Osteopathy is difficult to compress into a few sentences without shortchanging its possibilities.
There doesn’t seem to be one generally agreed upon definition hence this description from Caroline Stone is used here.
“Osteopathy is a system of manual medicine: one that employs movement of the human body to help restore and maintain normal bodily function, so that the body is more able to help heal itself from any stress/trauma/disease it may be exposed to.” Caroline Stone in Science in the Art of Osteopathy.
Although osteopathy is primarily involved with disorders of the neuro-musculo-skeletal (nerves muscles and bones) system of the body, and most patients seeking help from an osteopath will do so for treatment for neck and back pain, sciatica, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and also the disorders common in babies and children such as colic or reflux; osteopathy can be applied in any number of illnesses, injuries and situations and in any person no matter what age or degree of fragility. Whatever the cause or condition there is a variable role for osteopathy. Expected outcomes can range from complete resolution to supporting the body through other medical treatments.
The contribution of osteopathy is patient-centered in that it looks at how an individual is relating to their environment and condition. Osteopathic treatments are safe and gentle.