Frequently Asked Questions
What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy (founded in 1874 by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still in USA) is an established internationally recognized manual medicine system of analysis and treatment, which lays its main emphasis on the structural and functional integrity of the musculoskeletal system.
Manual osteopaths use a variety of hands-on physical treatments. These include soft tissue techniques, osteo-articular joint mobilization, spinal manipulation, muscle energy techniques, myofascial release technique, trigger point therapy, etc. These techniques are normally employed together with exercise, dietary, and occupational advice in an attempt to help patients recover from pain, disease and injury.
European style Osteopaths do not prescribe medications or perform surgery, while American style osteopaths perform surgery and prescribe medications as well as using osteopathic techniques in managing a patient’s condition.
National Academy of Osteopathy (NAO) teaches European style osteopathy; also known as pure osteopathy; manual osteopathy, traditional osteopathy or osteopathic manual practice.
What is the Minimum Academic Admission Requirement?
Any student with a grade 12 high school diploma or its equivalent may apply for admission to the osteopathic manual practice program offered by National Academy of Osteopathy. The diploma in osteopathic manual practice program is 8 months full time or 20 months part time in length for high school graduates or any other student without prior health education. The program length for students with prior health education is 4 months full time or 9 months part time.
How Long is the DO(MP) Program?
The Diploma in Osteopathic Manual Practice offered by National Academy of Osteopathy may be taken as a full time or part time program. For high school graduates and other students who do not have any previous health education the DO(MP) program is 8 months full time or 9 months part time. For students who have previous health education (massage therapists, medical doctors, physiotherapists, kinesiologists, acupuncturists, etc) the program is 4 months full time or 9 months part time. This is the first and only condensed four months full time osteopathy program in Canada for health professionals.
How Much is the Tuition for the DO(MP) Program?
The DO(MP) program may be taken as a campus based program in Toronto (Ontario, Canada) or interactive online elsewhere. The tuition for students without previous health education is $17,820 (Canadian) for the complete campus based manual osteopathy program offered at National Academy of Osteopathy campus in Toronto (Ontario, Canada).
It makes no difference if you take it part time or full time. The tuition is the same for international students taking this program in the Toronto campus. The tuition for the interactive live online manual osteopathy program for students without previous health education is $8,428 (plus 13% tax).
For students with previous health education the campus based DO(MP) program tuition is $12,220 (plus 13%). For these students; the interactive distance education program is $5,026 plus tax.
Is There a Tuition Discount For Health Practitioners?
Students who have previous health education background complete the diploma in osteopathic manual practice program in half the time it takes other students.
Tuition for the campus based students who have previous experience as a chiropractor, physiotherapist, medical doctor, physician and/or surgeon, massage therapist, aromatherapist, occupational therapist, ergonomist, podiatrist, chiropodist, acupuncturist, pharmacist, optometrist, dentist, pedorthist, orthotist, homeopath, optician, personal support worker, social worker, dental hygienist, psychologist, kinesiologist, fitness trainer, dietician, nutritionist, and naturopath is set at $12,210 plus 13% tax.
Tuition for interactive (study at home) online manual osteopathy for these students is set at $5,026 plus 13% tax.
When Does the DO(MP) Program Start?
The full time diploma in osteopathic manual practice of National Academy of Osteopathy starts twice a year; in the first week of September and last week of February). The part time program is offered once a year and it starts in the first weekend of March.
Is Financial Help Available?
Student loans are available to National Academy of Osteopathy students. Canadian and international NAO students are entitled to a student loan of up to $12,000 (Canadian) toward their tuition for the campus based program and up to $2,500 for the interactive (distance education) program offered online. Contact NAO registrar for more information and to apply for a student loan. Student loans are for a 5 year term; at an interest rate of 8% per year.
What Diploma Offered Upon Graduation?
Upon gradations students receive the following designation: Diploma in Manual Osteopathic Practice. The academic designation you may use in front of your name is DO(MP).
Upon successful completion of all NAO exams you will receive your diploma. You are then eligible to write the osteopathy board exams administered by the Canadian Manual Osteopathy Examining Board (www.cmoeb.org). Following successful passing of the board exams you may apply for membership to the International Osteopathic Association (www.internationalosteopathicassociation.org) to receive a license number that enables you to open your own clinic and work as a manual osteopath in Ontario and all other Canadian provinces as well as all other countries worldwide. with a license number from IOA you may bill more than 95% of insurers that cover osteopathic treatments.
All international NAO students are also required to write the Canadian osteopathy board exams of CMOEB as it is the only board organization accepted by IOA. List of IOA members are submitted to all insurers and Ministry of Health of most countries.
What Employment Opportunities Exist For Osteopaths?
Upon graduation; osteopathic manual practitioners have the option of opening their own osteopathy clinics; or to rent rooms in established medical, health or rehab clinics and benefit from cross referrals; or to work as employees in other osteopathic, medical, chiropractic, physiotherapy, massage or rehab clinics.
