History of osteopathy

Osteopatia została zapoczątkowana w XIX wieku przez Andrew Taylora Stilla, amerykańskiego lekarza.

Andrew Taylor Still, the founding father of osteopathy

FICO-MUM Osteopathic Medicine organizes 4-year extramural postgraduate studies. Each year of study ends with 10 sessions, the last one being a session during which there are practical and theoretical exams. During the weekend studies, we organize 30 clock hours (40 didactic hours). As a result, therapists (medical graduates and physiotherapists) gain a broad and detailed knowledge of diagnostics and manual therapy, and acquire the ability to work on human tissues and organs.

Personal failure

In 1864, Still returned from the Civil War and faced a serious personal crisis. Earlier this year, an epidemic of spinal meningitis swept through this part of the country and killed three of his children, and lost a month after , his first wife, Mary Vaughan, as a result of birth complications. Later, his daughter and his second wife, Mary Elvira Turner, died of pneumonia. This inability to save his family, in combination with his grim experiences as a Civil War doctor, led Still to reject most of what he learned about medicine and seek new and better methods.

A new revolution

Still’s research was based on anatomy study. Growing up as a hunter and farmer, he had a basic knowladge of the structural compounds between bones, muscles, and organs – he transferred this knowladge to the study of human skeletons. He found that most diseases can be relieve or cured without medication. The key was to find and correct the anatomical abnormalities that interfered with the free flow of blood and “nervous force” in the body.

Facing challenges

At the beginning, Still faced considerable opposition to his new theories and techniques. The local church denounced his claims of practical manual healing as sacrilege. The Still brothers were embarrassed by the loud questioning of the medical tradition. They criticized the deterrence of patients with a new way of treating patients, neglecting the family and farm in pursuit of “crazy” ideas. When Still asked for his ideas to be presented at Baker University, which was founded with the help of the Still family in the 1850s, school officials refused him. In 1874, Still decided to leave Kansas for Macon, Missouri, where he hoped his ideas would be better received. That didn’t happen, and after several months of trying, Still moved north to Kirksville.
There finally began to accept his practices, enough to allow him to open an office at the town square in March 1875. By advertising himself as a magnetic healer and “thunder chiropractor” and by traveling to cities as far away as Hannibal, Still slowly built his reputation. News surfaced of a physician whose drug-free manipulative medicine system – officially dubbed “osteopathy” in 1885 – was able to heal many seemingly hopeless cases.

The birth of osteopathy

When Still realized that more patients were coming to him than he could treat, he decided to educate his children and a few others to help him in practice. At some point there were so many eager to learn, that Still was persuaded to start a school. The American School of Osteopathy (ASO) was founded in Kirksville in 1892 in a two-room building. The first group of students consisted of 5 women and 16 men – including Still’s three children and one of his brothers. The first graduates graduated from the school in 1894.

We are waiting for ambitious students of physiotherapy.