Osteopathy: Was VOD negligent?

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Osteopathy: Was VOD negligent?

In a press release, the "Association of German Alternative Practitioners' Associations and Alternative Practitioners e.V." (IDH) described the statement by the "Association of Osteopaths Germany e.V." (VOD) after studying high school as osteopathy as negligent. The background to this is that the VOD initiated the first undergraduate bachelor's degree course for osteopathy in Germany for the coming winter semester with the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences in Idstein near Wiesbaden.

The headline of the VOD press release indicated that the four-year course allowed studying osteopathy after graduation. The IDH is bothered by this and now describes the VOD's declaration on the same press portal as a "negligent professional recommendation". Accordingly, the IDH advises that young people who were attracted to the "alternative practitioner practice with osteopathy" should first take up another state profession, because otherwise they would "get involved in an uncertain future". The chairman of the IDH, the Düsseldorf naturopath Bernd R. Schmidt, describes the heading of the VOD press release as a recommendation, which he vehemently rejects.

The publication of the first undergraduate course in osteopathy in other specialist circles provokes massive reactions again. Recently, the Federal Association of Independent Physiotherapists IfK e.V. had publicly stated that an independent profession "osteopath" was not necessary in Germany.

So far it can only be speculated about the background of the reactions. Physiotherapists and non-medical practitioners are certainly the two occupational groups in Germany through which osteopathy is practiced the most. The upcoming eight-semester full-time course at the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences in Idstein is preparing the participants for the external alternative practitioner examination - but an independent profession "osteopath" could represent competition and may also lead to a loss of members.
The chairperson of the VOD, Marina Ch. Fuhrmann, sees the academization of osteopathy as an independent discipline as positive because it would promote the recognition of osteopathy. In contrast to the IDH, the VOD sees osteopathy as an emerging branch with "very good job prospects".

In general, especially in the area of ​​chronic musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain or neck tension, osteopathy in Germany is considered a widespread method with increasing popularity. The Scientific Advisory Board of the German Medical Association (BÄK) had already published a "Scientific Assessment of Osteopathic Procedures" in autumn 2009. Accordingly, the use of osteopathy on the musculoskeletal system (parietal osteopathy) is in good shape in Germany. There is an abundance of studies and overlaps with other manual procedures. The lack of study evidence for the visceral (treatment of the organs) and especially for the craniosacral area was criticized. The coming years with the first graduates of the course must show whether the allegation of negligence that the IDH has raised here can be maintained. (tf)

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