A holistic form of manual therapy that focuses on the musculoskeletal system to promote overall health and well-being.


Osteopathy is a patient-centered, non-invasive manual therapy that aims to restore balance and function to the body by focusing on the musculoskeletal system. Osteopathic practitioners use a variety of hands-on techniques, such as soft tissue manipulation, joint mobilization, and cranial osteopathy, to identify and treat the root causes of pain, discomfort, and other health issues. The practice emphasizes the body's innate ability to heal itself and views the body as an interconnected unit, where the structure and function of each part influence the whole.

Did you know?

Well Me Right offers thousands of virtual and online health and wellness sessions from wellness experts, health coaches, and other holistic health and fitness professionals.

Browse and book a FREE discovery session with the world’s leading wellness experts & get advice over a video call.


Osteopathy was founded by American physician Andrew Taylor Still in 1874. Still believed that many health problems could be alleviated by manipulating the musculoskeletal system, which he saw as central to overall health. He developed a comprehensive approach to healthcare that focused on the body's ability to heal itself, emphasizing the importance of proper alignment, circulation, and nutrition. As the practice evolved, osteopathic schools and associations were established, and the profession gained recognition. Today, osteopathy is practiced worldwide, with osteopathic physicians and osteopaths providing holistic, patient-centered care.


  1. Pain Relief Osteopathic treatments can effectively alleviate pain in various parts of the body, such as the back, neck, shoulders, and joints.
  2. Improved Mobility By addressing musculoskeletal imbalances and restrictions, osteopathy can enhance flexibility, range of motion, and overall mobility.
  3. Better Posture Osteopathic techniques can help correct postural imbalances, reducing strain on the body and promoting better alignment.
  4. Headache Relief Osteopathy can be effective in managing and preventing various types of headaches, including tension headaches and migraines.
  5. Enhanced Circulation Manual techniques used in osteopathy can improve blood flow and lymphatic drainage, supporting overall health and healing.
  6. Reduced Stress Osteopathic treatments can promote relaxation, lower stress levels, and contribute to a greater sense of overall well-being.
  7. Complementary Care Osteopathy can be used alongside conventional medical treatments to provide comprehensive, holistic care for various health conditions.

How It Works

Osteopathy is a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on the musculoskeletal system. Osteopaths use manual techniques, such as manipulation, stretching, and massage, to alleviate pain, improve mobility, and promote overall health. They assess the body as a whole, considering the interconnectedness of muscles, bones, and organs. By identifying and treating the root cause of the problem, osteopaths aim to restore balance and encourage the body's natural healing processes. Treatment plans are tailored to each individual's specific needs and may include lifestyle advice and exercise recommendations.


When considering osteopathic treatment, it's essential to find a qualified and experienced practitioner. While osteopathy is generally considered safe, some techniques may not be suitable for individuals with certain health conditions, such as severe osteoporosis or recent fractures. It's crucial to inform your osteopath about any medical issues, medications, or allergies before treatment. Osteopathic manipulation can cause temporary side effects, such as soreness or fatigue, but these usually subside within a day or two. Results may vary, and multiple sessions may be necessary to achieve optimal outcomes.

How Much It Costs

The cost of osteopathic treatment varies depending on factors such as the practitioner's experience, location, and the duration of the session. On average, a single session can range from $70 to $200, with initial consultations often costing more due to the comprehensive assessment involved. Some health insurance plans may cover osteopathic treatment, but coverage varies widely. It's advisable to check with your insurance provider to determine if osteopathy is included in your plan and to understand any copayments or deductibles that may apply.

Virtual & Online Options

While osteopathy typically involves hands-on treatment, some osteopaths offer virtual consultations or telemedicine services. Online options can be convenient for those with busy schedules or limited access to local practitioners. During virtual sessions, osteopaths can provide guidance on self-care techniques, exercise programs, and lifestyle modifications to manage pain and improve overall health. However, in-person treatment allows for more comprehensive assessments and hands-on manipulation, which may be necessary for certain conditions. Searching for an "osteopath near me" can help you find local practitioners who offer personalized, face-to-face care.


To practice as an osteopath, individuals must complete a rigorous educational program and obtain the necessary certifications. In the United States, osteopaths are known as Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DOs) and must complete a four-year undergraduate degree, followed by a four-year osteopathic medical school program. They must then pass the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) to obtain a license to practice. In other countries, such as the United Kingdom and Australia, osteopaths complete a bachelor's or master's degree in osteopathy and must be registered with the relevant regulatory body.

Complementary Practices

Some complementary practices that pair well with osteopathy include massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, physical therapy, and yoga. These practices can help enhance the benefits of osteopathic treatment by promoting relaxation, reducing muscle tension, improving joint mobility, and supporting overall wellbeing.

Practitioner Types

Osteopathic treatment is primarily provided by licensed osteopathic physicians (DOs) who have completed medical school and specialized training in osteopathic manipulative medicine. Some other healthcare professionals, such as physical therapists or massage therapists, may incorporate certain osteopathic techniques into their practice, but a fully trained DO is best equipped to provide comprehensive osteopathic care.

Are you an expert?

Turn your knowledge into impact & income and share your expertise, grow, and improve lives. Become a Wellness Expert on Well Me Right.

Offer paid wellness sessions for 1:1 virtual coaching and support and connect with wellness-seeking individuals on Well Me Right.


  • Q: What conditions can osteopathy help treat?

    • A: Osteopathy can be beneficial for a wide range of conditions, including back pain, neck pain, headaches, joint pain, sports injuries, digestive issues, respiratory problems, and postural imbalances. It is a holistic approach that aims to address the root cause of symptoms and promote overall health.
  • Q: Is osteopathy safe?

    • A: Yes, osteopathy is generally considered a safe form of treatment when performed by a qualified practitioner. Osteopathic physicians are trained to identify any contraindications and adapt their techniques to suit each individual patient. Side effects, if any, are usually mild and temporary, such as slight soreness or discomfort following treatment.
  • Q: How does osteopathy differ from chiropractic care?

    • A: While both osteopathy and chiropractic care involve manual techniques to treat musculoskeletal issues, there are some key differences. Osteopathy takes a more holistic approach, considering the entire body and its interconnected systems, whereas chiropractic care often focuses more specifically on the spine and nervous system. Additionally, osteopathic physicians have a broader scope of practice and can prescribe medications and perform surgery if needed.
  • Q: What should I expect during an osteopathic treatment session?

    • A: During an osteopathic treatment session, the practitioner will typically begin with a thorough assessment, including a review of your medical history and a physical examination. They may then use a variety of manual techniques, such as soft tissue manipulation, joint mobilization, and cranial osteopathy, to address any identified issues. Treatment is usually gentle and non-invasive, and may be accompanied by lifestyle and exercise recommendations.
  • Q: How many osteopathic treatment sessions will I need?

    • A: The number of osteopathic treatment sessions needed varies depending on the individual and the condition being treated. Some patients may experience significant improvement after just one or two sessions, while others may require a longer course of treatment. Your osteopathic physician will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan based on your specific needs and goals.


Osteopathy is a holistic, hands-on approach to healthcare that focuses on promoting the body's natural ability to heal itself. By addressing the musculoskeletal system, as well as other interconnected systems in the body, osteopathic physicians aim to alleviate pain, improve function, and support overall wellness. With its gentle, non-invasive techniques and personalized treatment plans, osteopathy can be a valuable tool for individuals seeking a comprehensive, patient-centered approach to their health and wellbeing. As with any form of healthcare, it is important to consult with a qualified practitioner to determine whether osteopathy is right for you.