Service Quality

Osteopathy is a skill, not a procedure

A skill begins with a procedure that is performed to a predetermined standard. The way that it is achieved is by observation of the outcome. An example would be Golf – anyone can address a ball, take a back swing and follow through. This is merely a procedure. The ball may accordingly go anywhere. It is only by observing the ball travelling in a predetermined trajectory, distance that you can acquire the skill of striking a golf ball rather than performing the procedure.

Osteopathy is the same anyone can perform the routine procedure of treating a patient. A series of articulations on the peripheral joints of the body, some soft tissue massage and put the spine into position to gap the joints to interrupt a reflex and most essentially of all physically realigning the pelvis. But that is just a procedure; the outcome needs to be assessed to ensure that the predetermined standard has been achieved. That standard is that the local pain and its associated symptoms will have significantly diminished or disappeared completely; as in golf the ball would be very near the hole.

This is the end point of each treatment and the patient is the judge. If this is not achieved then the practitioner should return to the area of the spine, particularly the pelvis and perform the technique again. For when it is adjusted correctly there is a profound resolution. This is the way I work. With this predetermined expectation of my treatment you can establish a contract with the patient. You can tell them how many treatments they will need, what will happen after each one, and how complete the resolution of their pain will be at the end of the course with total confidence. Like any other commercial transaction if the outcome is not in line with the professional assessment and prognosis then they should be accountable to the patient.

What is my experience of osteopathic treatment ?

All chiropractic and osteopathic treatment is by definition intended to interrupt sustained spinal reflex protection and realign the base of spinal stability – the pelvis. Most treatments I have experienced in a mixed selection of disciplines of 36 individual practitioners who have been purporting to do this. Yet each treatment I have received has been a routine of articulation followed by a finale of adjustment procedures. I am arranged in a position, some thrusting force applied, I am rearranged and another similar force applied. I am then told to stand and be on my way. There is no equivocation as to whether the process has produced a benefit in terms of reduction of pain or any significant palpable change. They are not looking for a predetermined outcome; they have no expectation of quantifiable success in the application of their skill. It is, therefore a procedure and not a skill. In order that each treatment can be quantified to have been successful, the practitioner must have a benchmark for the outcome. Only then can money be transacted for pain that has been relieved in a specified time frame with both patient and practitioner understanding the proper confines of their mutual contract.