Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine which focuses mainly on diagnosing, treating and preventing musculoskeletal problems. The most important aspects that define osteopathy and make it a special treatment modality is its philosophy, a wide variety of manual techniques and a thorough understanding of anatomy, physiology and clinical examination. In short, the philosophy of osteopathy is based on the continuous interaction of structure and function, as well as the body’s inherent ability to heal itself. The objective of the osteopath is to aid and support the body’s own healing processes and compensatory capacity through application of manual technique, towards normal functioning and overall wellbeing. Manual techniques can affect the nervous system, circulation, joints and muscles. Osteopathy is the oldest western discipline of manual medicine, and in Finland osteopaths are licensed health care professionals, registered by Valvira, the National Supervisory Authority for Social and Health Care. In the United States, osteopaths are also medical doctors, whereas in other parts of the world the profession focuses on the original manual tradition.
An osteopath examines and treats for example pain in the back, neck and extremities, as well as other musculoskeletal disorders, including headaches, work and sports related strain injuries and symptoms of stress. Osteopaths hold a holistic view of how the body functions, which also means that examination and treatment does not focus solely on the alleviation of symptoms, but always attempts to look for the cause and affect that. This is to facilitate a more efficient treatment and longer lasting results. The aim is to balance the functioning of the body and promote its inherent healing mechanisms. The treatment is safe, relaxing, and efficient.