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Osteopathy in the States
There are both osteopathic physician and surgeons in the States. They bear the letters DO (Doctor of Osteopathy) after their name. They have the same rights as an MD (Medical Doctor) in every state of the country. This differs from the Commonwealth where Osteopaths are registered practioners of manual medicine. In the states most of the some 38,000 osteopaths chose to be primary health care giver and a few of them work only with their hands.

Currently there are seventeen accredited Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine in the United States. This number was originally six back in 1967. Out of the entire physician population Osteopaths represent only 5% at the current moment but it is one of the largest growing fields in health. Osteopathic practioner do work side by side to the orthodox (western) physicians in many health care settings, however, the profession is still maintaining its independance and identity by continuing to develope.

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Osteopathy in the Commonwealth
Osteopathy in the Commonwealth differs to that in the States by way that the Osteopathic practioners do not specialize in areas surgury. The emphasis of treatment is on the manual techniques such as soft tissue stretching, and massage, combined with mobilisation and manipulation of the joints. This has several applications including: treating muscular stiffness following periods of immobility, increasing the quality and range of motion in joints after muscular or joint strain, and also breaking down scar tissue caused by trauma. This in turn affects the functioning of the whole body via nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems.

Curently Osteopaths are government registered practioners of manual medicine. The training is a 5 year full time programme in Osteopathic Medicine. This applies only to Great Britain and Australia. Canada has a College of Osteopathy but has not received accreditation. Soon though I hope that a Canadian Association becomes established to regulate the practice.

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Association Addresses
Canadian College of Osteopathy
39 Alvin Avenue
Toronto, ON
M4T 2A7
Tel: (416)323-1465
Fax: (416)323-1864

Australian Osteopathic Association
Federal Office
PO Box 699
Tel: (02)449-4799
Fax: (02)449-6587

The Osteopathic Association of Great Britain
Charter House
Alma Street
Luton, UK
Tel: +44(0)1582-744450
Fax: +44(0)1582-744451

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