Who we are

Emirates Osteopathic Society was established in August 2016 under the umbrella of the Emirates Medical Association (EMA). We aim to undertake the following activities:

  • Explore and review information about the state of the osteopathic profession and its education and practice worldwide, as applicable to the UAE
  • Conduct consultative partnerships with national and international associates and organisations to consider equivalence of models of osteopathic healthcare, codes of conduct and standards or capabilities for practice
  • Ensure UAE osteopathic practice is supported and strengthened by the consultative activities of the group
  • Promote excellence in osteopathic education, research, and healthcare delivery
  • Advise on educational standards as relevant to the practice of osteopathy in the UAE provided by the Emirates Medical Association, Dubai Health Authority or other body
  • Promote osteopathic practice in the UAE to the public and other healthcare workers and professionals
  • Produce and disseminate promotional and other information regarding osteopathic practice in the UAE
  • Support the professional needs and continuing educational development and reflective practice of its member osteopaths
  • Undertake other activities as deemed necessary by members from time to time

To learn more about licensure of health professionals in the UAE, please visit the following websites:

  1. Dubai Health Authority (DHA)
  2. Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC)
  3. Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD)

Our Vision
Osteopathy will provide a distinctive and effective contribution to healthcare in the UAE

Our Mission
To advance the philosophy and practice of osteopathy in the UAE and support the highest standards of osteopathic healthcare delivery within the UAE health system and to be the peak representative body for osteopaths in the UAE.
About Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a holistic and complementary system of healthcare which focuses on the whole body and preventive care. Osteopaths diagnose and treat imbalances in the musculoskeletal structure. The concept behind osteopathic treatment is that for the body to function at its best and to heal itself in the most optimal way, all parts of the body should be free from restrictions and imbalances to work together.

There are various manual approaches and techniques applied by osteopaths, enabling the free flow and actions of nerves, arteries, veins, lymphatic system, and cerebrospinal fluid. Each osteopath has a unique approach to evaluation and treatment. He/she may use a combination of techniques such as Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, neuromuscular, fascial, craniosacral, visceral, soft tissue techniques etc. to help restore balance to the body and facilitate healing.

Osteopathy is a primary health care system for a wide range of medical conditions, which is complementary to other medical practices. Osteopaths primarily work through the neuro-musculo-skeletal system, mostly on muscles and joints, using holistic and patient-centred approaches. A core principle behind osteopathy is the idea that the body is an integrated and indivisible whole, and contains self-healing mechanisms that can be utilised as part of the treatment. No part of the body works, or can be considered, in isolation. Relevant psychological and social factors also form part of the process of patient diagnosis.

The key tools for osteopathic diagnosis include listening to the patient's history, examining muscles and joints and observing movements. X -rays, scans and other clinical investigations are also used if required. Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension, to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, and to help your body's own healing mechanisms. They may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.

Osteopaths possess a set of core competencies which enables them to practice autonomously and that guide them in the diagnosis, management and treatment of their patients and form the foundation for the osteopathic approach to health care. The following are core competencies for osteopathic practice:

- A critical understanding of the principles and concepts of osteopathy to inform and guide their clinical reasoning; this includes the ability to use a range of osteopathic approaches to health, disease and illness taking into account the patient as a whole;- detailed knowledge of human structure and function to recognise and interpret clinical signs of dysfunction and to develop appropriate treatment and management strategies;- adequate knowledge of human disease to inform their clinical reasoning and to identify where patients may require additional or alternative investigation or treatment from another healthcare professional;- adequate knowledge of psychology and social determinants of health to provide context for their clinical reasoning and patient management;- a critical understanding of the principles of biomechanics sufficient to apply osteopathic techniques safely and effectively;- well-developed palpatory and clinical skills necessary to evaluate the normal and abnormal functioning of different body tissues and systems, and inform their clinical reasoning;- proficiency in physical examination and the interpretation of relevant tests and data, including results from diagnostic imaging;- well-developed clinical reasoning in order to inform and guide the interpretation of clinical and other data, and to justify their clinical decision-making;- proficiency in a broad range of osteopathic treatment techniques;- detailed knowledge of indications and contraindications to osteopathic treatment;- a critical understanding of the mechanisms of action of osteopathic manual interventions and the typical and adverse reactions to treatment;- expertise in the osteopathic diagnosis and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal disorders;- proficiency in health promotion and disease prevention strategies, including advice on posture, exercise and eating habits, to enable their patients to take action to improve their well-being and to adopt healthy lifestyles;- provision of osteopathic care of high quality, guided by sound ethical principles whilst always ensuring patient safety;- well-developed verbal and non-verbal communication skills to establish effective therapeutic relationships with their patients and to effectively communicate with colleagues and other healthcare professionals;- the ability to protect themselves physically and psychologically during interactions with patients to maintain their own health;- critically evaluate their practice of osteopathy through self-reflection, clinic audit, and feedback from patients and colleagues;- read critically the scientific literature and incorporate evidence on their clinical practice;- Develop and implement a plan for continuing professional development to maintain their professional competence profile as osteopaths.

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Osteopathy is a safe treatment option, with very rare occurrences of any major complications. Osteopaths undergo rigorous training and continuous development in subjects such as pathology, neurology and medical screening.

After the first session with an osteopath, a patient may experience mild or moderate soreness, similar to muscle soreness experienced after any rigorous exercise. Some may also experience fatigue or have a headache but these side effects do not last more than a day or two.

Severe adverse reactions are rare and the same as those which can occur after any form of medical treatment, including taking pain killers.

Osteopathic treatment, spinal manipulation specifically, is not recommended for people with fractures, osteoporosis, cancer, blood clotting disorders, acute inflammatory conditions and where there is a risk of damage to spine, joints or nerves. However, osteopaths can help with these issues using other techniques and are trained to assess the risk of using certain treatment methods depending on each case.

Osteopaths hold a bachelor's (BOst) and/or master's (MOst) degree, which is a four- or five-year honours programme. They have to complete a minimum of 1,000 hours of clinical training. They need to have two years professional experience before they can apply for a license in the UAE. You can read more about licensing on our homepage.

STANDARDS

Training Standards

All members must comply with our professional education and training standards. Members must meet the criteria specified by the World Health Organization (WHO). For more details, refer to WHO's "Benchmarks for Training in Osteopathy". Members must obtain training throughout their professional career, in order to keep themselves updated with the most recent practices.

Best Practices

Part of our role is to ensure that osteopaths practising in the UAE provide patients with the best form of care. We ensure osteopaths comply with local regulations and keep up with the standards of care offered at an international level.

We keep registered osteopaths up to date with issues such as practice standards including obtaining consent, record keeping, and professional development and training.