Most osteopaths work in private clinics, often as sole proprietor, associate or employee. However, the increase in multidisciplinary health care facilities and physical rehabilitation clinics in Canada has opened new opportunities for osteopathic manual practitioners to collaborate with other health care professionals (such as family physicians, chiropractors, registered massage therapists, naturopaths, athletic therapists, kinesiologists, podiatrists, chiropodists, occupational therapists, ergonomists, and physiotherapists) and benefit patients with interprofessional care. A small numbers of osteopaths also work in hospitals, nursing homes, health spas, sports teams, insurance companies claims services department, fitness clubs, osteopathic colleges, motor vehicle accident (MVA) assessment centres and other institutions.
Most new graduates start their professional work as employees. Later they establish their own private clinics.
What is Average Salary of Manual Osteopaths?
The average salary for a new manual osteopathy graduate who works as an employee in a health or rehab clinic is generally between $30 to $40 per hour in Europe, Australia, Caribbean and North America and $10 to $20 in Asia, Latin America and Africa. An 'average' European style manual osteopath can earn up to $90,000 or more per year in Europe, Australia, Caribbean & North America. There is virtually no unemployment in this field.
Manual osteopaths in private practice generally charge between $90 to $140 per hour of treatment in Europe, North America, Australia & Caribbean and $20 to $60 per hour in Asia, Latin America & Africa.
Manual osteopathy treatment provided by National Academy of Osteopathy graduates are covered by more than 95% of insurers in Canada.
For patients injured in a motor vehicle related accident in Ontario (Canada) all auto insurers cover osteopathic treatments performed by NAO graduates at the rate of $53.66 per hour as per fee guideline set by Financial Services Commission of Ontario.
Is NAO registered with MTCU as per Private Career Colleges Act, 2005?
Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 regulates most private colleges in Ontario. There are a few educational health programs however; under NOC sections 3123 and 3232 such as osteopathy, podiatry, and chiropody that are exempted from being registered under this act. These exempted health educational programs must be registered under different government agencies. NAO is registered and licensed by Ontario Ministry of Government Services to operate in the Province of Ontario (license # 200607893) and it is also registered federally by Industry Canada (reg # 757053-8).
What is Osteopathy Unemployment Rate?
There is virtually no unemployment in this health care profession. Almost all osteopathic manual practitioner find employment.
How Many Osteopaths Practice in North America?
There are approximately 1000 osteopathic manual practitioners in Canada and 67,000 osteopaths in the USA. Nearly half of them are women.
What Countries Offer Osteopathy Education?
There are currently seven osteopathy colleges in Canada, all teaching European style osteopathy, and 28 colleges in the USA, teaching American style osteopathy.
National Academy of Osteopathy (NAO) is the only college offering a condensed four months full time osteopathy program.
There are also osteopathy colleges in Argentina, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Russia, England, Spain, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, and France.
NAO is offering interactive manual osteopathy programs in certain countries. Interactive education is a combination of live online internet based lectures for the basic and clinical sciences; and class based education for the practical manual osteopathy skills and techniques section of the program taught in the capital city of each chosen country.
NAO has obtained permission to teach manual osteopathy in 60 cities across 31 countries globally. Currently NAO teaches interactive live online manual osteopathy in Canada (Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, London), USA (Atlanta, Boston, Palm Beach, New York, Broward, Phoenix, Victorville), China (Shenyang, Hong Kong), Iran (Tehran North, Tehran West, Kerman, Shiraz, Isfahan), Taiwan (Taipei), Mexico (Mexico City), Botswana (Gaborone), Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo), Brazil (Sao Paulo), Spain (Madrid), Italy (Rome), France (Paris), Greece (Athens), Turkey (Istanbul), Japan (Tokyo), South Korea (Seoul), Germany (Frankfort), Netherlands (Amsterdam), Portugal (Lisbon), South Africa (Cape Town, Soweto), , Nigeria (Lagos, Abuja), Swaziland (Mbabane), United States Virgin Islands (Charlotte Amalie), Jamaica (Kingston), Barbados (Bridgetown), Bahamas (Nassau), Ghana (Accra, Kumasi), Trinidad & Tobago (Port of Spain), Turk & Cacaos (Grand Turk), and Venezuela (Caracas, Maracaibo. This list is expanding.
NAO has admission offices in 46 cities. These offices help students with the admission process and can answer any questions they may have. Students in these cities should apply directly to these admission offices to start the admission process. All others students should directly apply to the central admissions office in Toronto, Canada. NAO aims to have admission offices in 100 cities by the end of 2012. For the list of admission offices please see the "Contact Us" section of this website.
Is Tuition Tax Deductable?
Yes. NAO Tuition is a tax-deductable expense. Students receive a receipt for tuition paid. The cost of books and supplies are also tax deductable.
Is 8 months Enough to Learn Manual Osteopathy?
The total hours of study at National Academy of Osteopathy (1280 hours) surpasses the teaching hours of most other osteopathy colleges. Most osteopathy colleges offer 3 year part time programs at one weekend a month. As such NAO students spend more time learning techniques compared to many other osteopathic colleges.
