FAQ | The International Academy of Osteopathy IAO

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Do you have questions about the training or osteopathy in general? Maybe you can find an answer here. If you are still struggling with a question afterwards, feel free to contact us.

Bucks and the IAO join forces (Denmark)

  1. Who delivers this Master of Science in Osteopathy in the 4-year modular course?

    Buckinghamshire New University, London, UK, in short: Bucks (https://bucks.ac.uk/home). The IAO is cooperating with Bucks since October 2014 for our fulltime training in Ghent, Belgium. Now, Bucks also recognizes our modular training in Copenhagen (Denmark), Brunnen (Switzerland), Ghent (Belgium), Antwerp (Belgium) and the Netherlands (Zeist). Bucks also accredits our postgraduate trainings “Paediatric Osteopathy” in Antwerp (BE), Vienna (AT) and Brunnen (CH) and "Osteopathy and Sports" in Gent (BE) and Copenhagen (DK).

    Bucks found in us the perfect partner to offer their master course in Europe. They did a thorough check of the quality of our trainings, locations and lecturers and concluded that we were the right choice.

  2. Wasn’t it already possible to obtain a Master in osteopathy? A Master, accredited by the University of Applied Sciences Tyrol in Innsbruck, Austria. Why then also this Master?

    We continue to offer the fhg master as well. Both masters have the same legal recognition in more than 45 European countries, because both of them are in complete agreement with the Bologna declaration.

    The difference between these two master degrees lies in the following criteria:

    The course programme:

    • Innsbruck: The focus is more on the academic aspect (statistics, methodology, …)
    • Bucks: The focus is more on osteopathy, without losing track of the academic side.

    The duration of the programme:

    • Innsbruck: 2 years that are partly part of the IAO-curriculum. You can obtain this master at the earliest in 6 years.
    • Bucks: 2 years that are completely part the IAO-curriculum.  You can obtain this master at the earliest in 4 years.

    Practising the profession:

    • Innsbruck: In certain countries, it is not simple to be able to practise osteopathy with this master.
    • Bucks: With this master, it is not a problem to practise osteopathy in the UK! This Master is the only truly recognised Master of science in Osteopathy in the UK.

    The cost of the course: Needless to say that a course of 4 years costs less than a course of 6 years.

  3. Is this new Master via Bucks worth less than the one via Innsbruck? Because you can obtain the Bucks Master in 4 years which is 2 years less than the Master via Innsbruck.

    Definitely not. Both the Master via Bucks as the one via Innsbruck are completely conform the Bologna declaration. Or, to put it differently, both master degrees are legally recognized in no less than 45 European countries. Regarding osteopathy, the Bucks Master offers more possibilities. You can start working as an osteopath in the UK without a problem. 

  4. What does the course programme in Copenhagen (Denmark) look like?

    • Modular training: The course lasts 4 years. The first two years you will follow 7 modules per year and the last two years you will follow 8 modules per year. If you successfully complete the 4 years, you will obtain your DO-diploma and the Master of Science in Osteopathy via Bucks. For more information, click here.
    • 2-year post-graduate education "Osteopathy & Sports"
  5. In which of our training centers do we offer this master?

    There are different ways to obtain the Master via Bucks in different countries:

  6. Do I have to write a master dissertation?

    Yes, to be able to obtain the Master of Science in Osteopathy, you have to write a master dissertation, regardless of whether you follow the Bucks or the Innsbruck Master.

  7. What if the course programme takes up too much of my time? Am I obliged to finish the course in 4 years?

    No, we find it important that you can do your studies at your own pace. It is possible to spread the course over 5 or 6 years, if you would like to.

  8. After obtaining this Master degree, can I still continue for my PhD?

    Sure! You can submit your project at Bucks.


  1. With what type of complaints do patients come to an osteopath?

    Patients usually visit an osteopath for musculoskeletal disorders i.e. joint, muscle, tendon or ligament pains. Osteopathy, however, deals with a variety of problems ranging form headaches, breathing difficulties, digestive disorders, to gynaecological complaints. As one can see, the scope for osteopathic treatment is far greater than just the musculoskeletal system.

