stoneOsteopathy is a soft, manual, treatment method that brings the body back into balance. It treats not only the musculoskeletal system but also the organs and the craniosacral system. Osteopathy loosens blockades so that your self-regulation, and the self-healing forces of the body, can work again.

Osteopathy is more than just a form of treatment. It is a holistic medical approach and is considered a form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Osteopathy was developed in the middle of the 19th century by the US physician Dr. Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917). He searched for new methods of successfully treating and healing disorders without resorting to drug therapy or surgical intervention; and recognized that limitations of the movement of body structures and/or fluids may result in functional disturbances, ultimately leading to disorder and disease.
The osteopath is focused on finding disrupting physical blockages and resolving such blockages by manual technique. The goal is to restore the flow of vital energy thus allowing the body’s natural healing processes to restore health.


imageA.T.Still„The osteopath seeks first physiological perfection of form, by normally adjusting the osseous framework, so that all arteries may deliver blood to nourish and construct all parts. Also that the veins may carry away all impurities dependent upon them for renovation. Also that the nerves of all classes may be free and unobstructed while applying the powers of life and motion to all divisions, and the whole system of nature’s laboratory.” A.T. Still


Osteopathy today

A qualified osteopath must undertake a professional training that lasts several years. This is to develop a detailed medical background, as well as the necessary knowledge and skills to examine and successfully treat patients.
Since the beginnings of osteopathy, important advances have been made, particularly in the fields of the nervous system (Sutherland/Upledger) and internal organs (Barral). Additional opportunities to further develop osteopathy are being identified day by day, as the skill of feeling and understanding with one's own hands is continually developed and communicated on by practicing osteopaths.
For more detailed information on the principles, the correlations and the mechanisms of osteopathy please consult the literature.


Acute inflammation or injuries, serious diseases or psychological problems should first be seen by a physician. However, osteopaths have been trained in the early detection and diagnosis of any such pathology and will refer you to the appropriate physician if needed. In these cases osteopathy may nevertheless frequently be employed as a parallel treatment.
In general it must be clearly stated that, with all the success and beautiful results achieved by osteopathic treatment, osteopaths will not be able to work miracles. The limits of osteopathy are those defined by the limits of the self-regulation capacity of the patient – his/her body, mind and spirit.


a typical treatment session


Any consultation with the osteopath will start with an interview. This “taking your history” has several purposes:

  • to evaluate and discover which structures are causing your current complaints,
  • to evaluate and discover which stressful or burdensome experiences your mind and body have suffered during your lifetime,

The osteopath will always attempt to identify the underlying cause of your symptoms. These causes may be of recent origin. They may however also date back many years into the past. The natural mobility of our bodily fluids and/or structures may be affected and/or restricted by events such as injury or surgery, congestion or inflammation, psychological stress or even by environmental factors. The resultant malfunctions will be balanced by your body until its resources of natural regulation have been exhausted. Then it will react with pain or another symptom.

  • to evaluate and verify whether you show a pathological condition for which you need to be referred to a physician,
  • to evaluate and determine whether you show a contra-indication for the application of certain osteopathic techniques.

All essential data will be collected – in a “total body” context – because the osteopath's thinking is based on a holistic approach and is not restricted to any specialized medical field. The information thus obtained will provide the osteopath with an overview of what you have been through, physically and emotionally, and will in some cases be complemented by conventional medical diagnosis such as x-ray or MRI.


The osteopath will not only examine your body for the current problems or complaints, but also your complete body - from head to toe. For this purpose, you will be asked to get undressed, except for your underwear, unless you have any objections.

Your body will be carefully examined while you are standing, sitting and lying down. The examination will include your musculoskeletal system (with particular focus on the pelvis, spine and cranium) and your internal organs. Also the function of the diaphragm, the nervous system, the blood vessels and the fluids will be manually evaluated.

The data collected will allow the osteopath to understand where the malfunctions in your body are located and how they connect to your symptoms. Your symptoms are thus analyzed in a “total body” context.

Based on detailed knowledge and understanding of anatomical structures, physiology, biomechanics and other correlations of tissue structures, the osteopath understands how a particular dysfunction may affect other parts of the body.


For the treatment, the osteopath will let herself be guided by her osteopathic thinking. In many cases, she will not start with treating the body region exhibiting the symptoms. Much rather, she will try to resolve the underlying issues wherever these are located (see "examples").
The osteopathic treatment approach is purely manual and targeted to restore undisturbed interactive mobility of the individual body structures. Osteopathy utilises of a variety of specific techniques so that treatment can be tailored to your individual needs and wishes. The treatment focus is always to restore the self-healing forces within the body. This is done by releasing blockages and tensions, thus optimizing the nervous supply and the circulation of blood and lymph fluid.
Treatment itself is but an impulse or trigger for healing. The body will continue this process until it reaches a new equilibrium. During this period (usually one to four weeks) the osteopath will leave the body alone to ensure that  the self-regulation forces are not disturbed. Only after this time has passed will examination and treatment be resumed.

“Find it, fix it, leave it alone” (A.T.Still)

The number of treatment sessions will vary considerably between chronic conditions, usually requiring more prolonged treatment, and acute conditions. In certain cases you may be given instructions for supportive exercises or lifestyle changes will be recommended for the benefit of your health. You may also be advised to obtain additional treatment (e.g. physiotherapy, lymph drainage, Feldenkrais…).