The minimum required teaching hours set by the International Osteopathic association for a diploma program in manual osteopathy is 600 hours and the NAO program exceeds the guidelines established by IOA. There are colleges in Europe offering osteopathy in a 3 to 4 year full time Doctor of Osteopathy programs. These colleges teach comprehensive diagnosis courses and they also teach osteopathy techniques such as cranial therapy and visceral manipulation.
Rendering a diagnosis is a controlled act in many countries; such as Canada. In these countries only medical doctors, chiropractors and physiotherapists are permitted to render a diagnosis in conjunction. As such National Academy of Osteopathy does not teach detailed medical diagnosis. NAO students learn only introductory diagnosis.
National Academy of Osteopathy teaches only scientific; research proven manual osteopathy techniques. It does not teach cranial osteopathy as it is not validated by research and it does not teach visceral manipulation since it is something outside the scope of osteopathy practice as defined by International Osteopathic Association. This significantly decreases program length compared to the Doctor of Osteopathy program. NAO graduates after 8 months are fully qualified manual osteopaths ready to serve patients.
This is what Mr. Amir Kazemi; one of the full time students of NAO has said about the program: "Dear Dr. Pourgol; In July 2010 when you told me about osteopathy I was interested in it But the thing that was always in my mind was:
"Is it possible for me with no background in Health to start this program?"
You told me that you are creating a program that anyone with no background in Health can study and learn manual osteopathy and be successful in it. Still In February 2011 when I started osteopathy I was not sure about it but I did it because I trusted you.
Now after a month that I am in the osteopathy Program I am Sure that with your method of teaching the manual practice of osteopathy and the passion you have for teaching and also the curriculum you gather for other subjects in this program (anatomy, pathology,...) IT IS possible to become a successful manual osteopath ONLY in so few months.
I just want to thank you for creating this opportunity."
What is the Interactive Manual Osteopathy program offered at NAO?
For national and international students (including those in Toronto) who are unable to attend the campus based program; National Academy of Osteopathy offers interactive online manual osteopathy program in Canada (Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Ottawa, London), USA (Atlanta, Boston, Palm Beach, New York, Broward, Phoenix, Victorville), China (Shenyang, Hong Kong,Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chongqing, Xian, Shenzhen, Tianjin ), Iran (Tehran North, Tehran West, Kerman, Shiraz, Isfahan), Taiwan (Taipei), Mexico (Mexico City), Jordan (Amman), Botswana (Gaborone), Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo), Brazil (Sao Paulo), Spain (Madrid), Italy (Rome), France (Paris), Greece (Athens), Turkey (Istanbul), Japan (Tokyo), South Korea (Seoul), Germany (Frankfort), Netherlands (Amsterdam), Portugal (Lisbon), South Africa (Cape Town, Soweto), , Nigeria (Lagos, Abuja), Swaziland (Mbabane), United States Virgin Islands (Charlotte Amalie), Jamaica (Kingston), Barbados (Bridgetown), Bahamas (Nassau), Ghana (Accra, Kumasi), Trinidad & Tobago (Port of Spain), Turk & Cacaos (Grand Turk), and Venezuela (Caracas, Maracaibo) through a combination of online teaching sessions through the internet (4 months full time or 9 months part time), complete lectures on DVD (mailed to student at the start of program), and on-site classroom osteopathy technique labs in these cities (after program is finished; we send a manual osteopath to your city to teach you techniques for two weeks).
For the osteopathy technique classes; NAO sends manual osteopaths to these major cities for 14 days of daily condensed osteopathy technique training in February and August of each year.
National & International graduates of interactive manual osteopathy program receive a Diploma in Manual Osteopathic Practice (DO(MP)). They may then write the board exams administered by the Canadian Manual Osteopathy Examining Board (www.cmoeb.org). Upon successful completion of the board exams; these graduates may apply to the International Osteopathic Association (www.internationalosteopathicassociation.org) to receive certificate of registration and a license number. NAO graduates may then work in Canada, China, Iran, Taiwan, Columbia, Brazil, India, USA, Mexico, Jordan, South Korea, Nigeria, Ghana, Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa, England, Jamaica, Barbados, Bahamas, Turk & Cacaos, Trinidad & Tobago, US Virgin Island, Venezuela, UAE, France, Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and most other countries in the world.
What is the Difference Between a Manual Osteopath and a Chiropractor?
Chiropractors and manual osteopaths are both health professionals who treat patients with a focus on the musculoskeletal system, including the spine, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Historically there is a political answer relating to the founder of osteopathy, Dr Andrew Taylor Still, falling out with his student, Dr. D.D. Palmer, who then went on to be the founder of chiropractic.
The principle working difference is that osteopaths tend to use more rhythmical and gentler techniques while chiropractors use more often stronger, high velocity, low amplitude manipulative techniques. Chiropractors may also employ modalities such as ultrasound and various electrotherapies for pain relief while osteopaths generally rely on hands-on manual techniques to relieve pain.
Essentially, both offer valuable and useful services, and each can be included in a holistic healthcare regimen. There are now many multidisciplinary clinics offering osteopathy, chiropractic, physiotherapy and registered massage therapy services. This seems to be the new growing trend in Canada, USA and Europe, specially for patients injured in motor vehicle accidents.
