A few people have asked, so I thought I'd take a moment to explain why Manual Osteopathy was shut down while similar services such as physiotherapy and acupuncture were kept open in Alberta. To put it simply: it's all a matter of regulation (read: rep tape).
Unfortunately, when it comes to regulating health professions, Alberta lags behind other provinces. Massage therapy, Manual Osteopathy, and Athletic Therapy had to stay closed because their professional associations have not yet achieved regulated status, despite their tireless efforts to do so.
Achieving regulated status means being included in the Health Professionals Act. An association must jump through a lot of hoops before the government amends the Act. The majority of health professions in the Act are regulated by self-governing colleges (exactly like osteo and massage).
So what's different in how a massage therapist or manual osteopath treats a client than say a physiotherapist or an acupuncturist? Very little, in fact. When it comes to COVID-19, as professionals, we follow the exact same AHS safety & sanitation guidelines as other regulated health professionals.
During the most recent shut down, organizations like the Alberta Association of Osteopathic Manual Therapists (AAOMT) fought very hard on behalf of the profession to keep our doors open. They went to the media and lobbied the government to advocate for manual osteopaths.
It was also really nice to see other regulated professionals advocating for us too! I do believe it was this combined effort that eventually led to the government changing its mind and allowing us to operate again.
A huge "thank you!" is in order to all of those who stepped up and did their part for our service. Unity was shut for one third of 2020 - that is a total of 4 months. I do not take it for granted that my business is open. As much as I appreciate the COVID-19 restrictions, the sad truth is that many businesses are left in the dust.
It goes without saying it's been a wild ride. In these challenging times, one thing that remains is my admiration for the front line workers and my gratitude for being able to play a part in potentially lightening their load by helping clients with acute and chronic pain.