Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Osteopathy

This page provides answers to some commonly asked questions about osteopaths, including links to further information and resources.

What is osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a system of safe physical manipulations, stretching, massage techniques and gentle touch designed to improve the mobility of joints, relieve muscle tension, improve the blood and nerve supply to body tissues, and thereby encourage your body’s own self-regulating and self-healing mechanisms.

What should I expect on my first visit?

On your first visit, I will take a detailed case history and ask questions about your symptoms, general health and lifestyle as well as your past medical history. Please bring with you a note of any medications (or the medications themselves) either prescribed or over the counter including any homeopathic or herbal remedies you are using. Please also bring any X-rays, MRI or other medical report you may have as this will aid in assessing your condition and in reaching a correct diagnosis.

Then, I will usually perform a thorough examination of the problem area as well as a general physical examination. This may involve you undressing to your underwear or you can wear shorts and a tee shirt if you prefer. A towel or blanket can be provided if you wish, and you can also bring a friend or relative with you into the treatment room if it makes you feel more comfortable. Please note that I will be examining areas of your body which may not seem to you directly related to your problem. This is because osteopathy looks at the functioning of the body as a whole and you might be experiencing pain or discomfort in areas which are actually compensating for other parts of your body not working well.

At the end of that first session you will be given a detailed explanation of my diagnosis and a proposed treatment plan. This will include how many sessions you might need, estimated recovery times and possible side effects from treatment, with ample opportunity to ask questions and clarify any concerns you might have. Please note that the case history taking and examination will take up most of the time on the first visit and a treatment will be provided if appropriate and time permitting.

The current fees are £60 for your first visit which will normally last about 1hour and £40 for subsequent visits which normally last about half an hour (£35 for children younger than 16 years of age). However please note that these appointment lengths may vary slightly depending on the complexity of your case. Please arrive on time and allow extra time for the duration of your appointment. Should you arrive early, please do ring the bell anyway and I will let you in. Walk straight ahead and you will see our reception area where you will be able to take a seat and make yourself comfortable.

If you are insured, you are expected to settle the bill for each visit yourself unless otherwise agreed, and you will be given a receipt so that you can reclaim the fee from your insurance company. Payment can be made on the day by cheque, cash or credit/debit card.

If for any reason you need to cancel or amend this appointment, please call or email me as soon as possible and with a minimum of 24 hours’ notice so I can give your appointment to another patient, otherwise a late cancellation fee of a minimum of half the due fee might be charged.

Is osteopathy painful?

No – osteopathic treatment itself is very gentle. Because areas of your body might already be in pain, you might feel some discomfort during the examination and treatment. Any examination I carry out will be done as considerately as possible.

Will I be asked to get undressed?

Yes – you may be asked to remove some items of clothing or undress to your underwear. Should you prefer, you can wear shorts and a vest, and covers will be provided when you are lying down. As a general rule, please avoid coming to your appointment wearing restrictive clothing such as jeans, shirts or skirts. You are also welcome to bring a relative or a friend with you into the treatment room.

How many sessions will I need?

This will depend on your specific condition, your general state of health and other related factors. We will discuss a timeframe during our first consultation.

Do I need a GP referral to go and see an osteopath?

No – it is not necessary for you to see your GP and be referred to go and see an osteopath. However should you wish to use a health insurance to pay for your osteopathic treatments, please contact your insurance first to check their terms and conditions as some insurers may request you to first consult your GP.

Can anyone call themselves an osteopath?

No – in the UK the title osteopath is protected by law and can only be used by osteopaths registered with the regulatory body which is the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC).

What kind of standards of care can I expect from my osteopath?

The standards of osteopathic training and practise are set and maintained by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). The GOsC was established as a result of the Osteopaths Act 1993 to regulate the profession of osteopathy in the UK.

You can expect the highest levels of professionalism and care when seeing an osteopath. Please take a moment to read our patient charter below as extracted from our professional association The Institute of Osteopathy (iOsteopathy).

Patient Charter

  1. Your osteopath will provide treatment and care that reflects your needs. This includes explaining your diagnosis and the proposed treatment, as well as how to manage your condition and help prevent recurrence.
  2. Your osteopath will treat you with dignity and courtesy, respecting your beliefs and values without discrimination.
  3. Your osteopath will explain de treatment options open to you, agree a course of action with you and obtain your consent before starting treatment. You may also withdraw your consent to treatment at any time.
  4. Your osteopath will explain to you the cost of each consultation and treatment, including how many future treatments you might need.
  5. Your osteopath will ensure that their advice, care or treatment is safe and appropriate to your needs. If necessary, including, involving or referring you to other healthcare professionals such as your GP, a consultant or others.
  6. Your osteopath will ensure a safe and comfortable environment for your treatment. This will include ensuring that all premises and equipment used are clean, suitable and properly used.
  7. Your osteopath’s practice will only employ suitably qualified and appropriate staff to ensure that you receive a high quality experience, advice and care.
  8. Your osteopath and their staff will be able to provide details of the practice complaints procedure on request. Any complaint will be properly investigated and appropriate action taken.
  9. Your osteopath will ensure your personal details and health records will be kept strictly confidential. This information will not be disclosed without your written consent unless your osteopath is required to do so by law.
  10. Your osteopath will be open and honest with you should anything go wrong while they are caring for you.

I over 18 years’ experience treating patients of all ages, lifestyles and needs, including babies, children and pregnant women. My experience has led me to believe that a holistic approach is best, exploring all aspects of health and lifestyle to fully understand a patient’s needs.

What should I do if I have concerns about my osteopath or the treatment I have received?

The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) requires every osteopath to have a complaint procedure in place. In the event that you are unhappy about any aspect of your treatment or care, please let me know as soon as possible. Make your complaint to me either in person, by phone, by email, or by letter using the contact details provided on this website. Please give me full details of your complaint and I will undertake to treat it seriously, deal with it promptly and learn from it by reviewing or, if appropriate, improving my standards.

If you feel uncomfortable complaining directly to me or do not feel that your complaint has been resolved to your satisfaction, you can contact the Institute of Osteopathy Complaints Resolution Service by ringing the Institute of Osteopathy Freephone number 0800 110 5857 or emailing