Since chiropractors are able to render a diagnosis their education is more detailed and it takes 4 years of full time studies plus 3 years of university education 9total of 7 years) leading to a doctor of chiropractic (DC) degree.
Financially the salary range and annual income levels of doctors of chiropractic ($30 to $50 per hour) and manual osteopaths ($30 to $40 per hour) are similar (approximately $90,000 per year) as insurers and patient pay same amounts for both treatments (except for motor vehicle accident cases; where FSCO guidelines in Ontario enforces insurers to pay $104 per hour of treatment performed by chiropractors compared to $53.66 paid to manual osteopaths for each hour of MVA treatment).
Are NAO graduates eligible to write board exams?
Yes. All national and international National Academy of Osteopathy graduates are eligible to apply and register for examinations administered by Canadian Manual Osteopathy Examining Board (www.cmoeb.org).
Following successful passing of the board exams you may apply for membership to the International Osteopathic Association (www.internationalosteopathicassociation.org) to receive a license number that enables you to open your own clinic and work as a manual osteopath in Ontario and all other Canadian provinces as well as all other countries worldwide. with a license number from IOA you may bill more than 95% of insurers that cover osteopathic treatments.
All international NAO students are also required to write the Canadian osteopathy board exams of CMOEB as it is the only board organization accepted by IOA. List of IOA members are submitted to all insurers and Ministry of Health of most countries.
Is NAO accepted by International Osteopathic Association (IOA)?
Yes. NAO is accepted as being a fully accredited manual osteopathy educational centre by International Osteopathic Association (www.internationalosteopathicassociation.org). NAO graduates are permitted to apply for IOA membership and to receive certificates of registrations.
Where is NAO campus?
Both the full time and part time class based manual osteopathy programs of National Academy of Osteopathy (NAO) are offered at the campus in Toronto (3701 Chesswood Drive, Suite 206, Toronto, Ontario, Canada).
The practical technique classroom part of interactive manual osteopathy program offered internationally by NAO is held at the board rooms of selected hotels in each city. For the list of hotels please see the "Contact US" section.
Is NAO approved by Medical Financial?
Medical Financial; located in Toronto, Canada, is a Canadian financial company that provides health related private loans. National Academy of Osteopathy is the only osteopathy college in Canada approved by Medical Financial as an accredited health education facility. As such NAO students are eligible to receive guaranteed student loans of up to $12,000 (Canadian) for the campus based program and $2,500 for the distance education interactive online program without credit checks. The loan is for a five year term at annual interest rate of 8%. The monthly payment for a loan of $12,000 from Medical Financial is $243.32. And the monthly payment for a loan of $2,500 is $50.66. This guaranteed student loan is available for all NAO students (Canadian and international).
Does NAO Offer Accelerated Program for Health Professionals?
For health professionals who wish to enter the rewarding health care profession of manual osteopathy; National Academy of Osteopathy (NAO) offers the Accelerated Manual Osteopathy Program for Health Practitioners...Click here for more information
Is Manual Osteopathy Treatments Covered by Insurers?
In certain countries (such as Canada, Australia & most European countries) manual osteopathic treatments are covered by most insurance providers.
In Canada more than 90% of insurers cover osteopathic treatments. And of these 95% cover osteopathic treatments offered by National Academy of Osteopathy graduates. Less than 5% of insurers have other guidelines before issuing payment; the main one being that the osteopathy treatment should be provided by a doctor of osteopathy (DO).
Is the DO(MP) Diploma Offered by NAO Accepted by Insurers?
Out of hundreds of insurers that cover osteopathic treatments; More than 95% accept DO(MP) diploma offered by National Academy of Osteopathy. Less than 5% of insurers have other conditions to pay for osteopathic treatments. The main condition being that the treatment to be provided by a DO (Doctor of Osteopathy).
Is Membership in a Provincial Association Necessary to Practice Osteopathy?
No. There is no need to be a member of provincial osteopathy association in Ontario or elsewhere to practice as a manual osteopath.
The only membership required is of International Osteopathic Association (IOA). National Academy of Osteopathy graduates are permitted to join IOA to receive a license number. IOA members are permitted to practice in Ontario and all other Canadian provinces as well as internationally in most jurisdictions.
Can International Students Write Canadian Board Exams?
Yes. They must. All National Academy of Osteopathy international students are encouraged to write the board exams administered by Canadian Manual Osteopathy Examining Board (www.cmoeb.org). Passing of the Canadian board is a requirement to join International Osteopathic Association. And a license number from IOA is necessary to practice manual osteopathy in most countries.
As well; if international NAO graduates wish to immigrate to Canada and receive job offers; they must be a member of IOA and have passed the Canadian board exams. No Canadian health clinic would hire any manual osteopath that is not a member of International Osteopathic Association.
Is NAO the Only Osteopathy College Offering DO(MP)?
Is DO(MP) a Recognized Title?
Yes. After DO (Doctor of Osteopathy); DO(MP): Diploma in Osteopathic Manual Practice is the most recognized title. It is accepted by most insurers and government agencies as being a valid diploma.
When Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) Program is Scheduled to Open?
National Academy of Osteopathy is in the process of setting up a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) program in Malaysia & the Dominican Republic which is scheduled to be ready in 2015.
Is There a Waiting List for NAO Campus Based Program?
Is NAO Program Shorter Than Other Osteopathy Colleges?
No. While it may seem that NAO program (8 months full time or 20 months part time) is shorter than other colleges; in reality the total hours (1280) is more than most osteopathic colleges in Canada and internationally who offer a diploma program in manual osteopathy. Even though most osteopathy colleges have programs ranging from 2 years in 5 years; they are offered mostly on part time basis. Their total teaching hours are generally less than NAO's.
In England and Australia the osteopathy program is offered 4 years full time. But they are DO (Doctor of Osteopathy) programs. They teach medical diagnosis and manipulation. NAO does not teach these as they are controlled acts in Canada and only medical doctors, physiotherapists and chiropractors are permitted to render a diagnosis and perform spinal manipulation. as such it is pointless to teach these.
Why NAO Does Not Teach Cranial Osteopathy & Visceral Manipulation?
National Academy of Osteopathy only teaches osteopathic techniques that are validated through scientific research. Cranial Osteopathy is not proven to be a scientific technique at this moment. As such we do not teach this technique.
Visceral manipulation has some scientific validity. But we here at NAO believe that it should not be part of the normal scope of osteopathic practice. We want manual osteopaths be known as specialist in management of musculoskeletal and joint disorders. We believe a family physician is better equipped to handle disorders such as constipation that can be helped by visceral techniques. Being in a niche market is what advances osteopathy. To be jack of all trade; and treating every kind of disorder dilutes the massage and confuses the public as to what exactly osteopaths treat. It is best to specialize in a field than to be a generalist. That is why we work only on musculoskeletal and joint disorders at NAO.
What Osteopathic Techniques Are Taught at NAO?
National Academy of Osteopathy teaches more techniques than any other osteopathy college in Canada. We teach only scientific techniques for all joints including lumbar, thoracic, cervical, temporomandibular joint, shoulder, scapula, elbow, wrist, hand, sacrum, hip, knee, ankle and foot.
Some of the techniques include osteo-articular joint mobilization, palpation, muscle energy techniques & proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, soft tissue therapy, myofascial release technique, trigger point therapy, therapeutic exercise, etc.
What Makes NAO the Best Osteopathy College in the World?
The short answer is: Dr Shahin Pourgol. World famous osteopath & distinguished author, professor Pourgol is what made National Academy of Osteopathy the largest and best osteopathy college in the world.
Dr. Pourgol is a successful chiropractor, ergonomist and osteopath. He is the founder of Union Ergonomics and Spinal Traction Franchise Clinics (58 clinics) found across North America. He is also creator of the Osteopathic Sports Energy Technique (SET). The only Canadian who has developed an osteopathic technique.
Dr Pourgol shares with National Academy of Osteopathy students all he knows about life, self improvement, creativity, goals, happiness, marketing & business. His lecture series on "Setting Up a Million Dollar Practice" & "Improving Your Brain & Achieving Your Goals by Manipulating Reticular Activating System & Psychocybernetics Mechanism" are legendary among NAO students.
Dr Pourgol is the reason NAO graduates successful manual osteopaths.
What Makes NAO Different From Other Osteopathy Colleges?
1) National Academy of Osteopathy teaches more scientific osteopathy techniques than any other manual osteopathy college.
2) NAO is the only osteopathic college focused on graduating successful manual osteopaths. NAO graduates receive full education on marketing, business management, financial planning, tax strategies, asset protection, wealth creation, public relations, advertising, estate planning, etc. NAO is the only osteopathic college in the world teaching these topics in detail.
3) NAO teaches students how to create a niche market and be known as an expert in that market. We teach students about geriatrics osteopathy, osteopathic MVA rehab, slip & falls management, multidisciplinary accident care, sports osteopathy, paediatric osteopathy, independent disability evaluation, TMJ pain management, orthopaedic supports, orthotic footwear, compression support hose, functional abilities evaluation, ergonomic assessment, job site analysis, decompression traction therapy, auxiliary osteopathy, work hardening, & work conditioning, amongst other topics. NAO is the only osteopathic school teaching these topics.
4) Professor Pourgol's lecture series on "Setting Up a Million Dollar Practice" and "Improving Your Brain & Achieving Your Goals by Manipulating Reticular Activating System & Psychocybernetics Mechanism" are available only to NAO students.
5) NAO students have 100% passing rate at the osteopathy board exams. We prepare our students academically for the board exams and offer free tutorials.
6) NAO is the only osteopathy college in Canada accepted by Medical Financial as an accredited health education facility.
10) NAO students are eligible for many scholarships from NAO as well as Union Ergonomics, Mobile Osteopathy Canada, Mobile Osteopathy UK, Mobile Osteopathy Australia, Gene Lab DNA and Spinal Traction Clinic.
