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About Principles-Based Osteopathy

Principal Robert Johnston performing osteopathic therapy on a student at the CAO clinic
Osteopathic Manual Practitioners train in classical osteopathy at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy

What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a manual form of therapy that emphasizes the relationship between the structure and function of the human body. This therapy follows a belief in the body’s ability to self-heal and self-regulate, which is why Osteopathic Manual Practitioners do not see themselves as healers, but instead as facilitators to health.

First introduced by founder A.T. Stills in the 1870s, osteopathy is a science, a philosophy, and a practice.

What Does an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner Do?

Osteopathy focuses on facilitating the health of joints and muscles through non-invasive manual therapy, helping to strengthen the framework of the body, and acts as a complementary therapy alongside conventional medicine.

By working with the interrelated systems and functions of the human body, osteopathic manual therapy can return the body to normal health so it can self-heal and self-regulate.

At the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy, curriculum focuses on teaching principles-based, classical osteopathy.  By focusing on the theory and application of these principles, students gain a comprehensive understanding of osteopathy and are better able to diagnose and treat their patients. This classical training grants students an in-depth understanding of anatomy and physiology, so they can treat the layers of bodily structure on a personalized, individual level.

You can learn more about osteopathy by watching our helpful videos below. If you have any questions feel free to contact us!

Principal Robert Johnston using osteopathic techniques on a student of the CAO, who is lying on a clinical table

Principles-Based vs. Eclectic Osteopathy

Where principles-based osteopathy encompasses an understanding of principles and can stand on its own, eclectic osteopathy is taught as a series of memorized techniques or manipulations for different parts of the body. This eclectic style of osteopathy is taught prevalently in Europe and Canada and does not adhere to the W.H.O’s Educational Standards. Eclectic osteopathy lacks the founding principles and theory that manual osteopathy relies on, and is typically layered onto an existing modality such as massage or physiotherapy. The CAO is Canada’s principles-based osteopathy school!

Principal Robert Johnston stands with recent graduates of the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy

Our Diploma Program

The CAO awards its graduates with an Osteopathic Manual Practice Diploma. Canadian legislation dictates only those who are American-trained in Osteopathic Medical Schools are able to use the titles Osteopath, DO and Doctor of Osteopathy. Canadian Osteopathic schools may provide their graduates with an Osteopathic Manual Practice Diploma. CAO graduates graduate as registered members of the Ontario Osteopathic Association (OOA) as well as the Canadian Institute of Classical Osteopathy (CICO). The CAO is proud to partner with renowned osteopathy organizations.

Is A Rewarding Career In Osteopathy Right For You?

If you’re interested in learning more about a career in osteopathy and exploring whether the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy is right for you, fill out the form on this page to receive more information.

For immediate questions, please feel free to call 1-866-320-9898

The CAO provides graduates of its program with a post-graduate diploma. Completion of the program does not result in being conferred a degree designation. In Canada, there are no Canadian universities that offer degrees in osteopathy, rather osteopathic education is almost exclusively offered by private colleges.

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