    An osteopath examines and treats the following complaints:

    Infants suffering from:

    • Reflux problems
    • Sleep troubles
    • Fits of crying
    • Strabismus
    • Skull deformations
    • Apathy
    • Restlessness
    • Swallowing problems
    • Nutritional intolerance

    Children suffering from:

    • Behavioural troubles
    • Dyslexia
    • Hyperkinesis
    • Headaches
    • Balance troubles
    • Respiratory troubles (sinusitis, post-nasal drip, asthma)
    • Asymmetrical crawling
    • Strabismus
    • Lazy eye
    • Slow language development
    • Dental problems
    • Motoric delay
    • Sleep troubles
    • KISS syndrome
    • Belly aches
    • MBD (Minimal Brain Damage)

    Adults suffering from :

    • Complaints of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, pelvis, hip, knee, foot
    • Back and neck pain; acute and chronic
    • Rheumatic pains
    • Scoliosis
    • Radiating pains
    • Mobility limitations
    • Injuries due to sports, tendonitis or whiplash
    • Different forms of headaches
    • Sinusitis
    • Cramps
    • Stress incontinence
    • Respiratory troubles due to asthma or CARA
    • Stomach aches, nausea, reflux, hot flushes
    • Chronic fatigue
    • Post-operative pains
    • Heart palpitations
    • Ringing in the ears
    • Swallowing problems
    • Jaw problems
    • Fatigue
    • Stress
    • Menstrual pains
    • Post-natal pains
    • Facial pains
    • Sleeping legs, pins and needles in the legs
    • Intestinal pains
    • Prevention of…

    Sportsmen; both professional and amateur :

    • Sport lesions; acute and chronic
    • Prevention of sport lesions
    • Post-traumatic lesions
    • Optimise training schemes
    • Nutritional advise
    • Prevention and resistance training
  2. What is the difference between osteopathy, chiropractic, physiotherapy and manual therapy?

    You can find all information here.

    You can also watch this short movie, in which Luc Peeters, one of our principals, clearly explains the difference between osteopathy and physiotherapy.

  3. How much does an osteopathic treatment cost?

    Prices vary from country to country and from osteopath to osteopath but, normally, you'll have to pay between 50 to 75 euro per treatment. A treatment lasts 30 to 45 min depending again on the osteopath and the case being treated. In some countries medical aid for osteopathic treatment is available. Ask your osteopath for more details.

  4. One often hears about strange causes for complaints and about spectacularosteopathic healing miracles. Does this really happen?

    The cause of anecdotal stories about miracle cures often lie in the patients understanding of his complaint and the treatment given. Osteopaths we are sad to say, are not miracle workers. The IAO can not teach you to be one. What we can teach you is an evidence based practice approach to osteopathy. This means that we teach you tests and techniques that will enable you to conduct a structured clinical examination, followed by an effective treatment. We make sure that our students are equipped with a sound scientific base, and the communicative skills to answer their patients questions. By doing this we aim to avoid claims of miracle cures and faith healing.

  5. How does an osteopath go to work ?

    Case history

    Osteopaths begin by taking a lengthy case history in order to build up a picture of the patient’s overall health.

    Clinical diagnosis

    After a detailed picture of a patient’s health has been built up, the osteopath moves to make a clinical diagnoses. Osteopathic diagnoses is based on thorough palpation, neurological examination, and batteries of mobility and safety tests. If the case warrants blood analysis, X-rays or lab test these are asked for. Only after this examination can an osteopath decide whether a patient is eligible for osteopathic treatment or whether he needs to be referred to a general practitioner.

    Treatment strategy

    An osteopathic treatment strategy is drawn up tailored for the individual with patient input. During treatment osteopaths only use gentle manual techniques. An osteopath never uses invasive techniques , nor does he prescribe classical medication.

