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HISTORY OF OSTEOPATHY

The founder of Osteopathy, Dr A.T. Still (1828-1917) was a medical Doctor in the US in the mid 1800’s. After experiencing great loss, following the passing of three of his children with spinal meningitis, his wife due to birth complications and his daughter with pneumonia, he became disillusioned with the medical practises of the time. He believed that there must have been another way to assist his family and patients, other than introducing toxic substances into the body or some of the other invasive methods commonly used at that time. And so he devoted the next 30 years of his life to discovering a new approach, founding the philosophy, science and art of Osteopathy.

Dr Still studied the human body extensively, performing dissections and observing the natural laws that governed the functioning of the body. He observed during states of disease, there was often a stoppage of some important supply (blood, lymph, nerve).  He observed if you could restore or improve the flow, the body had a better opportunity to recover. He also observed the inner intelligence of the body’s own self healing and self-regulating capabilities at work and how it was possible to assist it with a skilful hands-on approach. 

 

In 1874 he opened the first school of Osteopathy and began to share his philosophy and practise methods, offering an alternative approach to healthcare. His focus was to support and encourage health within patients, as opposed to identifying disease and treating symptoms in isolation. To see every individual as a whole being, of body, mind and spirit, the first principle of Osteopathy.

Images: Museum of Osteopathic Medicine, Kirksville MO, USA. 

Above: 1995.29.06 Below Left: 2006.20.01 Below Right: 210.02.1546

 
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“Osteopathy is a scientific knowledge of anatomy and physiology in the hands of a person of intelligence and skill, who can apply that knowledge to the use of the man when sick or wounded by strains, shock, falls, or mechanical derangement or injury of any kind to the body. An up-to-date osteopath must have a masterful knowledge of anatomy and physiology...
By our knowledge of physiology, we can comprehend the requirements of the circulation of the fluids of the body as to time, speed and quantity, in harmony with the demands of normal life.”
 

Dr. A.T. Still, Founder of Osteopathy, Philosophy and Principles of Osteopathy,1892, Kirksville, USA.