A good crack — Denise Callaghan marks 35 years of Osteopathy in 2023


We’re celebrating as 2023 marks 35 years since Denise Callaghan first opened her osteopathy practice in Orpington.

It’s fair to say that the world of osteopathy looked a lot different in 1987 than it does today. “For one, there was no case of tech neck,” recounts Denise. Which is the informal term given to the neck and shoulder pain suffered as a result of overusing phones, tablets, and computers. “There was also no epidemic of chronic low back pain, which in 2023 we have the working from home revolution to thank, with many using poor workstation set-ups.”

O is for osteopathy

So why did Denise decide to become an osteopath?

“I went into the field because my mum was an osteopath specialising in musculoskeletal osteopathy in Bromley,” Denise explains. “She was one of the first few female osteopaths when she qualified. I opened the Orpington clinic in 1987 as my mum was still practicing in the Bromley clinic. I later took over this clinic when she retired.

“And 35 years later, the rest — they say — is history.”

Osteopathy through the ages

Osteopathy might not be a new form of complementary treatment — it’s roots date back to the late 1800s when American physician and surgeon, Andrew Taylor Still, found the link between the body having the ability to recover from ill health when functioning effectively. But it wasn’t until 1913 that osteopathy came to UK shores.

“And it took a further 80 years for osteopathy to become a legally regulated profession in 1993, when the Osteopaths Act was passed,” Denise says.

This led to the establishment of the General Osteopathic Council and in 1998, the General Osteopathic Register was opened. This means qualified practitioners need to register with the council in order to use the title of osteopath.

Putting a pin on it

Acupuncture is another area that’s changed over the course of Denise’s 35 years.

“I incorporated the use of ancient Chinese form of acupuncture fairly early on at my practice, because I could see the long and varied benefits this could bring. From asthma to headaches and migraines to pain — acupuncture can even help with fertility issues.”

To hone her skills, Denise trained at the British School of Osteopathy for three years and later took a course in Medical Acupuncture at the Centre for Study in Complimentary Medicine in Southampton.

She then travelled to the birthplace of the treatment, China to hone her skill. Denise later went on to study acupuncture for fertility and has undergone training at the renown Zita West fertility clinic in London.

Passionate about helping people

Today, Denise is a registered member of the British Acupuncture Council, along with being on the General Osteopathic Council register.

“I’m passionate about helping people,” Denise continues. “So when my clients come to me with  a structural or mechanical problem, I want to help.”

If you are suffering with a pain — be it neck pain, stress or knee pains — do get in touch. Denise operates two clinics in Kent, her Orpington clinic and her Bromley practice.




If you would like to book an appointment with Denise please call