Frequently asked questions
• Is osteopathy safe?
• What training has an osteopath had?
• Do I need to consult my GP first?
• How many treatments will I need?
• Can I have treatment during pregnancy?
• Is osteopathy suitable for children ?
• Can I claim money back on private insurance?
IS OSTEOPATHY SAFE?
Yes it is. Our osteopaths are expert primary healthcare practitioners and your safety is our primary concern. In common with medical practitioners and dentists, all osteopaths are registered by law under the Osteopathic Act 1993 and the title 'osteopath' is protected by legislation. The profession is also statutorily regulated through the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC).
As with all medical intervention, osteopathy does have risks associated it. We will explain the possible risks of treatment and discuss any worries you may have before beginning your treatment programme, but you can be reassured by the knowledge that osteopathic care has helped millions of people over the years.
WHAT TRAINING HAS AN OSTEOPATH HAD?
Osteopathy was the first complementary healthcare profession to be given statutory regulation by the government, and our osteopaths are expert primary healthcare professionals. Our qualified osteopaths have undergone four years of training to gain a BSc (Hons) degree or equivalent, and are registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). The GOsC protects patients by regulating and setting standards for osteopathic education, practise and conduct.
DO I NEED TO CONSULT MY GP FIRST?
There is no need to consult your GP before visiting us, although you may choose to do so. Osteopaths are classed as ‘primary care physicians’ – this means you can consult us without approaching your GP beforehand. While we don't have the authority to prescribe drugs or painkillers, we are able to provide off-work certificates/sick notes if necessary.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
This will depend on your individual problem, its severity and the duration of symptoms. Every patient reacts differently, but we will be able to advise you on your likely recovery time. In most cases you will feel an improvement after the first treatment. In general though, the longer you've had the problem or pain, the longer it will take to get it sorted. Your commitment to the suggested treatment programme, including home exercises and any lifestyle alterations will also affect your progress and your long term benefits from osteopathic care.
CAN I HAVE TREATMENT DURING PREGNANCY?
Osteopathic treatment is gentle and safe throughout your pregnancy although we advise against undergoing some techniques in the first 12 weeks. In fact, pregnancy is a good time to visit us, since your body is changing so much and so quickly. We can ease any restrictions and strains quite simply, as your ligaments are softer than usual at this time in your life. The treatment we provide can also help to make labour easier, through the balancing effect it has on the joints and ligaments.
IS OSTEOPATHY SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?
Yes – everyone can benefit from our treatment, no matter what their age. The techniques we use on children and infants are very different to those we use on adults: because children are very delicate, we adapt our treatment to suit the needs of the young body.
CAN I CLAIM MONEY BACK ON PRIVATE INSURANCE?
Yes. Helen Mathieson is registered for treatment via most major insurance providers, including BUPA and AXA, however you should check with your insurance provider for details. Sometimes you will need a referral letter from your doctor for the treatment to be covered. We prefer to ask you to pay for each appointment during the course of treatment, and we will be happy to issue you a receipt for you to send to your insurance provider for reimbursement.