What is osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a branch of medicine that bases its diagnostic process on functional, structural and palpation analysis of the patient’s body, using modern laboratory and imaging methods such as blood tests, X-rays, tomography and computer resonance imaging.
After finding the dysfunction, the osteopath performs manual procedures to remove the disorders of the patient’s body.
Osteopathic therapy improves and optimizes the functioning of the patient.
Osteopathy is based on an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the proper functioning of the human body, which allows to determine what structure has been disturbed, why a given structure has been disturbed, when to conduct therapy and, finally, how to perform the therapy efficiently, effectively and, above all, safely for the patient, but also for the therapist.
Osteopathy was initiated in the 19th century by Andrew Taylor Still, an American physician.
Andrew Taylor Still, the founding father of osteopathy
The history of osteopathic medicine began with the birth of its pioneer Andrew Taylor Still on August 6, 1828, in a log cabin in Lee County, Virginia. Around 1853, at the age of 25, Still discovered his calling and decided to become a doctor. In those days, the training of a would-be doctor often began with studying medical books and working with a practicing physician – in this case, his father. He may have received additional formal training at a Kansas City school, but there are no records of where or when this training took place.
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 a month after the epidemic, he lost his first wife, Mary Vaughan, to birth complications. Later, his daughter and his second wife, Mary Elvira Turner, died of pneumonia. This inability to save his family, coupled with his grim experiences as a Civil War physician, led Still to reject most of what he had learned about medicine and seek new and better methods.
A new revolution
Still's research was based on an anatomy study. Growing up as a hunter and farmer, he had a basic understanding of the structural relationships between bones, muscles, and organs – which he transferred to the study of human skeletons. He found that most diseases can be alleviated or cured without medication. The key was to find and correct the anatomical abnormalities that interfered with the free flow of blood and the "nervous force" in the body.
In the face of calls
In the beginning, Still met with 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 the pursuit of "crazy" ideas. When Still asked to present his ideas at Baker University, which was founded with the help of the Still family in the 1950s, In the nineteenth century, the school authorities refused him. In 1874, Still decided to leave Kansas and travel to 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, his practices were finally accepted, enough to allow him to open an office at the town square in March 1875. By advertising himself as a magnetic healer and a "thunder chiropractor" and by traveling to cities as far away as Hannibal, Still slowly built his reputation. News has surfaced about 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 several others to help him in practice. At one 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.
Not only do you need to be able to find the disorder, you have to be able to remove it.A. T. Still (1908)
The doctor's goal should be to seek health. Anyone can find a disease.A. T. Still (1899)
The doctor of the future will not administer drugs, but will interest the patient in caring for his body through diet and disease prevention.Thomas Edison (1903)