Dr. Andrew Taylor Still wrote: “You wonder what osteopathy is; you look in the medical dictionary and find as its definition “bone disease.” That is a grave mistake. It is compounded of two words, osteon, meaning bone [and] pathos… to suffer. Greek lexicographers say it is a proper name for a science founded on a knowledge of bones. So instead of “bone disease” it really means bone usage.” (Still, Autobiography, 1897, p. 221)
Osteopathy was officially founded in June, 1874, by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. Its global, holistic vision of the workings of the human body well distinguishes it from other therapies, yet it remains poorly understood to this day.
Founder Still, doctor and the son of a pastor, was convinced that, “… so wise a God had certainly placed the remedy within the material house in which the spirit of life dwells.” (Still, Autobiography, 1897, p. 99)
This idea would be the basis of all of his research, devoted to the very detailed anatomical study of the human body.
Still developed a manual therapy, focused on searching out the cause of a pathology, not on its effects.
Recognized by him was the fact that the body contains, in large part, all of the medicine necessary for self-healing. One must simply remove any blockages to movement, in order to allow life-fluids (blood, lymph, intracellular fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, etc.) and vital information (nerve impulses) to reach the affected area, for recovery.
Founded more than 140 years ago, osteopathy is a therapeutic approach in perpetual evolution, characterized by the therapist developing acute tactile sensitivity.
Palpation and evaluation are underscored by a mastery of knowledge of human anatomy, physiology, pathology and diagnosis.