The Alberta Association of Osteopathic Manual Therapists (AAOMT) was established as a not-for-profit association in September, 2007. Although Osteopathic Manual Therapy was in its infancy at the time of incorporation, it was important to establish an organization that would set the standards of care, education, and safety in Alberta. In addition, the AAOMT would oversee the advancement of the profession of Osteopathic Manual Therapy in our province, unify its members, and educate the public. The AAOMT is a recognized member of the Canadian Federation of Osteopaths (CFO) and the Osteopathic International Alliance (OIA).
The AAOMT prioritizes the safety of the public first and foremost, with the recognition and protection of Osteopathy as a safe and effective treatment practice. The World Health Organization (WHO) has outlined the benchmarks for training in Osteopathy, and defines type I and type II education. The difficulties that lie in the WHO Benchmarks for Osteopathic Training is that the transference of osteopathic education for Type II programming was not defined and suggests the program length can be adapted based on the prior health care training; thus, opening the doors for vast interpretation of the criteria. Because Osteopathy is not a regulated profession in Canada, osteopathic training can vary significantly in length and who the training is provided by. The information available can be misleading to the public and those seeking a quick diploma to practice Osteopathy. The AAOMT has chosen to clearly define the membership requirements with the WHO benchmarks as a foundation, and setting our standards above this foundation.
As our membership continues to increase with qualified Osteopathic Manual Therapists from Canada and around the world, we remain committed to quality of care and therapists over quantity of members. We will continue to advocate for education standards in Canada and Alberta that meet our expectations, that information provided to the public for services or education is transparent- not misleading or misguided, or marketed for the sole purpose of financial gain. It is our mission to honour our founder and father of Osteopathy, Dr. A.T Still, who not only spent years studying the human body to bring new health, vitality and life to the suffering, but who embodied the true nature of love, working with an open heart, leaving no room for ego, to help those in need.
What is osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a natural therapy aimed to restore the natural pathways and function of the body by treating the root causes of the discomfort. Osteopathic manual treatments are complementary to conventional medical treatment and are not an alternative medical treatment. Osteopathic manual practitioners will often rely on conventional medical diagnostic tools (eg. X-rays, MRIs, etc.) to determine the appropriate osteopathic treatment.
How does Osteopathy help assist the body to heal?
The osteopathic manual practitioner will rely on their palpation to work with the mobility, position and quality of the tissues causing the discomfort. This manual manipulation of the tissues will allow for the body to restore and enhances the body’s natural ability to self-regulate and heal.
Is Osteopathy Regulated in Canada?
Osteopathy is currently not regulated in Canada.
Education of Osteopathic Manual Therapists
In Canada, osteopathic manual therapists undertake a minimum of 4 years after having already completed a degree in a health related area.
Biological health sciences (anatomy, histology, physiology, kinesiology, pathology, neurology etc) Assessment (symptomatolgy, dermatology orthopedics and manual skill) Comprehensive clinical training (1500 supervised clinical hours)
Regulation and Third Party Payment
Osteopathic manual therapy in Canada is undergoing a growth phase at present with a push for federal wide regulation. Nearly all provinces have an association that is a member of the Canadian Federation of Osteopathy. Only fully qualified osteopathic manual therapists can become members of these provincial bodies. They provide training, support and best practice guidelines for all member therapists.
The cost of osteopathic manual therapy may be covered by private health insurance plans but some patients must pay the full cost of treatment. Osteopathic manual therapy is not covered by Alberta Health.