Last updated on May 8, 2021.
Looking for an osteopath in Hong Kong? Healthy Matters brings you a comprehensive guide with all the details you need.
Methodology: This guide does not aim to be exhaustive. It is informative only and based on our independent research. No practitioner or clinic paid any fees or rendered any services in exchange for inclusion in this article.
What is osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a type of alternative medicine. It is based on the principle that the bone, muscle, ligament, and connective tissue functionality of an individual determine one’s well-being. In order to provide a suitable treatment for you, osteopaths will make a diagnosis through a comprehensive physical evaluation and according to your medical history, lifestyle as well as diet. Osteopathic treatment involves physical manipulation, stretching, and massaging of muscles and joints. Such approaches aim to enhance mobility, reduce tension, improve blood circulation, and heal the body. Osteopaths may include some conventional medical techniques, which are not always scientifically based. Medications and surgeries generally are not part of the treatment.
What to know about osteopaths in Hong Kong?
The number of osteopaths has increased significantly in Hong Kong in the last decade. Currently, there are over 40 osteopaths practicing in Hong Kong, compared to only 5 in 2008.
Damien Mouellic, founder of Central Wellness and Stanley Wellness, founded the Hong Kong Osteopathic Association (HKOA) in 2012. “The mission of the association is to promote the profession and to inform the Hong Kong public on the benefits of osteopathic medicine. To do so, we ensure that all members meet the required standard of professional education, that there are covered by adequate malpractice insurance and that they adhere to the code of conduct. The association was also created the provide the framework towards a registered profession.”
The government now requires that all new osteopaths in Hong Kong become members of HKOA to get a work visa. You can view the list of practitioners under the HKOA here. It is important to note, that not all osteopaths in Hong Kong are members of the association and the qualifications vary worldwide ranging from 3-year diplomas to a doctorate master’s degree.
According to Mouellic, the Hong Kong government has suggested a pilot registration scheme, however, funding and resources to complete this extensive process have made it a challenge to secure a full-time functioning board to further legitimise practitioners in this field.
Check out the article on Regulation & Registration of Healthcare Professionals in Hong Kong: How to Know if You are in Safe Hands for more information on regulated professions.
Most common reasons to see an osteopath
Many people seek osteopathic care to improve conditions concerning the bones, muscles and joints, for example:
- Lower back pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain and elbow pain (e.g. tennis elbow)
- Pelvis, hips and legs issues
- Sports injuries
- Muscle and joint pain related to work, pregnancy, etc.
Some other conditions commonly seen by osteopaths include:
Osteopathy vs. chiropractic: what’s the difference?
While osteopathy may treat a wider variety of conditions, chiropractic tends to focus on the muscles and joints. Chiropractic also emphasises more on the spine’s alignment, whereas osteopathy pays attention to the whole body’s structure. In addition, osteopaths usually reach a diagnosis relying on physical examinations, but chiropractors often make use of a range of tools including X-ray imaging and MRI.
Check out our articles about Chiropractic below:
– The Ultimate Guide to Chiropractors in Hong Kong
– Here is How You Can Benefit from Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy
– How Can Chiropractic Help Babies?
How much does it cost to see an osteopath in Hong Kong?
In Hong Kong and as with all other health practitioners, the cost of an osteopathic session varies depending, amongst other things, on the location. Our research shows that an initial session on Hong Kong Island can range from about $1,380 to $2,100 for 1 hour. The cost of a subsequent session sometimes can be cheaper and depends on the duration of each session, which lasts around 30 to 60 minutes. Packages may be offered by some clinics.
* All amounts are in HKD and last updated on 11 September, 2020. No responsibility is accepted for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions. It is always best to call ahead to make sure the information is still up-to-date.
Lists of osteopaths in Hong Kong
So far there is no osteopath in the public healthcare sector. To make it easier for you, here is a list of some osteopaths and clinics providing osteopathic care in Hong Kong’s private sector:
Osteopaths in Hong Kong Island
Osteopaths in Kowloon & New Territories
Does insurance usually cover osteopathic consultations and treatments?
According to health insurance experts at AD MediLink, local medical coverage may cover osteopathic care but you should be cautious of coverage sub-limits. Most international insurance plans cover alternative medicines including osteopathy. Depending on the plan and insurer, a GP referral letter may be required to receive reimbursement. If you need health insurance advice, contact an expert at AD MediLink at [email protected], or call 2606 2668.