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Osteopathy Australia 15
We are currently treating patients in the BSO
Clinic and two NHS General Practices in London;
another clinic at the European School of
Osteopathy is planned for 2015. More than 100
patients have been and we hope to reach our
target of 300 by April 2016. Patient outcomes
and the fidelity of OsteoMAP training courses
are being evaluated by the National Council for
Osteopathic Research (NCOR). Questionnaire
data on quality of life, mindfulness, pain
disability and activity avoidance are collected
from patients before and six months after
treatment, and will be analysed in 2016.
Patient experiences are also being explored
using semi-structured interviews. Initial
observations suggest that some patients report
transformational changes in their quality of life
and relationship to pain, while others struggle to
engage with practising mindfulness regularly or
considering possibilities for change.
In addition to the theories and techniques,
personal mindfulness skills are an integral part
of working with the OsteoMAP approach.
They enable osteopaths to notice and work
effectively to help patients become more aware
of their own bodies, their habitual responses
to discomfort and possibilities for change.
Being mindful enables osteopaths to move
freely between familiar ‘find and fix the cause’
treatment approaches and newer ‘help change
the function of pain’ management approaches.
OsteoMAP includes structured ways of using
mindfulness exercises, such as the body scan,
and mindful movements as part of active and
passive assessment routines to help patients
develop awareness and flexibility.
More than 50 osteopaths and 50 students
have participated in OsteoMAP training so
far. Recurring themes from feedback include
the challenges of managing uncertainty and
maintaining a collaborative therapeutic stance.
Osteopaths completing training said they felt
“exhilarated, astounded and inspired by the
changes seen in the way patients reframe
their lives” and that “it has given me tools
for approaching chronic pain patients with
an alternative, hands-on approach that helps
them to live better with pain”. The courses
continue to evolve and have attracted interest
from patients, osteopaths and healthcare
professionals in the UK, with preliminary
findings being presented at osteopathic and
psychological conferences in London, Ireland,
France, Belgium, Italy and Brazil. We believe that
OsteoMAP has the potential to extend the scope
of osteopathic practice and we are exploring
opportunities to develop further collaborative
research studies. We look forward to sharing our
experiences at the Annual Osteopathy Australia
Conference later this year in South Australia.
1 Tyreman S (2010). Musings on
functional disorders. Philosophy,
Psychiatry and Psychology 17(4),
2 Pincus T, Burton AK, Vogel S and
Field A (2002). A systematic review of
psychological factors as predictors of
chronicity in prospective cohorts of
low back pain. Spine 27: E109-120.
3 Kabat-Zinn J (1990). Full catastrophe
living: how to cope with pain
stress and illness using mindfulness
meditation. Piatkus Books.
5 McCracken, L. M ., & Vowles, K. E.
(2014). Acceptance and Commitment
Therapy and Mindfulness for Chronic
Pain: Model, Process, and Progress.
American Psychologist, 69(2), 178-187.
6 Dahl J (2005). Acceptance and
Commitment Therapy for chronic
pain. Context Press.
7 McCracken LM and Velleman SC
(2010). Psychological flexibility in
adults with chronic pain: a study into
acceptance, mindfulness and values-
based action. Pain 148, 141-147.
We are happy to announce that
Hilary Abbey and Lorraine Nanke will
present their OsteoMAP project at
the upcoming Osteopathy Australia
National Conference. Nanke is a clinical
health psychologist who not only
lectures on Mindfulness and Acceptance
Commitment Therapy at the British
School of Osteopathy (BSO), but also
uses it in her clinical work. Hilary is an
experienced osteopath, counsellor
and senior BSO clinic tutor whose
key interest is working with patients
with long-term pain. This year the
conference will be held in Glenelg on
The conference program forms a blend
of Australian and international speakers
providing up to 26 hours of CPD. Each
year we spend four very intensive
days communicating with each other,
learning and developing new skills
and techniques, expanding clinical and
business expertise. Look out for further
announcements about conference
speakers on the Osteopathy Australia
website, Facebook and Twitter page.
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This year the conference will be held in Glenelg on 23-26 October.
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