Answers to our most commonly asked questions

Osteopaths treat musculoskeletal conditions. We are trained to recognise the important link between the structures of the body and the way it works.

What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopaths focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit.

Using skilled evaluation, diagnosis and a wide range of hands-on techniques, osteopaths can identify dysfunction in your body. Osteopathic treatment uses techniques such as stretching and massage for general treatment of the soft tissues (muscles, tendon and ligaments) along with mobilisation of specific joints and soft tissues.

Osteopathy was first founded in the United States of America by a former physician named Andrew Taylor Still in 1874.

Osteopathy has been practiced in Australia for over 100 years now, and there are over 2000 osteopaths who are members of Osteopathy Australia (OA).

Is Osteopathic treatment suitable for my condition?

Osteopaths are proficiently educated with the skills necessary to identify whether treatment is suitable for you or whether referral to another health professional is required.

How qualified is an Osteopath?

In Australia, osteopaths are government registered practitioners (with AHPRA: Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) who complete a minimum of five years university training in anatomy, physiology, pathology, general medical diagnosis and osteopathic techniques.

In order to satisfy annual registration requirements, osteopaths must also accrue Continued Professional Development (CPD) points, which often entails attendance at seminars, peer discussion groups and maintaining a Level 2 First Aid and CPR certificate.

Can an osteopath use the title of ‘Dr’?

Under the National Law, an appropriately qualified practitioner can use the title ‘Dr’. However, the practitioner must make clear to the public what is their area of expertise and qualification.

‘Dr’ is a courtesy title and its appropriate use is explained in the guidelines adopted by all National Boards on the Advertising of regulated Health Services published at www.osteopathyboard.gov.au

These guidelines require practitioners (who are not registered medical practitioners) who choose to adopt the title ‘Dr’ in their advertising,whether or not they hold a Doctorate degree or PhD, to make it clear that they do not hold registration as a medical practitioner. In advertising they should include a reference to their health profession whenever the title is used, eg Dr Chris Reeves (Osteopath).

Do I need a referral to see an Osteopath?

Many patients are referred to osteopaths by their doctors, other health practitioners or personal trainers. However, as osteopaths are primary care practitioners, you can make an appointment directly without a referral.

What should I expect on my first visit?

When initially arriving at the clinic you will be asked to complete a simple personal information form including some questions regarding your medical history. In the consultation that follows, a full case history will be taken by your osteopath. They will ask questions about your problem and symptoms. Next, your osteopath will conduct a full osteopathic examination and if necessary, clinical tests. This may involve diagnostic, orthopaedic or neurological tests, postural assessments and activities or exercises, which will help determine how best to manage your condition.

The examination may include passive and active movements, such as the osteopath lifting your arms and legs. As part of the examination, you may be asked to bend over or stand in your underwear. (Please note we do offer gowns to wear, and towels are used appropriately to ensure modesty and comfort. Of course, it’s important that you feel comfortable, so you may want to wear loose pants or bring a pair of shorts to change into).

Your osteopath will then explain to you your provisional diagnosis in easy to understand terms, provide treatment specific to the complaint and give you further education and advice to help you manage your condition between treatments.

How long will my treatment take?

Your initial treatment may take between 30-45 minutes, and follow up visits 30 minutes. Generally you would expect to see some changes in your symptoms after one or two visits; however, some chronic or long term conditions may require a longer course or more frequent treatment. If you have any concerns, your osteopath will be happy to discuss these with you.

What's the difference between an Osteo, Physio and Chiro?

A very common question, and one best answered with the following points.

  • Osteopaths study for 5 years, chiropractors for 5 years and physiotherapists for 4 years. Currently, Australian osteopaths complete a three year Bachelor of Science and a two year Masters in Health Science.
  • We are all recognised under AHPRA (Allied Health Practitioners Regulation Agency) as separate Allied Health Professions.
  • Osteopaths work primarily in private practice, as do chiropractors, however, physiotherapists may work in both private practice and the hospital setting.
  • In regard to assessment and treatment, osteopaths work predominantly with their hands, using finely acquired skill to palpate tissues in the body that feel dysfunctional (ie strained, congested and/or inflamed). There is less emphasis on equipment such as ultrasound and interferential, or tables that may drop to assist in certain techniques.
  • Osteopaths are trained to perform manipulative techniques on the joints of the body, where joint pressure is released and range of motion improved. This form if technique is non-compulsory, however, and relevant safety tests and consent is attained before applying these techniques.
  • An osteopath will typically conduct a consultation that takes approximately 30 minutes, with that entire time being devoted to you and your condition. Hence, you won’t be in and out the door in five minutes, and the practitioner won’t leave you unattended for any length of time.
  • Our clinic operates to an appointment schedule, and we make every effort to ensure your appointment time is met punctually.
Osteopathy for Children/Position Statement on Paediatric Care

The following is an excerpt taken from the Osteopathy Board of Australia’s website and it pertains to its position statement on paediatric care. (Updated 27th March 2017).

“The Code of conduct for osteopaths states that ‘Good practice’ involves:

  • a) Recognising and working within the limits of a practitioner’s competence and scope of practice, which may change over time.
  • b) Ensuring that practitioners maintain adequate knowledge and skills to provide safe and effective care.
  • c) When moving into a new area of practice, ensuring that a practitioner has undertaken sufficient training and/or qualifications to achieve competency in that area.

 The Board considers a registered osteopath’s ‘scope of practice’ as: ‘the professional role and services that an individual health practitioner is educated and competent to perform’. This means that registered osteopaths can work in areas of practice in which they have education, training, experience and competence. If registered osteopaths wish to change or develop their scope of practice, they must undertake further education and training to ensure they have the necessary competence.

