Osteopaths specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of pain and disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system. They have a solid grounding in science and are adept at a wide range of massage and stretching techniques.
However, an osteopath must not be confused with a massage therapist because the former draws their treatment plan following a thorough assessment of their client’s physical condition and the identification of the root of their problem.
Osteopathy works around the concept that treating an individual’s whole person allows them to harness their body’s natural healing ability. The rest of this article guides you through the steps you need to take to become a registered osteopath.
Who Can Qualify as an Osteopath?
More than a diploma, a genuine interest in helping people improve their health is an inherent qualification of an osteopath. You must have empathy, compassion and good communication skills to boot. Aside from these personal traits, you need to earn a professional qualification from a nationally accredited school or college.
Know Your Duties
As an osteopath, you are responsible for diagnosing the condition of a patient and determining its connection with their body systems. Once you have determined the underlying cause of their health issue, you will develop a treatment plan which aims to eliminate their pain and improve their overall health. Osteopathy has been proven effective in addressing the following conditions:
- Lower back pain
- Headaches and neck pain
- Sports injuries
- Occupational musculoskeletal pain
- Postural problems due to pregnancy, driving or work
- Tennis elbow
- Shoulder, elbow and hand pain
- Hip, knee and ankle pain
Obtain Your Qualification
If you have a profound interest in the field of health science, you’ll find the coursework for osteopathy engaging. Undertaking a Bachelor of Clinical Sciences with a major in Osteopathic Studies is the first phase of your learning journey. Upon completion of this, you can move on to a master’s degree in osteopathy medicine.
These courses will not only provide you with the qualifications you need to work as an osteopath but also take you through the principles of biology, physics and chemistry in the context of manual therapy. These fields of study are integral to developing osteopathic treatments that are tailored to the individual needs of each person.
As part of the coursework, you have to undertake a clinical placement in a healthcare setting to gain practical experience. It’s important to note that before you can proceed to this stage you have to secure a First Aid certificate and a Working with Children Check.
Register with a Professional Association
After having completed your studies with flying colours, register with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Gaining membership with this governing body for registered health practitioners will boost your credibility and, no doubt, drive potential clients’ trust.
As a registered osteopath, you can pursue a career in any healthcare facility and work with different clients. You can even set up your private practice and use it to deliver manual therapies to treat pain and revive health.