A science, an art, a philosophy

Margaret River
A Holistic Approach
An intro

Not sure what osteopathy is or what an osteopath does? We’ve got all your questions answered.

Osteopaths are university trained allied health practitioners who follow the biopsychosocial healthcare model. In other words all factors that affect a person’s health are considered and addressed. Osteopaths utilise a wide range of manual therapy techniques, physical rehabilitation exercises and health education strategies to promote health.

As a manual medicine, osteopathy recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Treatment aims to work with the body’s own self healing mechanisms to improve health and mobility.

Osteopaths see the body as a whole unit and aim to assist the body to be dynamically balanced and to function as efficiently as possible

Osteopaths don’t just treat bones.

They treat the whole body by considering how all of the body’s tissues function together. This includes all of our connective tissues: bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia. An osteopath also takes into consideration how the body’s connective tissues integrate with our systemic systems: the neural, digestive, circulatory and endocrine systems.

Simply put – osteopathy is health care that looks at the whole.

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Frequently asked questions

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What is the difference between Osteopathy & Biodynamic Osteopathy?

At Arise Osteopathy, we have two practitioners with very different approaches to treatment. The beauty of which is our ability to support a diverse range of clientele. 

Nicola uses a combination of direct and indirect manual therapy, health & lifestyle eduction and movement strategies to support health. Check out ‘What to expect from a consultation’ for more details. 

David is a purely Biodynamic Osteopath. You can learn more about biodynamics here. 

What is the difference between an osteo, a physio and a chiro?

Let’s be clear. There is lots of overlap between them. Each profession addresses a similar range of conditions and even utilises some of the same manual techniques. The key difference is perhaps in the philosophy behind each profession and the differences in approach to diagnosis and treatment.

The bottom line is that osteos, physios and chiros are all musculoskeletal therapists who strive to make people feel better. Each profession uses a combination of manual, hands on techniques and education to help clients manage their pain and injuries.

If you’re wondering whether or not osteopathy is for you, contact us. We’re more than happy to answer any questions, please contact us.

What conditions do osteopaths treat?

Osteopaths can address an array of musculoskeletal conditions including but not limited to:

  • Joint pain and arthritis
  • Back pain and neck pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Pelvic pain
  • Sciatica
  • Muscle strains and tears
  • Ligament sprains
  • Tendon injuries and bursitis
  • Repetitive strain injuries (RSI)
  • Postural aches and pains
  • Jaw pain
  • Pregnancy pain and post natal care

​​Depending on the underlying causes, osteopathy can also ease the severity of symptoms of digestive complaints, respiratory dysfunctions and gynaecological conditions such as period pain. Contact us to learn more.

What training is required to be an osteopath?

Osteopaths are university trained, government registered, allied health practitioners. Training requires five years of study across a broad range of sciences including anatomy, physiology, pathology, clinical diagnostics, exercise rehabilitation, nutrition and psychology. Osteopaths are trained in the diagnosis of general health conditions and are able to recognise conditions that require medical referral. They can also perform standard examinations of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems.

What should I expect from a consultation?

Osteopaths utilise a broad range of manual techniques that includes joint articulation, massage, muscle energy technique, myofascial release, stretching, counterstain, visceral manipulation and osteopathy in the cranial field. In addition to manual therapy many osteopaths provide self management strategies such as exercise prescription and lifestyle advice.

On your first visit you can expect your osteopath to:

  • Take a detailed record of your presenting complaint and your current health to date.
  • Perform medical and osteopathic examinations as required to establish a diagnosis. Depending on the area of injury, this may require (with your permission) undressing to your underwear.
  • Explanation of the diagnosis and proposed treatment and management strategies. In some instances this may include referral to other health practitioners.
  • Manual therapy to address your complaint.
  • Prescription of self management strategies to empower you to take control of your health

When possible osteopaths aim to fully resolve your injury and restore your health. In instances where this may not be possible, such as chronic conditions, osteopaths aim to provide you with the best self-management strategies for maximising your health and in so doing minimise the amount of osteopathic treatment required.

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How will I feel after a treatment?

The general aim of each treatment is to relieve pain, increase mobility and improve over all function. Some people will feel better immediately after a treatment. In other cases, people experience soreness or a worsening of symptoms for 24-48 hours, as the body adapts to the changes made during the treatment. This is commonly referred to as ‘post treatment soreness’. Depending on the type of techniques used during your consultation, you may also feel fatigued.

If you experience post treatment soreness the best thing to do is rest and recooperate. If your response to treatment is not what you expected or if you are uncertain about whether or not your response to treatment is ‘normal’ contact your practitioner who will be able to advise you.

Is osteopathy an evidenced based medicine?


Evidenced based medicine is defined as ‘the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of evidence based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research.’

Do I need a referral to see an osteopath?

No, you can make an appointment directly online or by phone 9774 5630

Book Online

Can I claim the cost of treatment?

Yes, osteopathy is covered by most private health funds.

Clients with chronic conditions may also be able to claim through medicare if referred by their GP under a Chronic Disease Management Plan

Why are some osteopaths referred to as Doctors?

The profession as a whole has elected to use the title Doctor when referring to an osteopath. However, whether or not an individual osteopath wishes to use the title Doctor, is up to their own discretion. Choosing not to use the title Doctor in no way implies that they have less training or experience than an osteopath who does choose to use the title.

Informed Consent To Osteopathic Care

Informed consent is a vital part of all health care services. We encourage all new clients to read our informed consent statement prior to commencing treatment

For more information

Contact us

(08) 9774 5630
3/28 Station Road, Margaret River

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