Osteopathy is an approach to healthcare that emphasizes the role of the musculoskeletal system in health and disease. It is practised in places like the United Kingdom, Europe, Israel, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Osteopathy is not to be confused with the historically related but now distinct field, osteopathic medicine in the United States.
In most countries, osteopathy is a form of complementary medicine, emphasizing a holistic approach and the skilled use of a range of manual and physical treatment interventions in the prevention and treatment of diseases. In practice, this most commonly relates to musculoskeletal problems such as back and neck pain. Osteopathic principles teach that treatment of the musculoskeletal system (bones, muscles and joints) facilitates the recuperative powers of the body.
In Israel a joint Osteopathy and Chiropractic Bill is in the process of going through the Knesset (Israeli Parliament). The bill will, in effect define osteopathy as an academically based profession. Only those holding at least an undergraduate degree in osteopathy will be able to call themselves osteopaths in Israel. The members of the Israel Osteopathic Association have been working in conjunction with the Ministry of Health on drawing up the mentioned bill.