are directly or indirectly connected. In particular, the fasciae are of great importance. Fascia. These are the connective tissue sheaths that permeate the entire body as a connecting tension network: the so-called superficial fasciae (loose connective tissue and fatty tissue), the deep fasciae (the fibre-rich connective tissue layers that enclose muscles and bones, for example) and the visceral fasciae (for suspending and embedding the internal organs).

What does an osteopath do?

Based on the aforementioned complaints, an osteopath examines the movement possibilities or movement restrictions of the skeleton or individual bones, organs and tissues with his hands. If he knows the causes of the complaints (the blockages and movement restrictions), he will treat the patient through manipulation, muscle techniques and mobilisation. This means that during the treatment he follows the directions and movements of the fasciae with his hands, releasing the tensions he finds. A distinction is made between visceral osteopathy, which deals with the organs and their blood supply and fixation, parietal osteopathy for the therapy of Muscles, bones and Jointsand cranial osteopathy for the treatment of the head.

A patient must be aware that an osteopath does not heal. Rather, he releases the blockages and movement restrictions and thus stimulates the body to heal itself.

For whom is osteopathy recommended?

Osteopathy is becoming more and more popular, especially for patients with chronic complaints, such as migraine, asthma or Back pain osteopathy is becoming more and more popular. In principle, it should be discussed with the doctor treating the patient to what extent he or she considers the support provided by osteopathy to be suitable, as there are indeed also illnesses that are aggravated by the treatment. Those who suffer from back pain can, in addition to the treatment, ensure that they sit correctly and move, at least during the day - for example, on an active chair from Aeris.

What does osteopathy cost - and who pays?

A treatment can cost up to 120 euros per hour. Whether and to what extent a health insurance company will cover the costs should be clarified in advance. However, more and more insurance companies and statutory health insurances have recognised the advantages of the treatment, which is why many health insurances now cover the costs at least partially.

Who can become an osteopath?

The training, which lasts at least four years, usually takes place at private osteopathic schools and can be attended part-time by doctors (orthopaedists), non-medical practitioners or physiotherapists; at least an Abitur should be presented. For some years now, the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences has also been offering both a full-time Bachelor's and a Master's programme. More information on this is also available from the VOD e.V. (Federal Association of Osteopaths in Germany).

If you want to know more about the topic, you can find a lot of valuable information on the VOD homepage at www.osteopathie.de.

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