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History of Osteopathy

and the story of it's Founder, Andrew Taylor Still

History of Osteopathy

and the story of it's Founder, Andrew Taylor Still

Osteopathy was founded in the United States in the late 1800’s by a medical doctor and surgeon by the name of Andrew Taylor Still. The word Osteopathy was derived from the root words Ostien- meaning the structure of all living tissues and Pathia- meaning suering or feeling. Still was from an era where medicine was taught through lecture and not clinical application. He disapproved of harsh drugs and barbaric surgeries. In his frustration, he developed a treatment focussing on causes, not symptoms, and where a complete understanding of the human mechanism and all it’s interrelating systems was essential.

Andrew Taylor Still

In the US, Osteopathy has evolved with the practice of medicine and there, Osteopathy are given a medical degree. They have, however, left behind the traditional practice of manual techniques. Today only 4% of american Osteopathic Physicians actually practice traditional manual techniques. Thankfully, in Europe, the true nature was preserved and advancements in the eld have been continually made since 1965 and Osteopathy is now legally recognized at the University of Wales in the UK.


A French Osteopath, Phillipe Druelle, rst opened the College d’etudes Osteopathiques C.E.O in Quebec in 1981, which now has afiliated schools in Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, Switzerland, Germany and Japan.

Founder of Osteopathy

From this beginning, Dr. Still began a lifetime of teaching his students to be educated completely in anatomy and physiology of the human body in order to be able to understand the structures and their functions before applying manual treatment.

This method of therapy is based on four major principles:

1. The fluids of the body are most essential - if they can travel freely, they are what brings the nutrition and removes the waste from all tissue.

2. The body is a functional unit everything is connected to everything in someway and no body part is independent.

3. Structure governs function if the structure is correct the body is more capable of optimal function.

4. The body always 
regulates towards health to the best of its abilities.


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