The first consultation takes approximately 90 minutes. Follow-up treatments take 45 to 60 minutes.

Osteopaths use many different treatment techniques. Treatments are generally gentle and rarely cause pain or discomfort. If your practitioner suspects that you might feel discomfort they’ll explain why this might occur. They’ll seek your consent before progressing with treatment.

Treatment may also include recommendations on fitness, nutrition and posture. Some osteopaths will also work through the skin on internal organs (visceral osteopathy).

Please be aware that during Unitec holiday breaks osteopathy students may be on leave and you may not be able to see your regular student osteopath. The student may also request for a fellow clinical student to sit in during your treatment as an observer.

First consultation

After checking in at reception, you will be met by the student osteopath and taken to a treatment room.

They will take a detailed case history including:

  • Your symptoms and their history
  • Previous episodes of the same or similar problem
  • Related areas
  • Your general health
  • Your medical history and any treatment you’ve had or are currently receiving.

At this stage the student and their tutor usually meet, outside the treatment room, to briefly discuss the information gathered so far.

The examination

An osteopathic examination involves an overall assessment of the patient’s posture, and how they are adapting to standing and to simple active movements of the spine or limbs.

Students and clinical tutors will use a variety of techniques and examination procedures to make a diagnosis; most of these techniques involve touch to assess how well tissues and joints are working.

The examination is conducted with the patient dressed in their underwear.

As the examination progresses, the patient will be asked to sit, and then to lie down on the treatment table.

Diagnosis and treatment

The student and the clinical tutor will discuss the situation when a diagnosis has been reached. They will explain this to you before treatment commences.

Most treatments will consist of several manipulative techniques. All of these techniques are gentle and should not cause pain or discomfort. If your practitioner thinks pain is a possibility they will seek your permission to continue.

All osteopaths take great care to avoid putting their patients at risk. If your practitioner believes there is any possibility of treatment having any adverse effect, they will discuss this with you in detail.