Trusting an osteopath with your health is an important decision which needs careful thought. If you are contemplating using an osteopath, you need to be certain that you can completely trust their every move. To ensure your peace of mind, here are five critical questions you should ask any osteopath before you commit to a treatment. Any reputable osteopath should be able to answer these without problem or hesitation.
By staying informed, you’ll ensure you are choosing an osteopathic practitioner who suits your needs and style.
Q1. Are you able to communicate in clear English?
Trust is usually earned through clear and constant communication. It is essential that you completely trust your osteopath. Likewise, your osteopath will need to be able to openly discuss every aspect of your treatment and take the time to clarify any points that need further explanation. Be aware that it’s common (and correct) for osteopaths to use medical terminology, however your practitioner should always translate this terminology to ensure you understand every word. If you find yourself leaving a consultation feeling bewildered or uninformed, then you are not maximizing the value of your consultation.
Q2. Will you focus on me for my entire treatment?
Some practitioners will choose to schedule multiple patients at the same time. In this approach, multiple patients will be directed to separate rooms – and the practitioner will swap between the patients every few minutes. This may not necessarily be bad, however it’s something you need to be aware of. Would you be unhappy if your health practitioner was frequently leaving the room to attend to another patient? Would you prefer that your chosen practitioner focused on only you for the entire appointment? It’s your decision. Ask what your practitioner’s policy is.
Q3. Why are you offering me a free treatment?
Everyone loves free samples. However, is there really such a thing? Aren’t there always invisible strings attached? Some practitioners will proudly offer their first treatment for free – or at a heavy discount. This can be tempting. After all, this arrangement can be beneficial as it gives you the opportunity to view the physio clinic and ask questions. Just be mindful, that some osteopaths tend to recommend longer treatment plans than others. Some physio clinics that promote free treatments may try and recover these costs by scheduling more treatments. This may not always be the true, but it’s something which you should keep your eye on.
Q4. Will I be encouraged into a treatment plan?
Don’t fall into this trap. Some osteopaths will do their best to sign you up to a treatment plan before they even start treating you. This logic is puzzling. Sure, the treatment plan may entice you with a discount incentive, but how can the practitioner determine the number of treatments you need when they haven’t even assessed you yet? They can’t. Some conditions may require three treatments, others six – but it’s impossible to estimate until you undergo a full assessment. If you find yourself being asked to sign up to a treatment plan without being assessed – think twice. Does the practitioner have your best interests at heart – or their own bank account?
Q5. Are you a member of an industry body or association?
Apart from double checking if your practitioner is qualified, it’s also a good idea to investigate if they are a member of related industry body or association. All osteopaths have the option of voluntarily joining associations that aim to educate, improve, and promote best treatment practices. To join these associations, practitioners must adhere to a code of conduct and continual education programs. This is reassuring. If your osteopath is a member of these official associations, it gives you further peace of mind that they are dedicated and committed to providing a high level of health care.