11) NAO works closely with Mobile Osteopathy Canada; the largest employer of manual osteopaths in Canada.
12) For international students who wish to immigrate to Canada under the "Skilled Professional" category of Immigration Canada; NAO is able to help NAO graduates find employment in Canada and secure a job offer.
13) NAO offers many employment opportunities to its own graduates. 25 of the current 46 NAO admission offices are partnered & owned with NAO graduates. We also hire NAO graduates for teaching positions and the student clinic.
What is the Eligibility for the Guaranteed Scholarship?
The first 50 students registered for the Diploma in Osteopathic Manual Practice (DOMP) program from each country receive $9774.50 (full tuition plus tax) in scholarship to study spinal manipulation at National Academy of Osteopathy.
Spinal manipulation is not part of the standard curriculum of manual osteopathy program taught at NAO. However it is offered as a certificate program (OMT 0428 - Certified Osteopathic Manipulative Therapist). This program is offered as a one week interactive online program. Tuition is $8650 plus tax ($9774.50 total).
This scholarship is limited to the first 50 students from each country.
The spinal manipulation techniques are taught by Dr. Shahin Pourgol. The one week interactive program in spinal manipulation runs concurrently with the DO(MP) program. Upon graduation students are entitled to use DO(MP), COMT designations and permitted to perform spinal manipulation (if permitted by law).
Please note that spinal manipulation is a controlled & regulated act in certain countries such as Canada. In Canada only medical doctors, licensed physiotherapists and chiropractors are permitted by law to perform spinal manipulative therapy (SMT).
What is the Difference Between the DO and DO(MP) programs?
What is World Osteopathy Day?
As a result of tireless work of Dr Shahin Pourgol for suggesting a World Osteopathy Day and collaboration between National Academy of Osteopathy, International Osteopathic Association, Canadian Manual Osteopathy Examining Board, and a number of other organizations, manual osteopaths, and osteopathy students, we are pleased to announce that June 22nd has been chosen and named “World Osteopathy Day”.
For over 130 years osteopathy has done so much to help human beings have a better quality of life and it deserve a day of its own as recognition of its contribution to human society worldwide.
At 10AM on June 22, 1874 in Baldwin, Kansas (USA), the 46 years old Dr Andrew Taylor Still founded osteopathy. Dr Shahin Pourgol recommended this day in oppose to Dr Still’s date of birth (August 06, 1828) as the World Osteopathy Day and his suggestion was accepted by the majority.
Dr Pourgol is bringing a private member bill to the Canadian parliament to request the government of Canada officially recognize June 22ndas the World Osteopathy Day.
International Osteopathic Association has committed to do the same with parliaments of a number of other countries in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Is osteopathy treatments covered by insurers for MVA patients?
In certain countries (such as Canada, Australia & most European countries) osteopathic treatments provided to patients who suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident are covered by all insurance providers including State Farm, Allstate, Aviva, Belair, Certas, RBC, Royal, TD, Dominion, Cooperators, Chubb, Pilot, & Perth. For example in the province of Ontario in Canada all insurers as per Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) must cover osteopathic treatments at a rate of $57.67 per hour for non-catastrophic injuries and at a rate of $88.28 for catastrophic injuries.
Can manual osteopathy be learned online?
Yes. There is no difference between online and campus based education. In some ways the online education is even superior to the campus based because students have the ability to pause the lectures and watch any techniques over and over again. National Academy of Osteopathy has been teaching manual osteopathy in 32 countries and countless successful manual osteopaths are practicing around the world who studied manual osteopathy through an online course. The professions of osteopathy, chiropractic, massage therapy, physiotherapy and even medicine and dentistry have offered at one time or another correspondence courses. With the technology NAO uses students feel they are sitting in a classroom watching the lectures. They have also the ability to email NAO at any time and ask any academic questions they may have.
How does osteopathic treatment help patients with low back pain?
There are a few known mechanism affecting individuals who receive osteopathic treatment for low back pain.
First mechanism: Osteopathic spinal manipulation increases joint mobility by producing a barrage of impulses in muscle spindle afferents and smaller-diameter afferents ultimately silencing facilitated ? (gamma) motoneurons as proposed by Korr. This theory is supported by several recent studies by the Pickar lab and by findings that low back pain patients have altered proprioceptive input from muscle spindles. Recent work has also shown that that spinal manipulation modifies the discharge of Group I and II afferents. This has been accomplished by recording single-unit activity in muscle spindle and Golgi tendon organ afferents in an animal model during manipulation.
A second mechanism is that osteopathic spinal manipulation, by mechanically opening the intravertebral foramina (IVF), decreases pressure on the dorsal roots. Substantial evidence shows that the dorsal nerve roots and dorsal root ganglia are susceptible to the effects of mechanical compression. Compressive loads as low as 10 mg applied to dorsal roots increase the discharge of Group I, II, III and IV afferents. This compression can also alter non–impulse-based mechanisms (eg, axoplasmic transport) and cause edema and hemorrhage in the dorsal root. Spinal manipulation mechanically decreases the pressure in the IVF by gapping the facet joints and opening the IVF. For instance, the synovial space of the lumbar facet joints increases by about 0.7 mm in individuals receiving manipulation. This doesn’t seem like much, but as with any therapy there is usually a course of care involved. Even in moderate stenosis patients treated by osteopaths typically see significant pain reduction following a period of 1-2 weeks of treatment.
