The Thirty Years' Conflict Goes On, a Troubling Story of Canadian Osteopathic Practitioners Revealed in New Book

Thinking Hands' author predicts Quebec's current osteopathic study could ease tension   

VAUGHAN, ON, Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - It's been bubbling for three decades, a subtle mute quarrel between osteopathic physicians and manual osteopaths in Canada that have implications for the public, a new book on Canadian osteopathy says.

The Canadian Osteopathic Association (COA) which represents Canada's some fifty osteopathic physicians,  is posing whether ". . . our patients, especially those vulnerable during illness, sophisticated enough to differentiate between an osteopathic physician and an osteopathic practitioner," according to Dr. Ted Findlay, a COA spokesperson and a medical consultant at the Foothills Primary Care Network Chronic Pain Clinic in Alberta, who is quoted in the book as once saying, ''I believe this is a mistake with potentially dangerous implications for the profession.''

B.C.-based Gail Abernethy, president of the Canadian Federation of Osteopaths which represents 2,000 manual osteopaths—the majority of whom are in Quebec and Ontario—says the osteopathic physicians' organization "is not well informed,'' citing the position of international bodies such as the Osteopathic International Alliance and the World Health Organization that recognize osteopathic physicians and osteopaths as two professions with their separate modality or stream, according to the book.

"These barbs being privately traded between doctors of osteopathic medicine in Canada and their manual counterparts have been going on for thirty years and more," says Atily Gunaratne, a Vaughan-Ont.-based manual osteopathic practitioner and physiotherapist, author of Thinking Hands: The Little Book on the Handiwork of Canadian Medical and Manual Osteopathic Practitioners in Outing Pain and Discomfort (Osteopathic Health Centre, 2015, ISBN-13:978-0-9940913-0-7, $

"This fight which is also happening in other countries like France, for example, centres around patient safety, but is probably now just a battle of words," says Gunaratne, a former advisor to the Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners (OAO).

Gunaratne, however, says "But I believe the conflict would probably not escalate too much further.  In fact, it could end or lessen if and when Quebec goes ahead and becomes the first Canadian jurisdiction to license manual practitioners and there are positive signs that that's going to happen."

SOURCE Osteopathic Health Centre

For further information: For a review copy, and/or to obtain an interview with Atily Gunaratne, please contact John Yuen, 416-768-1382


Organization Profile

Osteopathic Health Centre

More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890