“It’s More Than Just Treating Bad Backs”
Osteopathy and its contribution to global healthcare will be celebrated this week by 400 registered and practicing New Zealand Osteopaths during the National Osteopathy Awareness Week 19-25 April.
They join 130,000 colleagues working in over fifty countries involved in the International Osteopathic Healthcare Week which runs in tandem with the Kiwi national event.
This week free health checks will be conducted in various parts of the country to help communicate the importance of osteopathic care which originated in the United States over one hundred years ago in 1874.
The evidence-informed type of manual medicine is gentle and has wide ranging benefits.
“It’s more than just treating bad backs. We look at the whole interconnectedness of human physiology and treat the bigger picture of dysfunction, not just the physical symptom. We can help anyone from a newborn to an octogenarian”, says Osteopaths New Zealand President, Mr Jonathon Lloyd Paine.
The hands-on healthcare approach diagnoses problems and provides treatment in order to decrease symptoms like pain and improve function. It facilitates healing by focussing on how the musculoskeletal system, nerves, circulation and internal organs function as one unit.
Typically Osteopaths can assist with:
- Unsettled babies (reflux)
- Debilitating headaches
- Breathing difficulties
- Chronic arthritis
- Temporomandibular joint problems
- Back pain
- Pregnancy related disorders (pelvic pain)
- Developmental problems
- Sports injuries
Globally, Osteopathy is a well-established healthcare option that’s also being utilised effectively by elite athletes on the international sporting stage.
It’s become an invaluable part of the New Zealand Olympic team preparation for cycling, triathlon and canoeing and an essential tool for board sailors competing at World Championship level.
In New Zealand it’s regulated under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (2003) and Osteopaths are registered ACC providers.
Osteopaths in New Zealand must undergo five years university training to a Masters postgraduate degree level and if practicing, be registered with the Osteopathic Council of New Zealand.
Unitec in Auckland is the sole tertiary provider of Osteopathic training in New Zealand.