The Board does not recommend individual post-graduate or continuing education courses to osteopaths, it is up to each practitioner to assess where they need to update their education and learning and complete this prior to changing or extending their scope of practice. The Board expects that any post-graduate or continuing education courses will be evidence-informed and that osteopaths maintain their knowledge through continuing professional development.

Osteopaths should not claim to or provide care for babies and children unless they have the appropriate education, training and competence to do so. When practitioners do not have the clinical skills and knowledge to appropriately assess and manage a particular paediatric patient, the Board expects them to refer the patient to another healthcare practitioner who has the appropriate skills, or to co-manage the patient with them. This should happen immediately when there are serious conditions that require urgent referral.

Osteopaths with appropriate training and experience to practice in the area of paediatrics cannot use the term ‘specialist’ in relation to their practice or give the impression or advertise that they specialise or are a specialist in paediatrics and treating neonates, infants and young children.”


As the director of Parkdale Osteopathic Clinic, I would like to make it very clear that ALL Osteopaths working within the clinic do their very best to provide and promote ‘Good Practice’ (as above) and to adhere to the following principles:

  • They are all government registered osteopaths regulated by AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency).
  • They are all members of Osteopathy Australia – the chief body aiming to support, enhance and promote the profession.
  • They are all compliant with our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements, and strive to remain updated with current evidence and to pursue areas of special interest. (Note: we don’t proclaim to be ‘specialists’ in any given area.)
  • If they take a special interest in paediatric care, they will remain aware of their scope of practice, and should they lack the clinical skills and knowledge to appropriately assess and manage a particular paediatric patient, they will refer the patient to another healthcare practitioner who has the appropriate skills, or to co-manage the patient with them.

As a patient (or parent/guardian of a patient), should you have any concerns about your level of care or your experience at Parkdale Osteopathic Clinic, please do not hesitate to address this with your osteopath, or with myself (chris@parkdaleosteo.com.au).



Dr Chris Reeves (Osteopath)

Director – Parkdale Osteopathic Clinic

Private Health Insurance and payment options?

Osteopathy is covered under most private health insurance funds under their extras or ancillary services cover. We recommend contacting your private health insurer directly to ascertain the specific terms and conditions of your policy.

Parkdale Osteopathic Clinic hosts a HICAPS terminal where, if eligible, your private health insurance card can be swiped and automatically rebated, leaving a gap amount to be paid.

We accept cash, EFTPOS, AMEX, VISA and MASTERCARD.

Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) payment policy

If you have an EPC/CDM referral from your GP, please read the following payment policy:

  • Patients using an EPC/CDM plan will be required to make full payment for treatment (Credit card, savings, cheque account or cash).
  • For the Initial consultation you will be charged the ‘Initial Concession’ rate (currently $107), and for subsequent visits you will be charged the ‘Standard Concession’ rate (currently $95).
  • Your Medicare card will then be required, and our EFTPOS terminal or Medipass payment system will automatically credit your Medicare linked account with the rebatable amount as set out by Medicare (currently $58.30).
  • In effect, if you attended an Initial EPC/CDM appointment, your out-of-pocket cost would be $48.70 ($107-$58.30) and for a Standard EPC/CDM appointment your out-of-pocket cost would be $36.70 ($95 – $58.30).
  • This fee structure is only applicable for EPC/CDM appointments (ie the number of visits is determined by your GP, and can be from 1-5 visits) and cannot be used in conjunction with Private Health Insurance (PHI) rebates.
  • This information is correct as of 8th January 2024.
Consultation Fees

Osteopathic Treatment Fees

Initial Consultation (up to 45 minutes)
$117.00 – Initial Consultation
$107.00 – Initial Consultation (Senior / Concession)
$107.00 – Initial Consultation (Child aged 4 – 12 years old)
$117.00 – Initial Consultation PAEDS (Under 4 years old)

Return Consultation (30 minutes)
$100.00 – Return Consultation
$95.00 – Return Consultation (Senior / Concession)
$95.00 – Return Consultation (Child aged 4- 12 years old)
$100.00 – Return Consultation PAEDS (Under 4 years old)

Parkdale Osteopathic Clinic welcomes Department of Veterans Affairs (osteopathic treatments only), WorkSafe and TAC patients.
*Please Note: WorkSafe and TAC patients will be required to provide evidence that liability has been accepted by either their employer, insurer or TAC before treatment commences.

Massage Fees

$98.00 – 60 minutes
$93.00 – 60 minutes (Seniors / Concession)
$68.00 – 30 minutes
$63.00 – 30 minutes (Seniors / Concession)

Cancellation Policy and Fee

If you are unable to attend your appointment for whatever reason, please provide us with at least 24 hours notice via phone, email or your appointment reminder email.  This allows us to offer your appointment to other patients on our wait-list and reschedule you to a more convenient time.

In the event that we receive no notification of your cancellation, be it a no show or failing to provide us with 24 hours notice, and this occurs on more than two occasions, you will be charged a cancellation fee of $50.00 for the missed appointment.

Parkdale Osteo sends appointment reminders via text message and email at the time of your appointment booking and the day prior to your appointment.

Payment can be made via HICAPS, EFTPOS or cash.

This information is correct as of the 8th January, 2024.

Parkdale Osteopathic Clinic
Parkdale Osteopathic Clinic
Parkdale Osteopathic Clinic

OA osteopaths must be government registered, meet high professional standards and complete annual continuing professional education to practice.