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Take a hands-on approach to ease joint and muscle pain; Careers in ... osteopathy Sue Kelbrick puts her neck out for a manipulative career.

Byline: Sue Kelbrick

What does a career as an osteopath involve? Osteopaths use their highly developed sense of touch (known as palpation) to reduce swelling, ease pain, locate strains and increase mobility. They work with clients to achieve a sense of wellbeing by helping develop muscles, bones, ligaments, nerves and joints that work efficiently together.

Before starting treatment, you would discuss with clients their health problems and medical history. You may also use X-rays and other traditional methods to help with your diagnosis before planning a course of treatment, involving gentle, hands-on techniques such as joint mobilisation, manipulation, massage and deep pressure.

What skills are needed? You should have a genuine desire to help people, the ability to reassure clients, good co-ordination and practical skills and an interest in science, particularly human biology and chemistry. Also helpful is a good physical fitness, an understanding of when to refer clients to a qualified medical doctor, good problem-solving skills and, finally, the ability to run your own business.

What training do you need? You need to complete an approved degree or Masters degree, and gain registration with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). If you are already medically qualified, you may be able to take a shortened programme.

Before you can register, you will need to provide both health and character references. You will also need liability insurance and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

What are the opportunities for career progression? There is an increasing interest in posture-related problems and the demand for qualified osteopaths has grown 25% since the 1990s according to the GOsC.

You are likely to find most work as a self-employed osteopath in the private sector, running your own practice or working in a private health care centre or sports clinic. You may also find some opportunities in the NHS (for example in an integrated, community-based clinic, working alongside chiropodists and physiotherapists) or within occupational health teams or consultancy firms.

With experience you could go into research or training.

What is the salary? Starting salaries for osteopaths can be between PS15,000 and PS20,000 a year. With experience this can rise to around PS20,000 to PS40,000. In private practice, salaries can reach around PS50,000 a year.

More information ? Details for information. Jobs not necessarily available.

. ? General Osteopathic Council (GOsC): telephone, 020 7357 6655, www.osteopathy.org.uk ? Disclosure and Barring Service: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosureand-barring-service

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SENSITIVE TOUCH: Work as an osteopath can be a rewarding career
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 2, 2014
Words:417
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