What is Osteopathy?

How is Osteopathy Defined?


Osteopathy is a manual form of therapy which emphasizes the interrelationship between structure and function of the human body. It follows a belief in the body’s ability to self-heal and self-regulate. Osteopathic practitioners don’t see themselves as healers, but instead as FACILITATORS to health.


At the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy we only teach Principles-Based Classical Osteopathy.

Principles-based Osteopathy stays true to the founding principles of the profession when osteopathy was incredibly effective. The theory and application of these principles are at the root of all osteopathic diagnoses and treatment. Skill is honed from a mastery of principles, not a memorization of techniques or adjustments. The classical osteopathic manual practitioner is trained to treat the layers of structure based on their in depth understanding of anatomy, physiology, and how they relate to osteopathic principles.

The CAO provides a principles-based classical osteopathy education rooted in a true understanding of osteopathic thinking, diagnosis and treatment.


Classical Osteopathy vs Eclectic Osteopathy

Where classical osteopathy encompasses an understanding of PRINCIPLES and can stand on its own, Eclectic Osteopathy is taught as a series of memorized techniques or manipulations for different parts of the body. Eclectic osteopathy lacks founding principles and theory and is typically layered onto an existing modality like massage therapy or physiotherapy. These types of programs are prevalent in Europe and in Canada.

The Master in Practice diploma of Osteopathic Manipulative Sciences (M. OMSc)

The CAO awards the M. OMSc diploma. It is a comprehensive program in Osteopathic Principles and Practices. It spans 4 years and delivers a full-time equivalent curriculum, in a flexible modified-attendance format.

It is not a degree. Canadian legislation only allows the granting of degrees by Canadian Universities. It should be noted that the Ministry also prohibits Canadian schools granting degrees validated by off-shore universities.


What is a DO of Osteopathy in the United States?

DO stands for Doctor of Osteopathy or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine in the United States. DOs are licensed to practice medicine and surgery in the United States, the same as an MD. DO’s receive the same western medicine training approach but also additional training in osteopathic manipulation and osteopathic philosophy.

Hear from our Students and Grads about their experience with Osteopathy!

Dr. Still Teaching Osteopathy