    The objective

    Our goal is to improve the balance and restore the harmony between the structural and functional elements of a patient’s body. Osteopaths do not treat complaints symptomatically, we treat the entire person and create the conditions so that the body can heal and correct itself. After being treated a patient’s general practitioner can be informed, and a progress report can be made according to the wishes of the patient.

  6. How can I find a recognized osteopath in my area?

    All the osteopaths that have obtained their DO degree at a reputable school become members of a national register. In Denmark this is the Danske Osteopater - DO. Phone or surf to this register to receive a full and comprehensive list of osteopaths in your neighbourhood.

    For information about osteopaths in Egypt, please consult: http://osteoegypt.org/


  1. How is osteopathy taught at the IAO?

    At the IAO we have an evidence-based-practice approach for teaching osteopathy. All our schools follow a tried and tested curriculum. Our programme contains more than 2000 pages of techniques based on scientific knowledge and medical subjects. Using this as a base we can train you to become an independent, competent and safe osteopath. You receive access to an extensive e-learnig platform, on which you will find e-books, virtual classes and online exams. Furthermore, all our students also receive free study books.

    Go to our video section to view several short movies in which Luc Peeters, one of our principals, explains many different things about the osteopathy course at the IAO.

  2. If I am studying or have studied at other osteopathic schools can I switch to the IAO without having to begin from the first year?

    Yes, that's possible. Send us all details about the courses and exams you've taken in the past and we will determine your individual program.

  3. How much time do I have to enrol?

    No specific application date is set. We want to warn you, however, that the number of places on our courses is limited. Once this number is reached, no further applications will be considered. In our experience courses are usually fully subscribed about one month before the lessons start.

  4. Is the IAO the biggest school for osteopathy in Europe?

    More than 2500 students from up to 17 different nations are currently studying osteopathy at the IAO. A hundred of these students are medical doctors, whilst most of the rest are physiotherapists. For the last two decades the IAO has built up a reputation throughout Europe as an institution committed to furthering the teaching, knowledge and understanding of osteopathy.

  5. In which language do the courses take place?

    Courses in Denmark and Egypt are taught in English. All course materials are provided in English.

  6. What type of manipulation techniques are taught at the IAO?

    At the IAO, students are taught long and short lever manipulation techniques. Manipulations are shown and practised in a controlled environment with emphasis given to patient safety.

    In this short movie, Luc Peeters, one of our principals, explains what a manipulation precisely is.

  7. When can I use what I learned in class in my practice?

    All our seminars are theme based, this means that you will learn the osteopathic techniques for a specific body region during one course and that you can immediately apply these techniques in your own practice.

  8. Am I a recognised osteopath when I graduate from the IAO?

    Yes. With a D.O. diploma from the IAO you will be able to become a member of the Danske Osteopater - DO and other professional organizations.

  9. Do I have to make many notes during class?

    You decide when and how many notes you take. Normally, everything discussed in class can be found in the study books, e-books and digital courses.

  10. After I have graduated will I still be kept up to date of new osteopathic developments?

    Every year the IAO organizes Post Academic Modules where eminent osteopaths and scientists are invited to present new and relevant researches in our field. On top of that, we organize a scientific conference about osteopathy every year. We also offer our alumnae information about other international congresses and forums. 

    As an IAO graduate you will be able to become a member of The American Academy of Osteopathy, (AAO) which unites graduates from 20 different osteopathic universities in the United States.

    And there is even more! Around 2500 students are currently studying at our school and this number increases every year. This means that we are always in need of motivated assistants and teachers. You have the possibility to start a career in teaching at the IAO in your own country or abroad. It is no surprise that we prefer talented osteopaths that were trained at our school. If you are interested, you may send an e-mail to anais.lason@osteopathy.eu.

  11. What is meant with the Bolognadeclaration?

    You can find all information about the Bolgonadeclaration here.

  12. What is ISO 9001 exactly?

    You can find all information about our ISO label here