Functional Osteopathy - for those who want want to embrace holistic health for animals.
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We focus on safety & clinical competency.
AOI is a private educational provider founded on one simple principle. That those who work with animals, should be appropriately trained to do so. From this belief, grew a schedule of study for those who wish to use the unique art and science of functional osteopathy to treat animals.
Human osteopaths train for four-years to treat human patients and the degree is full-time, and it is vitally important that those who wish to use osteopathy to treat animals, learn to the same depth. Osteopathy is not a practice to be learned without ongoing support (for discussion and clarity) and hands-on tutorage for clinical safety and proficiency. Only then can an educator ensure that comprehension of the content has been achieved.
This is because in order to learn the anatomical, neurological, philosophical, environmental/behavioural, and pathological elements of equine or canine osteopathy, students need to be focused and committed, and have a professional tutor at hand to help them with their theoretical and practical studies. This cannot be done effectively in an online-only model. Students need the support of a proper academic tutor and a team of lecturers who can teach them how to thoroughly assess and treat osteopathically. Only then can a student feel confident enough to go out into the big wide world and compete with highly qualified professionals.
Without hands-on direction, a student of osteopathy can never learn the nuances of palpation, assessment, and technique, so they know (exactly) what they feel under their hands. This is an art that takes years to perfect, even for those who have spent many years in clinical practice.
Functional Osteopathy for animals is a branch of physical therapy for animals, with a strong focus on assessing the whole animal and their environment to attain a successful long-term outcome. Training to become a fully qualified Functional Practitioner/Osteopath with AOI takes 3 years, and all who join us, come from a clinical or therapeutic background (e.g. Veterinarians, Members of RCVS, Osteopaths, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Advanced Animal Therapists etc.). Training includes topics such as: advanced anatomy, physiology, pathology, orthopaedics, neurology, biomechanics, animal behaviour, applied learning theory, palpation skills, clinical assessment, and a wide range of therapeutic and rehabilitation techniques. In addition, our students are taught research and professional writing, alongside the softer (but all important) life-skills, such a critical reflection, professional communication, marketing, business management and financial awareness. This ensures that they leave our programme fully equipped and ready to be competent, safe practitioners.
Courses are taught by experienced Animal Osteopaths, Veterinary Physiotherapists, Doctors of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Behaviourists.
In the UK, osteopathy for humans is regulated by the General Osteopathic Council and Animal Osteopathy is recognised as one of the three main clinical disciplines voluntarily regulated by the Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners in the UK (RAMP).
As a UK-based private training provider, AOI aligns the information taught in its courses with UK laws and regulations, whilst actively encouraging students from other countries to investigate the regulations and boundaries of their own country as part of the application process. Use of title varies from country to country and this is why you will see the term Functional Practitioner used synonymously throughout this site, as a way to offer a professional alternative to Animal Osteopath.
“I’m truly grateful to the AOI for helping me to enhance my clinical skill-set. The course is exceptional. The main pathway is taught by blended learning, with excellent online content that is in-depth and very clear, with many supporting videos. The practical classes are small, focused and supportive, so you’ll have lots of hands-on opportunity to fine-tune your skills, and, the team is clearly committed to developing safe, competent practitioners, so everything is compartmentalised, so you have time to reflect and improve, one stage at a time. I’ve studied many courses in the past, but this has really developed me as a person and practitioner, and I’d highly recommend it.” S.Davis
AOI is founded on the desire to provide the highest quality of education in the field of animal functional therapy/osteopathy to those who want to learn about real osteopathy and all the various elements that create this wonderful art and science. We cover all areas of traditional osteopathy within our programmes and teach from a perspective of osteopathic principles and concepts. Techniques such as balanced ligamentous tension, adjustments, general articulatory technique and visceral have all been modified for the animal patient. This ensures that our graduates can assess and treat with a full range of skills and feel assured of their clinical competency.
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We also like to support our students after they leave us, which is why we actively encourage those who want to join us for teacher training or as international associates. In addition, it is our mission, to be all encompassing. To embrace specialists from all areas of veterinary medicine, so that our community can provide world class education to students, professionals and owners wherever they live.
As an organisation, we want to educate those who wish to learn and that is why we open our arms to a range of professionals. Our aim is not to saturate markets with more base-level therapists, but rather to create a network of highly trained practitioners, who can work together to make a difference. Additionally, with the same intent, we encourage likeminded professionals and other academic institutes to join us, so that together, we can support the wider network of animal related projects. In this way, we can collectively make a difference to the lives of so many animals. Not only those we can treat but also those who need to be protected.
From a practitioner perspective, we want to inspire veterinarians and animal practitioners to keep on learning. Not to stop at the first post. A postgraduate certificate is a great achievement, but like passing a driving test, it is just the start. That is why we offer a range of high quality courses for all levels of interest. Run by people who excel at what they do.
Lastly, we like to be clear that AOI sits within the modern and progressive camp of education. Actively encouraging well-rounded graduates with a wealth of life and professional skills. With so few countries regulating animal osteopathy, the need for expensive university degrees is not yet a universal expectation. We have therefore decided (at this time) that because our programme is every bit as rigorous as a degree or master’s programme, we do not feel the need to function solely through a single university until it can add value to our programme and the students we serve.
If you want to become a part of something bigger, join us today and let us help you on your journey.
A truly international student/alumni community
Animal Osteopathy International has a truly global community. We have trained students from the UK, New Zealand, USA, South Africa, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Slovenia, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Germany, Greece, Australia, Russia, Sweden, Poland, France, Spain, Israel, Argentina, The Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland.
2023 – Year one practicums will be held in the UK and the USA.
2023 – Year two practicums will be held in the UK, USA, Denmark, and Canada.
2024 – Year one practicums to be held in New Zealand, the UK, Denmark and Canada.
With a register that offers ongoing professional guidance
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