Do I require a referral from a physician?
A referral from a medical doctor is not needed to see a manual osteopath.
What is Manual Osteopathy?
Manual Osteopathy (also known as osteopathic manual practice, or European style osteopathy) is a noninvasive
hands-on treatment approach that includes an understanding that there is a close relationship
between the structure and function of the body, the body functions as a unit and the body is a capable
self-healing mechanism. It offers a painless, unique, gentle and caring approach aimed at treating causes
not symptoms. By doing so, it aims to maximize the patient’s health so that their body can function as
optimally as possible. Manual osteopaths provide one of the most effective treatments available for
chronic pain resulting from musculoskeletal disorders.
Is Manual Osteopathy compatible with other treatments?
Many of the patients seen at the Osteopathy Chronic Pain Clinics of Canada are often having other
forms of therapy either for different problems or for the same chronic problem. Sometimes patients
simultaneously see a pain specialist physician, physiatrist, physical therapist, acupuncturist,
chiropractor, massage therapists, athletic therapist, naturopath, naprapath, etc. Sometimes our patients
come to us as an alternative to the previously mentioned practitioners. In many case our manual
osteopaths are the last resort of patients after many years of unsuccessful treatments.
Is osteopathic care safe?
Manual osteopathy is widely recognized as one of the best, safest, drug-free, non-invasive, gentle, low
force, and pain free therapies available for management of chronic pain. Although manual osteopathy
has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The
risks associated with manual osteopathy, however, are very small. Many chronic pain patients feel
immediate relief following manual osteopathic care, but some may experience mild soreness or aching,
just as they do after some forms of exercise or massage. Current literature shows that minor discomfort
or soreness following osteopathic care typically fades within 24 hours.
Why should I choose an OCPCC Manual Osteopath?
All manual osteopaths who work at the Osteopathy Chronic Pain Clinics of Canada (OCPCC) have taken
postgraduate studies in chronic pain management to achieve fellowship status as osteopathy chronic
pain specialists. They are fully licensed and board certified members of accredited associations such as
Canadian Union of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners, Canadian Manual Osteopathy Examining Board,
International Osteopathy Examining Board, Ontario College of Osteopathic Rehabilitation Sciences, Nova
Scotia Osteopathic Association, British Columbia Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners,
Manitoba Osteopathic Association, Newfoundland & Labrador Osteopathic Association, L’Alliance
Canadienne de Médecine Alternative, Le Collège des Ostéopathes Canadiens, and International
Osteopathic Associations, among others.
The osteopathic chronic pain management offers a different way of looking at the body and what is
causing the problems. Our approach to chronic pain is research proven, safe, pain free and effective.
Most of our patients visit us as a last resort after many years of failed treatments. And many of them
receive immediate relief of their chronic pain after the first session.
Is Osteopathic care covered by insurance?
In Canada and some European countries manual osteopathic treatments are covered under some
private extended health plans. In Canada more than 95% of private health plan insurers cover manual
osteopathic care provided by OCPCC manual osteopaths. There is no coverage under WSIB or WCB for
manual osteopathic care. For patients injured in a motor vehicle related accident in Ontario and some
other Canadian provinces all auto insurers cover manual osteopathic treatments provided by our
manual osteopaths. Please consult your extended health provider prior to your first visit to enquire
about osteopathy coverage. Payment is due at the end of a session, regardless of insurance coverage.
When full payment is received a paid in full receipt is issued that may be submitted to your insurer for
re-imbursement. In some countries, like Malaysia there may be limited government paid insurance
available to seniors for manual osteopathic care. In most countries (including USA) manual osteopathic
care is on cash basis without any public or private insurance coverage.
Do you offer insurance direct billing?
Manual osteopaths in Canada are not included in the direct billing networks of most insurers and have
no control or involvement over reimbursement of your claim. At this time, our Canadian manual
osteopaths do not bill insurance companies directly nor are we responsible for how much, if any, is
reimbursed by your extended health plan provider. Our Canadian manual osteopaths will provide paid in
full receipts for patients to submit to their insurance carriers for reimbursement. Each patient is
responsible for all charges incurred during each visit. Other arrangements for payment (such as using a
credit card or cheque) need to be made with your manual osteopath prior to the first visit.
What is manual osteopathic treatment?
Manual osteopathic treatments are procedures that utilize the highly refined skills developed during the
manual osteopath’s intense and comprehensive education. The manual osteopath typically uses his or
her hands to provide hands-on treatments in order to decrease pain, spasm, and inflammation while
also improving flexibility and function. Osteopathic treatments are highly controlled gentle procedures
that rarely cause discomfort. Our manual osteopaths adapt the procedures to meet the specific needs of
each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their chronic pain immediately following the first
session of manual osteopathic care.
