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The role

Osteopathy is a complementary therapy that uses touch and manipulation of the body to treat problems associated with joints, bones and the back.

By focusing on the structure and function of the body, osteopathy can be used to treat a range of problems, from colic babies to arthritis, lower back pain, and postural problems.

Osteopaths are practitioners of osteopathy, and they use a highly developed sense of touch in order to do this, locating sources of pains and easing problem areas.

The typical work of an Osteopath includes discussions with patients regarding their medical history and lifestyle, examination of their posture, and the planning and carrying out of the treatment itself.

This treatment could include massage, manipulation and joint mobilisation.

How to become an Osteopath

An Osteopath needs to have completed a recognised degree or Masters degree in the subject. Upon gaining these qualifications, a candidate may join the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC).

Entry requirements for courses may vary and should be checked with individual institutions, however A-Levels in science are often specified.

A practising Osteopath must have liability insurance and also have a Criminal Records Bureau check.

Once qualified, an Osteopath must undertake 30 hours of training a year as part of their continuing professional development (CPD). This is a requirement of the GOsC.

Skills and knowledge required

  • Good people and communication skills
  • Sensitivity and empathy
  • Good coordination and stamina
  • An interest in the sciences
  • Problem solving skills
  • Organisation and commercial skills if running their own practice


Income is variable, however starting salaries are often between £15-20,000 a year. This can rise to between £20,000 and £40,000 with experience, while those who work in private practices can hope to earn a bit more, around the £50,000 mark.

The hours

Many Osteopaths are self-employed, and so can determine their working hours. It could involve some evening and weekend work to fit in with client’s needs.

Useful websites - General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) - British Oesteopathic Association

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