Osteopathy is usually a therapy selected for those who have muscle tension, aches and pains, or less mobility in the joints.  Things like a sports injury, arthritis, shoulder pain, problems with hips and legs etc. There has been some research that believes there may also be some benefit to common mental health problems such as anxiety or depression. Albeit it, the research around the benefits are quite limited but many therapists in the field believe the body and the emotional body are connected ( see video further down the page). It is likely you want more information about the therapy before booking your first session. We at Seek a Therapy want to help answer your questions and concerns surrounding counselling in order to help you select the right counsellor for you and on this page we have included some of the most common questions a person may have before attending their first session.

What Is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a way of detecting, treating and preventing health problems by moving, stretching and massaging a person’s muscles and joints.

Osteopathy is based on the principle that the wellbeing of an individual depends on their bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue functioning smoothly together.


The NHS explain that Osteopathy helps the well-being of a client by ensuring the smooth functioning of the muscles, bones, ligaments and connective tissues. It is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions.

It is believed through Osteopathy therapy you can restore balance to the body where there may be misalignments without the use of drugs or surgery, if possible. A therapist will use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to relieve muscle tension, improve mobility o joints or enhance nerve or blood supply to tissues which in turn, helps improve your own body’s healing systems. Some osteopaths will also provide advice on improving posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.

What to Expect From Osteopathy

In your first osteopathy session, the therapist usually asks what your situation is. What are your symptoms and your general health before carrying out a physical examination.

The therapist will identify areas of tenderness, weakness and strain within your body by the use of their hands. With your consent, you may need to remove an item of clothing if the area being examined is obscuring their ability to really look deeply into your issue. The therapist will then continue to discuss with you whether osteopathy can help you and what they feel is the best treatment programme for your concern. They may also suggest you be referred to your HP where further tests such as MRI scans or blood tests can take place to help diagnose your problem in more detail.

Can Osteopathy Help With Mental Health?

For the last five years, therapists at the academy have been using OMT to treat members of the public who suffer from a variety of musculoskeletal disorders which have led to chronic pain. To find out more about the mental health impacts of the treatment, we looked at three points in time – before OMT treatment, after the first week of treatment, and after the second week of treatment – and asked patients how they felt using mental health questionnaires.

This data has shown that OMT is effective for reducing anxiety and psychological distress, as well as improving patient self-care. But it may not be suitable for all mental illnesses associated with chronic pain. For instance, we found that OMT was less effective for depression and fear avoidance.

All is not lost, though. Our results also suggested that the positive psychological effects of OMT could be further optimised by combining it with therapy approaches like acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Some research indicates that psychological problems such as anxiety and depression are associated with inflexibility, and lead to experiential avoidance. ACT has a positive effect at reducing experiential avoidance, so may be useful with reducing the fear avoidance and depression (which OMT did not significantly reduce).

Excert from The Conversation Article – Osteopathy can be used to treat mental health issues related to back pain – new study

How Much Does A Typical Osteopathy Session Cost?

Private therapy ( and we have several in our directory in the UK, USA, Europe and Asia) costs vary and can range from £30/$40 per session and sometimes can go up to £60/$90. It can occasionally be more depending upon the therapist’s experience, speciality and location.

How Do I Know Which Osteopath To Choose?

Your GP may have some Osteopaths they could recommend but even if they do, and you feel that the therapist isn’t right for you, then it is completely fine to find a new specialist.

One of the most important parts of any therapy is the relationship between yourself and the therapist in order to be able to trust and open up about all your thoughts and feelings in order to be able to work on them.

When you find the right therapist that offers you good communication, a partnership, trust, goals and a feeling of genuine understanding then together, over time, you will be able to create a relaxing and open atmosphere where you will best be able to reap the benefit of the practice.

It is recommended to try and find reviews from previous happy customers and also see if they are registered with their specific industry body.

How Long Does It Take To Heal With Osteopathy?

Most people who have the therapy often report feeling at least some improvement after the first session. For some patients, the benefits may only be felt after a couple of days. Other people may feel a little sore which is sometimes is referred to as a “healing crisis”. Other practitioners believe it can take six to eight weeks to heal with Osteopathy. We recommend having a frank discussion with your therapist so they can gauge better how long they expect your particular issue to take for you to see improvements and use the information we have given simply as a rough gauge.

You will meet your therapist regularly, usually once a week, for a couple of a few months. Individual sessions last about 30 to 50 minutes.

In the beginning, you may at first feel some pain but this should ease off as you have more treatments. If it doesn’t then it is best to let your therapist know asap.

What If It Doesn’t Work For Me?

First of all, don’t worry!

If you think Osteopathy is the right therapy but you have the wrong therapist then you have every right to seek a second opinion and you will not offend your therapist, they just want you to heal from your difficulty as best you can and you deserve to feel better. If, on the other hand, you don’t feel Osteopathy is working at all then do not be disheartened, there are many, many different types of therapy that can help and counselling is only one. Use our therapy directory to find a different therapy, you may find hypnotherapy works better or possibly some holistic treatment. The key is not to think this is your only option.

Osteopathy For Mental Health

Search the Osteopaths registered in our database


Please note: This information should not replace professional medical advice, it is purely for informational purposes. At all times when you are in crisis please first seek help from your GP or another medical professional. Thank you