A third mechanism is based on findings that persistent alterations in normal sensory input resulting from an injury can increases the excitability of neuronal circuits in the spinal cord. Osteopathic spinal manipulation works by applying non-noxious mechanical inputs to these circuits. This involves mechanisms similar to the pain-gate theory proposed by Melzack and Wall wherein activation of A-a and A-ß fibers can reduce chronic pain and increase pain threshold levels. This is supported by studies where spinal manipulation of the lumbar region decreases central pain processing as measured via pin-prick tests. Additional studies have shown a reduction in central pain sensitivity after spinal manipulation using graded pressure and noxious cutaneous electrical stimulation.
A fourth mechanism involves ß-endorphin mechanisms. Studies have shown increases in beta-endorphin levels after spinal manipulation but not after control interventions.
Fifth mechanism: Substantial evidence also shows that spinal manipulation activates paraspinal muscle reflexes and alters motoneuron excitability. These effects are still being studied and appear to differ depending on whether performed on patients in pain or pain-free subjects.
A sixth mechanism involves inhibition of somatosomatic reflexes by alterations in muscle spindle input produced by osteopathic spinal manipulation. It is thought that spinal manipulation may normalize spindle biomechanics and improve muscle spindle discharge.
Lastly, in humans, osteopathic manual treatment can decrease heart rate and blood pressure while increasing vagal afferent activity as measured by heart-rate variability. Manual therapies in rats have been shown to produce an inhibitory effect on the cardiovascular excitatory response and reduce both blood pressure and heart rate. Manual therapies such as osteopathic soft tissue therapy have been shown to impact behavioral manifestations associated with chronic activation of the HPA axis such as anxiety and depression, while decreasing plasma, urinary, and salivary cortisol and urinary corticotropin releasing factor-like immunoreactivity (CRF-LI). Manual stimulation in rats has been shown to significantly increase glucocorticoid receptor gene expression which enhanced negative feedback inhibition of HPA activity and reduced post-stress secretion of ACTH and glucocorticoid.
Osteopathic Education: 4 Months or 4 Years?
We are often asked a question in regards to the length of osteopathic education, as it differs widely, from 4 months to 9 years. This confuses many individuals, so here we try to explain the differences between the different types of education offered by European style osteopathic colleges.
In this article we will discuss only the osteopathic education of the European style osteopathy (also known as manual osteopathy or osteopathic manual practice). The American style osteopathy is similar to medical education in that it takes 3 years of university, followed by 4 years of osteopathic medical college and 2 years of residency, making it a total of 9 years. The American style osteopaths (also known as osteopathic physicians) can perform surgery and prescribe medications. This is available only in the USA.
Manual osteopathy is taught in diploma or degree formats.
The osteopathic colleges that offer diploma programs either issue a DOMP (Diploma in Osteopathic Manual Practice, a DO (Diploma in Osteopathy, not be confused with the Doctor of Osteopathy), a DMO (Diploma in Manual Osteopathy) and so on, ranging from 4 months full time to 5 years part time.
The osteopathic universities offering degree programs either issue a DO (Doctor of Osteopathy), BSc (Bachelor of Science in Osteopathy), MSc (Master of Science in Osteopathy), and so on, ranging from 3 to 6 years full time.
The diploma programs are generally offered in USA & Canada. In the diploma programs of osteopathy, medical diagnosis is not taught. Spinal and joint manipulations are also not taught as these two are controlled acts in Canada and USA. Manual osteopaths in Canada and USA are not permitted to render a medical diagnosis nor may they do manipulation. They can use hundreds of other osteopathic techniques though such as mobilization, muscle energy techniques, soft tissue therapy, etc.
As a result the diploma program in manual osteopathy is a lot shorter in time than the degree programs. The diploma programs generally include 800 to 2000 hours of lectures.
The World Health Organization (WHO) report on osteopathic education recommends a total number of 1000 hours of osteopathic education for students with previous health education, and 4200 hours of education for students without previous health education. National Academy of Osteopathy offers a diploma in osteopathic manual practice that fits in this category. It takes 4 months of condensed education for students with prior health education to complete the DOMP program of NAO.
NAO graduates with a DOMP degree can work in all countries of the world as osteopaths. However in USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, & United Kingdom they must work as osteopathic manual practitioners, as the term osteopath is either reserved for osteopathic physicians (in USA & Canada) or is used by those with a degree program in osteopathy (in Australia, New Zealand & UK).
NAO also offers a post graduate 4 years (4200 hours) fellowship program for manual osteopaths in Osteopathic Rehabilitation Sciences for those interested in postgraduate studies.
The degree programs offered in osteopathic education range from 3 to 6 years full time. Most require 2 to 3 years of prior university education, and some are available only to health professionals.
