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Massage Therapy and Osteopathy

What is the difference between osteopathy and massage therapy?

There are many similarities between osteopaths and massage therapists, however, the treatment approach and techniques are quite different.

  1. Both professions treat problems related to the musculoskeletal system (muscles, joints, bones).
  2. Both are manual therapies which include soft-tissue work, joint mobilization,  and manipulation.
  3. Just like osteopaths, massage therapists possess an in-depth understanding of human anatomy and physiology.
  4. Both therapies are 95%  hands-on.

 What does an osteopathic manual therapist do?

Osteopathic philosophy works from the viewpoint that all body systems are interconnected and that given the right support, the body has an inherent capacity for self-healing. Therefore, the role of an osteopath is to restore the balance between structure (anatomy) and function (physiology) to allow the body to heal itself.

Osteopaths use a wide range of manipulative techniques for both diagnosis and treatment when comprehensive case history and physical assessment are conducted to establish the source of the symptoms. However, the treatment will not only be directed at the symptomatic area but will also address the factors that may have predisposed the mechanical dysfunction. Osteopathy has proven to be most effective in the relief of lower back pain, migraines, headaches, as well as mobility problems.

What does a massage therapist do?

Massage therapy aims to relieve the pain or discomfort within the musculoskeletal system occurring as a result of an injury, illness, or lifestyle. Remedial techniques include deep-tissue massage, passive stretching, and gentle joint mobilization.  The session may include soothing relaxing techniques along with vigorous athletic massage depending on treatment objective.

 Integrating osteopathy and massage therapy

Manual osteopathy is the fastest growing profession and osteopathic practitioners are in great demand. If you are a practicing massage therapist, earning a Diploma in Osteopathic Manual Practice (DOMP) will increase your professional marketability, allow you to be more effective in your treatments, and will enable you to expand your client base. 

Diploma in Osteopathic Manual Practice (DOMP) for massage therapists (accelerated study)

London College of Osteopathy and Health Sciences offers massage therapists a flexible and affordable option to gain qualification of an osteopathic manual therapist (OMT). Upon submission of your academic transcript for previous studies, you may be eligible to receive course credits for Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology courses.  To fulfill the requirements of the DOMP curriculum, you will be required to complete an online portion of the program and attend a clinical training week held annually in Toronto, Canada, and  Barcelona, Spain.

LCO graduates are permitted to practice manual osteopathy in the USA (all states), Canada (all provinces), in Europe and many countries around the world. For more information about the DOMP study please click here.  With any questions concerning the program please email admissions@lcocanda.com