by George Smith - Christian Medical Fellowship

Osteopathy is a popular and ‘respectable’ alternative therapy originally developed by Still and based on the idea that physical manipulation directed at ‘osteopathic lesions’ in the spine initiates holistic self-healing processes. Treatment by contemporary osteopaths includes orthodox advice regarding posture and exercise but concentrates on manipulative techniques for musculoskeletal problems.

However, the existence of ‘osteopathic lesions’ has not been demonstrated clinically nor radiologically and evidence of osteopathy’s clinical efficacy is at best sparse and not compelling. From a Christian perspective, Still’s involvement in psychic practices, particularly in his diagnostic methods, reinforce the conclusion that osteopathy is not a therapy to be recommended.

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