Osteopathy training for physiotherapists, physicians and alternative practitioners

Osteopathy training

Osteopathy belongs to alternative medicine and stands for the treatment concepts and disease concepts in this field. Treatment is manual, that is, with the hands of the osteopath.

Training as an osteopath

Osteopathy training in Germany is still mainly carried out at private schools. In-service training is offered at most schools. Physiotherapists, physicians and alternative practitioners are the target group for in-service training. Since osteopathy is still considered a medical science in Germany, only non-medical practitioners and physicians are allowed to practice it.

Osteopathic training is also offered in a five-year, full-time program for those outside the profession, most of whom are high school graduates. At the same time as the training, they are prepared for the title of non-medical practitioner, without which they could not and would not be allowed to carry out osteopathic treatment. The full-time training covers over 5.000 teaching units for learning osteopathy. In order to be allowed to work legally, all graduates of the full-time training have also passed the examination to become a Heilpraktiker (non-medical practitioner).

Fresenius University of Applied Sciences has been offering the first bachelor’s degree program in Germany since 2011. 2013 a second location in Munich is added. The in-service training takes place in weekend seminars and lasts at least four years. A teaching volume of 1.350 hours must be completed.

Divided into theory and practice, the training includes important basic medical subjects such as anatomy and physiology. Furthermore, the trainee learns the different techniques for the application of osteopathy. During the four-year training, students learn about the many areas of osteopathy as an effective form of medicine and train their hands to become sensitive tools for performing this healing art.

Osteopathy training – definition and reimbursement

Osteopathy is defined in that the performing physician or alternative practitioner performs a finding or therapeutic measure with his bare hands. The term osteopathy is sometimes used as a synonym for manual therapy, chiropractic or chirotherapy.

Since 2012, some statutory health insurance companies cover a proportion of the treatment costs for compulsorily insured patients, provided he brings a medical certificate and the practitioner has the professional qualification for this treatment. Most private health insurers have been reimbursing the costs of osteopathic treatment for some time now.

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