Is osteopathic care ongoing?
The hands-on nature of the manual osteopathic care is essentially what requires patients to visit the
manual osteopath a number of times. To be treated, a patient needs to visit a manual osteopath’s clinic.
In contrast, a course of treatment from medical doctors often involves a pre-established plan that is
conducted at home (i.e. taking a course of antibiotics once a day for a couple of weeks). A manual
osteopath may provide acute, chronic, and/or preventive care thus making a certain number of visits
sometimes necessary. Your manual osteopath should tell you the extent of treatment recommended
and how long you can expect it to last. For chronic pain management however; patients generally have
up to three osteopathic sessions per week for one to two weeks. The frequency is generally reduced
then to once or twice per week until the chronic pain is managed. Your manual osteopath customizes a
treatment plan based on your condition.
How much a session costs?
This depends on the practice jurisdiction as well as to each individual manual osteopath member of the
Osteopathy Chronic Pain Clinics of Canada (OCPCC). The fees charged vary. In Europe, North America,
the Caribbean for example manual osteopaths generally charge $80 to $140 per hour on average. In
Asia, Africa, & Latin America; the treatment fee is generally $10 to $80 per session. Osteopathic sessions
generally are for 60 minutes. Please contact the closest OCPCC manual osteopath to your location for
information on their hourly fees and to their appointment availability.
When is the World Osteopathy Day?
World Osteopathy Day, founded in 2012 by Dr Shawn Pourgol, president of the Osteopathy Chronic Pain
Clinics of Canada is on June 22nd of each year. June 22nd is when osteopathy was founded by American
physician, Dr Andrew Taylor Still in 1874. In November 2013, a limited number of postal stamps, with
World Osteopathy Day logo were published by the Canada Post.
What are the differences between osteopaths, manual osteopaths and osteopathic manual
Osteopathy refers to two distinct hands-on system of health care. In Canada and US, the term
osteopathy generally means American style osteopathy, also known as osteopathic medicine. The
practitioners of this profession are called osteopaths or osteopathic physicians in Canada and the States.
In these two countries osteopath means a medical doctor who can perform surgery and prescribe
medications. In US there are approximately 80,000 osteopathic physicians (in Canada there are about
20). Only about 700 of these physicians perform hands-on osteopathic manual therapy. Osteopathic
medical education is only offered in the states.
In the rest of the world, the term osteopathy refers to European style osteopathy (also known as manual
osteopathy or osteopathic manual practice). In almost all countries outside North America, the term
osteopath is used for practitioners of manual osteopathy. In US and Canada however the terms manual
osteopath or osteopathic manual practitioner are used for practitioners of manual osteopathy to
distinguish these practitioners from osteopathic physicians. In Canada osteopathic manual practitioners
are classified under National Occupational Classification (NOC) code 3232 under practitioners of natural
Manual osteopathic education is offered in US only through one private school, the National University
of Medical Sciences – USA (www.numss.us)
, and in the rest of the world through various schools,
including the National Academy of Osteopathy –Canada (www.nationalacademyofosteopathy.com)
is currently the largest provider of manual osteopathic education in the world. Both schools as well as
the National University of Medical Sciences – Spain (www.numss.com
) are founded by OCPCC president,
Dr Shawn Pourgol. All OCPCC members are manual osteopaths. We do not employ osteopathic
What are the differences between osteopathy & chiropractic?
Chiropractic has originated from osteopathy and most chiropractic techniques (such as spinal
manipulation) are essentially originally osteopathic techniques. Dr Daniel David Palmer, founder of
chiropractic was one of the first students of Dr Andrew Taylor Still, founder of osteopathy.
Doctors of chiropractic (also known as chiropractors or chiropractic physicians) mainly focus on using
direct force spinal manipulation (also known as grade five mobilization or high velocity low amplitude
(HVLA) techniques) in treating patients.
Manual osteopaths on the other hand use gentle, low force, repetitive techniques such as osteoarticular
mobilization, muscle energy technique, balanced ligamentous tension, lymphatic drainage, oscillatory,
myofascial release, strain/counterstrain, soft tissue therapy, cranial osteopathy, visceral manipulation,
Still’s, manual mechanotherapy, and positional facilitated release . These techniques use minimum
force, are repetitive and gentle in nature. In manual osteopathy being gentle is essential. Spinal
manipulation (HVLA techniques) is not used by manual osteopaths in North America.
Chiropractic treatments are usually shorter and last only a few minutes as spinal manipulation can be
performed quickly. Osteopathic techniques on the other hand are repetitive and as such they require
time. Most osteopathic sessions for chronic pain management last approximately an hour.
Chiropractic treatment is very effective for acute pain. Osteopathic care is similarly effective for acute
pain but it is best known for its ability in treating chronic pain resulting from disorders of the