Osteopathy, its development in emerging countries, and the course of a consultation.

What is Osteopathy about?

Osteopathy is a manual therapy popular in western countries aiming at preventing, diagnosing and treating functional mechanical disorders of the body.

Osteopathy deals with different systems of the body (musculoskeletal, neurological, digestive, and so on…) with a functional approach, which differs from an “organic” approach requiring allopathic care.

Osteopathy is proven to have a preventive as well as a curative role enabling the body to adapt or readapt to the stress of daily life.

Thus, osteopathy treats all types of mechanical malfunction restoring the natural mobility of joints and viscera. Osteopathy deals with a large spectrum of chronic pathologies: simple to complex back pain, nervous pain (sciatic nerve, …), ENT disorder, digestive disorder, headaches; as well as emergencies (non-exhaustively): acute lumbago, wry neck, infant pathologies at birth.

For who?

  • Osteopathic care is suited for everyone, from infants to mature adults, but also pregnant women and sportspersons. 
  • Minors must be accompanied by an adult or legal guardian.

Why develop Osteopathy in emerging countries?

Osteopathy is a modern and efficient therapy requiring few materials: no drugs, no expensive medical equipment. The sole therapist’s hands and a specific therapy table are needed.

The goals of ECHO are simple:

  • Short-term, setting up free osteopathic consultations for inhabitants of emerging countries, ideally in existing hospitals, to raise awareness among medical staff about the benefits of osteopathy in the patient’s care path.
  • Mid-term, extending awareness about osteopathy to politicians and government officials, so as to ensure the project sustainability and to develop local osteopathic training.
  • Long-term, reaching out to other emerging countries benefiting from the experience gained in Armenia.

Osteopathy is meant to be integrated into the standard patient care path and complementary to other medical procedures. Some pathologies can then be treated with a multidisciplinary approach including osteopathy. The patient care path is shortened, and his drug intake is reduced (pain killer, anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant). In addition, to provide a non-medicated cure to mechanical pathologies, osteopathy enables a diminution of the costs associated with frequently occurring disorders.

Who are we?

The volunteers involved are:

  • the members of the executive board of Echosteo who work all year long to make this cooperation possible (see in more detail in the section “the ECHO team”).
  • certified osteopaths, experienced professionals and sometimes teachers, willing to move out of the practice to contribute.
  • students in osteopathy, in their fourth and fifth year of training in various schools across Europe (Osteobio mainly, but also CEESO and COS in France, ULB in Belgium, and BSO in the United-Kingdom), supervised by professionals; students already practice their skills during real consultations as part of professional projects.
  • students in linguistics at the University of Erevan, helping with translation during consultations.
  • staff members of hospitals in which we provide care, ensuring logistics of patient supervision.

How works an osteopathic consultation?

The course of an osteopathic consultation consists in:

  • An anamnesis (1st consultation), during which our volunteering osteopaths, helped by translators, ask questions to the patient about medical antecedents, health condition, and lifestyle.
  • A more specific interview regarding the purpose of the present visit.
  • A physical examination consisting of static, dynamic and palpatory tests in order to detect the misfunctioning zones of the body.
  • A resulting diagnostic as well as a treatment plan, if osteopathic care is suited. Otherwise, the patient is informed and referred to another health practitioner.
  • An osteopathic treatment by means of joint, muscle or viscera mobilization or manipulative techniques. Treatment is also followed by specific advice.
  • Patients are asked to come with their medical record, and results of complementary exams.
  • Patients may be asked to take off some pieces of clothing during treatment.
  • Consultations last approximately 30 minutes.