Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the Advertising Standards Authority.

Osteomyology is a form of alternative medicine loosely based on aggregated ideas from other manipulation therapies, principally Chiropractic and Osteopathy. CAP understands that Osteomyologists are often therapists who have been trained in osteopathy or chiropractic but take on the title osteomyologist after they have refused to be regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) or the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) for political or philosophical reasons or cannot join because they do not meet professional or training standards.

Unlike Osteopaths and Chiropractors, Osteomyologists are not subject to regulation by statute. CAP and the ASA expect therapists claiming to treat medical conditions to hold adequate evidence (Rule 12.1).

Therapists should not mislead on their status or training. Only chiropractic practitioners registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) may call themselves Chiropractors and, similarly, only osteopathic practitioners registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) may call themselves Osteopaths.

Other therapists wanting to claim to offer manipulation or chiropractic techniques must hold suitable, relevant qualifications to undertake such therapy and robust substantiation for the efficacy of claims for the therapy.

The ASA has considered that a therapist offering chiropractic techniques was unable to substantiate the efficacy of his claims (Optimum Health Centres, 19 December 2007), that an Osteomyologist’s reference to himself as a Doctor was misleading (Ideal Spine Centre, 20 February 2008) and that a practitioner calling himself a “registered Osteomyologist” misleadingly suggested that he was registered with a medical or statutory body (Optimum Health Centres, 17 September 2008).

Guidance on Health Therapies and Evidence QA (Sept 2011)

See ‘Chiropractic’, ‘Osteopathy’ and ‘Use of the term “Dr”’.

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