Frequently asked questions

What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy that seeks to identify the primary factors involved in a physical problem and help the body re-establish optimal functioning and improved health. This is accomplished using various manual techniques guided by osteopathic principles that are based on a thorough knowledge of human anatomy and physiology.

What is the difference between an Osteopathic Manual Therapist and an Osteopathic Physician?

An Osteopathic Physcian or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) is a fully licensed physician who has also received special training in the musculskeletal system. In the United States, DOs are able to prescribe medication and practice in all areas of medicine including surgery (1). Osteopathic Manual Therapists have extensive training in traditional manual osteopathic practice, however they are not medical doctors. Treatment is guided by osteopathic tenets and philosophies, and involves only manual techniques. Osteopathic manual practice is not a regulated profession in Manitoba, therefore the use of the title does not communicate a consistent standard of training. As a result, it is important to choose an Osteopathic Manual Therapist who belongs to an association with both transparency and high standards. The MAOMT is a member of the Canadian Federation of Osteopathy (CFO) and all MAOMT members are also affiliate members of the Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners (OAO). (1) (retrieved March 11, 2018).

Is Osteopathy covered by health insurance?

Group health insurance (extended health) benefits, which are provided by private health insurance companies often provide coverage for the services provided by Osteopathic Manual Therapists. All MAOMT members are also affiliate members of the Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practioners (OAO), and thus are widely recognized by most insurance companies. Please contact your benefits administrator for information about your group plan, benefits and limitations with respect to coverage for the services of an Osteopathic Manual Therapist. It is important to be aware that Osteopathy is not a regulated profession in Manitoba or Canada. As a result, there are many different educational institutions and associations with significant variations in the level and degree of training their practioners may have. It is advisable to enquire about a practitioners training and creditials, and check with your insurance provider to determine if that individual's services are covered prior to your initial visit.

What is the educational standard of the MAOMT?

All MAOMT members are required to first become an affiliate member of the Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners (OAO). As a result, the MAOMT membership educational standards are aligned with those standards established by the OAO, which are based on benchmarks established by the World Health Organization (WHO). To view the OAO educational standards, please click HERE. To view the World Health Organization's published benchmarks document, please click HERE.

Is Osteopathy regulated in Manitoba?

The practice of (non-medical) manual osteopathy is not currently recognized as a regulated health profession in Manitoba. Regulated health care professions have a defined scope of practice under profession-specific Acts. There is no law that defines a scope of practice for osteopathy in this province. However, many MAOMT members are regulated health care professionals, such as occupational therapists, athletic therapists and physiotherapists, who have sought additional education and training in order to provide manual (non-medical) osteopathic assessment, care and treatment.

What is the difference between an Osteopathic Manual Therapist and a student of Osteopathy?

An Osteopathic Manual Therapist whom is a member of the MAOMT has graduated from a qualified osteopathy program and has received a diploma to practice Osteopathy. Additionally, they have met all the requirements and standards established by the MAOMT and OAO. A student of Osteopathy is currently attending an educational institution offering osteopathic training and education, and has not yet completed their training. As a result, your insurance company will not provide coverage for their services under osteopathy. Many students however belong to existing professions such as Massage Therapy, Athletic Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy. These individuals are able to practice under their existing scope of practice within their existing profession.

What can I expect during a treatment?

Your Osteopathic Therapist will ask for a detailed health history and complete a whole body assessment to better understand the potential factors contributing to your current experience. The treatment incorporates hands-on techniques to assist the release of tension patterns and increase mobility and adaptation of various structures that make up the interconnected systems of the body. The number of treatments required varies depending on the unique and specific aspects of each individual's situation. As osteopathy appreciates the body's ability to self regulate and heal, the intent is to provide the minimum number of treatments in order to optimize this natural process.

Is MAOMT affilated with any other organization?

To become a member of the MAOMT, a practitioner must first become an affiliate member of the Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners (OAO). For more information about the OAO, please visit The OAO is a partner of the Osteopathic International Alliance (OIA). The mission of the OIA is to encourage systems of education and regulation that will ensure high standards for safe and effective health care from osteopaths and osteopathic physicians. For more information please visit . The MAOMT is also a provincial member of the Canadian Federation of Osteopaths (CFO). The CFO was founded in 2003, and represents osteopathy in Canada and internationally. Its members are established provincial associations. For more information please visit

Why choose Osteopathy?

Osteopathic Manual Therapists are trained to assess and work with all the systems in the body, including the musculo-skeletal, cardiovascular, nervous, digestive, and endocrine systems. In this way osteopathy may compliment other modalities and health care professionals, providing a different and distinct perspective. From newborns to the elderly, osteopathy can help with many aspects of health, such as movement restrictions, postural problems, digestive issues, muscle tension and spasms, acute or chronic pain, and orthopedic and post surgical rehabilitation. The emphasis in osteopathic treatment is to assist the body's inherent ability to autoregulate and maintain a healthy dynamic balance. In this manner, osteopathy may be helpful for many kinds of problems, dysfunctions and diseases.

What is required to become a member of the MAOMT?

Applicants are required to become an Affiliate member of the Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners (OAO) prior to submitting an application to the MAOMT. Once your OAO Affiliate membership has been granted, please submit the following:

  • Completed application form (available upon request)
  • Membership fee and initial application fee
  • Proof of a minimum $5 million of provincial osteopathic professional liability insurance per claim
  • Copy of your diploma (the MAOMT reserves the right to see the original diploma)
Upon receiving all of the above your application will be reviewed. Please allow for up to 60 days for processing. Please remember to keep a copy of your completed application. If you would like to receive an application form or have questions regarding the application process or requirements, please contact us.

Questions to ask when choosing an Osteopathic Manual Therapist?

How many years of full-time osteopathic training does your practitioner have? From which school did they graduate? These are important questions to ask because osteopathy is not a regulated profession in Manitoba, therefore there is no standardization for education and training. Also, it is possible for practitioners who have not completed the full training requirements to use terms such as "osteopathy" and "osteopathic" in their advertising. For example: Graduates of The Canadian College of Osteopathy are required to complete 5 years of full time hands on training plus complete an extensive research thesis. Is the osteopathic manual therapist eligible under your extended health plan? Due to variations in the standards and training of different osteopathic associations and educational institutions, not all osteopathic therapists may be eligible under your specific extended health insurance. Your insurance provider should be able to verify if they cover a specific practitioner's service.