Osteopathy is a drug-free manual medicine that focuses on total body health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework. Osteopathy is based on the idea that health is closely related to the structure of the body. Main principle behind Osteopathy is that the well being of an individual depends on their bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue functioning smoothly together. The medicinal therapy focuses on improving a patient’s mobility or functions of their internal systems by administering various massage, physical manipulation and stretching techniques allowing free flow of blood through the body and specific organs. Osteopathic medicine is considered as one of the best treatments for neuro-musculo-skeletal disorders. An Osteopath is a healthcare professional who practices a system of medicine that focuses primarily on the musculoskeletal system. He should have thorough knowledge of anatomy, physiology and hygiene. In Osteopathy, hands are used rather than medical equipments to cure disorders or relieve pain in skeletal system, immune system and the nervous system. Osteopathic medicine is used to treat health conditions including back pain, sports injuries, and repetitive strain injuries. This can be used either as an exclusive treatment or alongside treatment by drugs. Osteopaths work with people of all age groups, from infants to elderly patients, providing relief for a variety of disorders and illnesses. It stipulates that disease is caused by abnormal changes in the tissues of ligaments, muscles and organs as well as in the position and mobility of the bones wherever situated in the body. Osteopath treat patients using a variety of manual techniques such as soft tissue stretching, muscle relaxation, gentle mobilization or manipulation. These treatment methods are normally employed simultaneously with exercise, dietary and occupational advice in an attempt to help patients recover from pain, disease and injury. Osteopaths diagnose complaints from patients using information from case histories, physical examinations, manual 'palpation' (i.e the use of touch), observation of patients body structure and mobility, and clinical aids such as X-rays, CT scans and laboratory tests. Eligibility Educational Those who have completed MBBS, BAMS, BHMS or bachelor of Naturopathy and Yogic science or any other bachelors degree in the medical field can apply for a course in Osteopathic medicine. However, there are only few institutes in India that offer course in this subject field. Personal skills Osteopaths should have: • Good communication, listening and interpersonal skills • Good organisational skills • Ability to pay attention to detail • Good hand eye coordination • Ability to work as a team • Good health and physical fitness • Understanding and sympathetic • A genuine desire to help people Prospects Osteopathy is a comparatively new field of Alternative medicine which is not that much popular among students or still they are not aware of this field. The scope for this growing career field is much for the enterprising aspirant as those qualified in this area are few compared to the opportunities that are readily available to explore. Osteopaths usually work in combination with dietitians, medical practitioners, naturopaths, podiatrists and other healthcare professionals. In most cases, Osteopaths are self employed, usually they run private practice by starting clinics of their own. The working hours can be irregular, appointments can be more during the evening or at weekends. One can also opt to work in a health centre or hospital. Alternatively, individuals may decide to go into the field of research, in order to deepen knowledge about Osteopathic techniques. Remuneration As the Osteopaths charge as per treatment, their earnings will vary with the number of patients they see. However, this too will depend upon experience and place of employment. A self employed Osteopath is free to charge a sessional rate according to his/her reputation. Even for a single visit one may charge Rs. 4000 starting from Rs 500 at the minimum, this too depends on each case, but the fresher in the field can charge only less than this rate. Institutes In India, there are only few institutes that offer courses in Osteopathic medicine. Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences, Andhra Pradesh and Holy Angels College of Alternative Medicine, Mumbai, Institute of Alternative Medicines, Kolkata offer certificate course in this subject. But outside India, there are many universities that offer courses in this subject field, hence in order to specialise most of them go abroad. In the US, Campbell University; School of Osteopathic Medicine, North Carolina; Albama College of Osteopathic Medicine; Michigan State University are some of the universities that offer courses in Osteopathy.