Who am I?

My Name is Penelope Sawell (pronounced Saul, and most people shorten my name to Penny or Pen).  I am a practising osteopath and freelance journalist (mostly about matters related to manual therapy and the osteopathic profession) and I live in Hove, East Sussex.  I took my first degree in Modern History at Oxford University.  Following this, I spent a year soulsearching to find my true vocation and ended up taking a degree in Osteopathic medicine at the British College of Osteopathic Medicine, in London.  I split my time now between journalism and clinical practice.

What is osteofm about?

I recently read a description of osteopathy that went like this:  it is “one of the most confusing and confused subjects under the already confused umbrella of alternative medicine”. Well, I have trained for four years, practised for nearly twenty, and gone on course after course in an effort to understand what I am doing and try to do it better! I know osteopathy does a lot of good, but I’m not always sure how and why. So I decided to take some time out, do some research, and share what I find in the effort to stimulate us all to debate and discuss our profession. This blog is one extremely average osteopath’s attempt to make sense of what osteopathy is, what works and what is really going on in treatment rooms around the country.  This profession is still bursting with the life given to it by Andrew Still,  but how do we ground his 19th century philosophy in this evidence-based 21st century? In short, I think it might be time for an identity crisis.  Who are we and where are we heading?

My vision

My vision was initially that osteofm becomes a place for osteopaths and other manual therapists, from chiropractors to massage therapists to keep in touch with news, research, ideas, and trends. It is my aim to make information easier and more accessible, so that we all improve what we do and the way we do it, to ultimately improve the lives of all of our patients.

Osteofm is committed to

  • disseminating information of interest and relevance to osteopaths
  • simplifying the complex and enlivening the mundane
  • maintaining an open mind, critical thinking skills, and high standards of  honesty and integrity.

Osteofm is having a rest

Osteofm about five years, but with weekly posts for the first two.  It developed well beyond my initial expectations.  It has had thousands of views, from all over the world, and has led me to meet people and go places which have really reshaped my view of what we do, and where our place is in the big wide world.  But sooner or later I had to earn some money, and I didn’t have time for it any more.  I’m hoping to get it up and running soon, and even have some potential blogs in the pipeline, but in the meantime there’s plenty of content to peruse.


Please remember this blog is an account of one person’s view and experiences, and I am not a spokesperson for the osteopathic community, nor even probably a very representative example of an osteopath.


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