Functional Osteopathy for Animals

What is Functional Osteopathy?

Osteopathy for animals is a highly integrated form of manual medicine for animals. which is founded on a solid understanding of functional medicine and osteopathic concepts and principles. It identifies the impact of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors on an animal’s health and utilises a clinical process of elimination and osteopathic testing to localise the underlying cause of dis-ease. Practitioners of this science and art, use techniques to treat all aspects of the body through extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology. This allows them to treat the whole being, from the muscles and bones to the organs (viscera) and neurological system.  

Osteopathy becomes a lifestyle to almost all who encompass it. This is because, once you learn how all elements of our lives (and that of our animals) play an intrinsic part in our health, it is hard to ignore or forget. Thus, over time, you will make choices about your (and your animal’s) diet, stress levels and lifestyle that fit more harmoniously with a healthful model.

Animal osteopaths work closely with vets and other veterinary professionals to ensure the very best care for the animal patient. They seek to find for that, which is within the body (such as neuromuscular dysfunction or visceral imbalance) and that which is outside the body (such as environmental factors and diet). Collectively, they find long-term solutions. 

In the UK, human osteopaths train for 4-5 years to attain the level of clinical competence required to treat patients safely and, as it is in many other parts of the world, the title Animal Osteopath is preserved for human practitioners who have undertaking a structured pathway of education in the field of animal osteopathy. This situation is not however, exclusive, and some non-human trained practitioners (such as vets or physiotherapists) can also train in animal osteopathy, but often use a different title, such as a Canine or Equine Functional Practitioner or Functional Bodyworker. Consequently, it is wise for animal owners to look closely at the qualifications held by practitioner before pursuing an appointment, so that you are clear about the training that the therapists have acquired. 

Are you interested in becoming a Functional Osteopath for Animals?

If you would like to become a Functional Osteopath for animals, you will first need to complete an educational programme that is fit for purpose. Any course you take, should  train you in such a way that you can competently assess any animal patient (within your scope of practice). Without suitable training, you risk doing harm by omission of knowledge. The AOI’s Academic Pathway is designed for those who already have a clinical background. Who work with animals or human patients already and understand what it is to be a clinical professional.  

Animal Osteopathy International 

Animal Osteopathy International is an educational establishment of excellence, that focuses its professional training on professional and clinical needs. Whilst also working on international collaborations for the betterment of animals worldwide, and new generations of practitioners and discerning owners.

We use the title Functional Osteopathy (as opposed to Osteopathy) because as a UK company, we need to respect that the term Osteopathy is preserved only for human practitioners registered with the GOsC. As such, those who join us from a non-human background, may instead prefer to use the term Functional Bodyworker or Functional Practitioner – as works for their geographical location. Furthermore, functional medicine focused on the systems affected by dis-ease, not the named condition itself. Supportingly, this links beautifully with osteopathy, which does exactly that. It focuses on the animal/person as a whole, not the name of the disorder or “tissues causing symptoms”. 

That is why AOI’s training programme focuses on the key clinical elements required, to care for the animals we love. Our team of highly experienced practitioners and lecturers have seen first hand the sad outcomes of animals that have been assessed (and/or treated) by poorly trained practitioners. It was with this experience and knowledge that we built our Academic Pathway, which is designed not simply to teach an add-on modification of the human osteopathic model, but to encompass all that should be known by any veterinary/animal practitioner, claiming to be competent in osteopathic technique for animals. 

We welcome practitioners from professional and veterinary backgrounds who want more than a rudimentary education, and understand the importance of an extensive clinical toolkit that fulfils the expectations of their Scope of Practice. For more information, click on the “All Courses” and pick the course that is right for you and your level of knowledge. 

AOI teachers range from osteopaths to veterinarians to physiotherapists, and all are in practice. Collectively, they have with decades experience. Meaning that they offer up to date information and experience for all with whom they teach. We also support graduates of our own, who wish to become AOI teachers and are always happy to engage with other animal organisations or charities.

AOI believes in offering a robust educational process, that ensures graduates that are safe, competent and clinically astute. That is why, whilst we teach some elements online, all key courses have associated practicums, which are taught in groups of no more than 12-14 with 2 supporting lecturers. This ensures that our blended learning approach offers the same attention to hands-on details, that we have taught face-to-face for many years.