About the Business

The Hereford Osteopathic Centre was established in Hereford in 1975 by the internationally known osteopath Nicholas Handoll. He opened the Ross-on-Wye Clinic of Osteopathy and Complementary Medicine some eight years later.

These practices have become centres of development for osteopaths for over 30 years, particularly in the field of what has become known as Cranial Osteopathy. Many prominent osteopaths developed their careers at the Hereford Osteopathic Centre.

Whatever your health problem we will give you time to talk it through. We will endeavour to identify the cause of the problem, not just alleviate symptoms, and work with your body to help restore health naturally. For more details, follow the link at the top through Osteopathy to What do people come with?

The practice is particularly known for Cranial Osteopathy. People of all ages come to see us, from newborn infants brought in under two weeks of age, to the elderly well into their 90s. For more details concerning infants and children follow the link at the top through Osteopathy to Infants and Children.

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What is Osteopathy?

What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a philosophy of healthcare which was developed by Dr Andrew T. Still, a physician in Middle West of America in the 1870s. It is as old as modern medicine. Dr Still became disillusioned with the medical treatment practised at the time, which was often as hazardous to the patient as the disease itself. It was not Still's intention to found a new profession. He wanted to reform the existing system.

Still realised that the living body is a self-renewing, self-regenerating, self-recuperating, self-maintaining system, maintaining health every moment while we are alive. It is a feature of life, a feature of a living system. Should this health maintaining mechanism (what we might call 'health') become compromised, symptoms or disease could result. Symptoms and disease therefore develop as a result of a breakdown of 'health'.

Consequently, the question arises whether treatment should be directed towards controlling the subsequent disease, or whether we should seek to establish what has impaired or compromised the 'health' in the first place. The fundamental principle underlying osteopathy is that osteopathy is concerned with that which has compromised health, rather than with control of the subsequent disease, or medical condition. Osteopathy is the way we assess health; it is not a treatment for disease, nor a therapy nor a technique.

Osteopathy was brought to England by J Martin Littlejohn, a Scot who met Still in Missouri and was impressed by his ideas. Littlejohn became student at Still's school and subsequently taught there with Still. He returned to England in 1913 and founded the British School of Osteopathy at 16 Buckingham Gate, London, in 1917. The school moved to larger premises in 1975 and is now in Southwark.

Over the years the profession developed a reputation for treating musculo-skeletal disorders. This is not because treatment for back, neck and head pain and joint strains summarises osteopathic care but because these conditions are so common and so many people suffer from them that we are known for treating them. Osteopathy is a very effective treatment, but osteopathic care can achieve more than that. Some people choose to consult their osteopath first, because they prefer the osteopathic approach.

Osteopathy in the UK now is a distinct healthcare profession, recognised in the Osteopaths Act 1993. Its practitioners are highly trained to practise autonomously in a primary contact setting. Patients may consult them directly without being referred by another healthcare professional. Only practitioners registered with the General Osteopathic Council can use the title osteopath.

Location & Hours

70 Belmont Road

Hereford, HR2 7JW
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