In the degree programs students learn full medical diagnosis, with a lot of emphasis on practical training and they learn more diverse techniques. National University of Medical Sciences (www.numss.com) for example offers two degree programs in osteopathy, a full time 3 years bachelor of science in osteopathy & a 4 years full time doctor of osteopathy. Students with prior health education can finish the degree programs faster, as per WHO guidelines.
For example, physiotherapists can finish the BSc in 6 months or the DO in 1 year. This depends to the university offering the degrees. Some do not offer any advanced credits, as the case is in Italy, where they accept physiotherapists only to the osteopathy program and then they must study 6 more years.
World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that osteopathic schools give advance credits to students who are health practitioners and recommends 1000 hours of study for them.
It is important to note that manual osteopaths with either a diploma or a degree program can work in all countries, without exception. All they need is to pass the board exams of the International Osteopathy Examining Board and then become a member of the International Osteopathic Association. They will receive a license number which allows them to obtain malpractice insurance, and then either work in a clinic or to open their own clinics.
It is understandable that a number of osteopaths with degrees, such as the ones in Italy, who have studied 9 years to become an osteopath (after paying up to $90,000 in tuition) feel bitter and resentful towards the new osteopaths with a diploma who in 4 months (after paying just $5026 for tuition) are able to work as osteopaths in Italy and elsewhere.
Thousands of manual osteopaths with a DOMP diploma have been practicing more than 30 years in Canada & USA and are offering excellent osteopathic care. Knowledge of medical diagnosis is not necessary to practice manual osteopathy. Massage therapists for decades have been providing great services to patients without ever being able to medically diagnose a patient. The practice of manual osteopathy is actually quite safe when medical diagnosis is removed as the manual osteopath can just focus on treatment.
In summary, the diploma in osteopathic manual practice is for those students who want to graduate quickly, pay less tuition, and have a more relaxing osteopathic practice. The degree programs in osteopathy is for those students who wish to become doctors, who wish to have advanced knowledge of the body and deep mastery of the osteopathic techniques. For this they have to pay more tuition & spend more time studying.
Both the diploma and degree programs are great ways to serve patients. They are just two sides of the same coin, each with different type of benefit for the osteopathic practitioner. National Academy of Osteopathy & National University of Medical Sciences offer diploma and degree programs that can be taken online or in-campus. With our diplomas or degree we guarantee that you can practice in any country of the world.
To see the difference between scope of practice of diploma and degree programs in osteopathy please click on the link below:
What Organizations Have Accredited NAO?
National Academy of Osteopathy is a fully accredited osteopathic school and our students have access to membership in many organizations in their fields. Some of the organizations that approve NAO include:
- International Osteopathic Association (IOA)
- Canadian Manual Osteopathy Examining Board (CMOEB)
- Alberta College of Osteopathic Rehabilitation Sciences (ACORS)
- International Osteopathy Examining Board (IOEB)
- Ontario College of Osteopathic Rehabilitation Sciences (OCORS)
- Council on Manual Osteopathy Education (CMOE)
- British Columbia College of Osteopathic Rehabilitation Sciences (BCCORS)
I am a licensed health practitioner. Can I use my osteopathic education towards my Continuing Education (CE) requirements of my regulatory board?
Yes. Most regulatory boards for chiropractors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, naturopaths, acupuncturists, occupational therapists, kinesiologists, athletic therapists & trainers, homeopaths, & medical doctors accept the time you spent studying in our programs towards your CE requirement. Most regulatory boards require 20 to 40 hours of CE in a year or two, and our programs cover this requirement as all our programs are over 40 hours.
Could osteopaths bill insurers for two types of treatments?
Yes but it depends on the type of patient’s coverage, EHP or MVA.
In most cases you cannot bill extended health plan (EHP) insurers for osteopathy and another type of treatment (chiropractic, physiotherapy, massage therapy, naturopathy, athletic therapy, acupuncture, etc) on the same day. Most EHP insurers accept only one type of treatment from one health practitioner. Your clinic can bill for osteopathy and massage therapy for example on the same day if the treatments are performed by two health practitioners. But if the health practitioner is a massage therapist/osteopath then in one day massage therapy must be billed and another day osteopathy.
This does not apply to motor vehicle accident (MVA) patients. For MVA patients health practitioners can charge the insurers for more than one type of therapy. For example on the same visit an insurer can be billed for osteopathic treatment, physiotherapy, and rehabilitation.
After graduating from your osteopathy program, can I practice in Canada, USA, Australia, UK & New Zealand?
Yes, you can practice and open a clinic in all Canadian provinces, all US states, and everywhere else in Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand. However the osteopathy profession is regulated in these countries and our graduates must work as osteopathic manual practitioners. They may not use the term osteopaths in these countries. For example in the USA & Canada, the term osteopath is reserved for osteopathic physicians who do surgery and prescribe medications.
In all other countries, including Italy, Spain, France, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, South Korea, Brazil, Iran, China, Taiwan, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Singapore, Mexico, Venezuela, Greece, Vietnam, Netherlands, Turkey, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, & Denmark , our graduates can use the term osteopath and practice as osteopaths.