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Osteopathy: when it helps and who has to pay


Osteopathy should successfully accompany conventional medical treatments. Which complaints it helps with and when the health insurance company pays the costs. 

Osteopathy should successfully accompany conventional medical treatments.

Which complaints it helps with and when the health insurance company pays the costs. 

  • Osteopathy is a holistic form of alternative medicine.

  • Osteopathy is said to be helpful on all tissue levels - from complaints in the organ to muscle to the skeletal area.

  • Many statutory health insurance companies cover the costs of osteopathic treatments - but only partially.

Opinions differ when it comes to osteopathy.

“Osteopathy works!”, Shares the Association of Osteopaths Germany e.

V. (VOD) in a YouTube video.

Conventional doctors and researchers, on the other hand, doubt the effectiveness of the method -

because it has not been researched enough.

What is osteopathy?

"Osteopathy is an independent, holistic form of medicine in which diagnosis and treatment are carried out with the hands," says the VOD. The alternative healing method has its origin in the USA. At the end of the 19th century, the American country doctor Andrew Taylor Still was looking for new methods that would help his patients with certain ailments. During his research, he found out that

misalignments in the musculoskeletal system

- in the muscle and bone system - can lead to diseases. His idea:

if you fix these misalignments, the body regains its mobility

. In addition, its

self-healing powers

are also



Thanks to an improved blood supply, for example.

For example, Americans founded the first osteopathy school in the USA and coined the term osteopathy (from the Greek: "osteo" bone and "pathie" disease) significantly. 

The focus of osteopathy is therefore the human body as a whole, because from an anatomical point of view it forms a functional unit. 

A tip from osteopathy:

Why you should reach for potatoes if you have tension in your neck *

Effect of osteopathy: healthy again with gentle movements? 


contrast to conventional medicine,


does not


the symptoms of an illness, but its causes

. The basic idea: All systems of the human body, from the musculoskeletal system to the spinal cord to internal organs, are connected to one another by fine tissue networks (fasciae). When an osteopath treats the connective tissue and the fascia that surround the organ, it stimulates blood flow and organ function. As a result, the organ itself can work better.

Osteopaths use their hands for both diagnosis and therapy. They feel the bones, ligaments and muscles in order to recognize their changes or functional disorders. These should be


with certain grip and touch

techniques in order to stimulate the body's own regeneration. This doesn't seem to be that far-fetched - when you consider that our organism already has many self-healing mechanisms. For example, clotting blood closes a wound and bones grow back together after a break.


osteopathic treatment is individual

, adapted to the needs of each patient.

That is why there is no classically defined process.

It should also be noted: To this day, there is no sound scientific evidence for the effectiveness of osteopathy.

As the Ärzteblatt reports, "(...) a relevant number of scientific papers (...)" is already available for some areas of osteopathic diagnosis and therapy as well as for certain techniques.

However, the experts describe the success of osteopathic treatments for a number of complaints as "can be effective".

Nonetheless, osteopathy is very popular: According to the VOD, more than five million people receive osteopathic treatment every year.

Worth reading:

With this simple handle from osteopathy, you can clear your nose - in one minute!

When osteopathy helps: areas of application and typical complaints

According to VOD, osteopathy is used in all those medical sectors

where functional disorders lead to complaints


Whether in the organ, muscle or skeletal area: It can be helpful on all tissue levels.

The range of treatments is correspondingly broad - from osteoarthritis to tension or tinnitus to migraines and the desire to have children.

The most important area of ​​application of osteopathy is

above all the musculoskeletal system


Numerous painful misalignments arise here - for example in the spine.

The areas of application also differ

depending on the type of osteopathy


This is divided into three categories, depending on functional and anatomical conditions:

  • Parietal osteopathy

    deals with the musculoskeletal system. 

  • Visceral osteopathy

    treats internal organs and their surrounding structures

  • Craniosacral osteopathy

    is dedicated to the brain and spinal cord, meninges, etc.

However, all three areas are inseparable from one another within the holistic thinking of osteopathy.

So a therapist has to master them all - in order to follow the uniform approach.

Osteopathy can be used

in all age groups

, including children and babies.

Whether it is used in

conjunction with other medical treatments or as an independent therapy

depends on the individual clinical picture.

Serious injuries such as broken bones or wounds as well as psychological problems are not a case for osteopathy and must be treated by conventional medical practitioners.

Also interesting:

does osteopathy help when babies cry and sleep poorly?

Osteopathy: What a treatment costs and when the health insurance company pays

Doctors and alternative practitioners use the so-called professional fee regulations as the basis for billing.

In this way, the osteopathy costs remain transparent and are between 60 and 150 euros.

In the meantime, around 100 statutory health insurances reimburse these costs on a pro-rata basis - as a voluntary additional service and at different conditions.

Usually maximum amounts per meeting or year are set in the statutes.

Tip: Ask your health insurance company whether they will cover the osteopathy costs - and under what conditions - and which therapist they work with.

Often the treating therapist has to belong to an osteopathic professional association:

So you cannot go to any osteopath.

Text: Olga Krockauer * is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.

Source: merkur

All life articles on 2021-10-11

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