Osteopathy was founded in 1874 by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still.
Dr. Still, a physician who was born in Virginia (USA) in the early 1800’s, was trained through apprenticeship and was subsequently employed as a U.S.Army doctor during the American Civil War. The horrors of war and the subsequent death of his wife and children from an epidemic of spinal meningitis left him extremely disillusioned with traditional medical practice. After a period of intense study and reflection, Still founded osteopathic practice.
Dr. Still named his new school of medicine “osteopathy”, reasoning that the “bone, osteon, was the starting point from which I was to ascertain the cause of pathological conditions.” The scientific foundation of osteopathy was anatomy and its philosophy was based on the understanding of the integration between body, mind and spirit, the interrelatedness of structure and function, and the ability of the body to heal itself when mechanically sound.
Canadian osteopathic training typically involves a 5-year course of study with written and practical examinations at each year end and a final written thesis upon completion of the required course work. The Canadian College of Osteopathy, founded in 1991 by Philippe Druelle,D.O., offers a comprehensive program in Traditional Osteopathy (philosophy, theory, methodology, technique, clinical education and research).
“…to be an Osteopath you must study and know the exact construction of the human body, the exact location of every bone, nerve, fiber, muscle, and organ, the origin, the course and flow of all the fluids of the body, the relation of each to the other, and the function each is to perform in perpetuating life and health. In addition you must have the skill and ability to enable you to detect the exact location of every obstruction to the regular movements of this grand machinery of life.”
-A. T. Still, D.O.
“When all parts of the body are perfectly adjusted in position and action, it (the body) can best meet its environmental changes of temperature, food, mental strain and all difficulties to which the body is subjected.” -Perrin T. Wilson, D.O.
TECHNIQUES OF OSTEOPATHIC MANUAL PRACTICE
- High velocity, low amplitude thrusts (‘joint manipulation’).
- Joint mobilizations.
- Myofascial release.
- Muscle energy techniques.
- Soft tissue techniques.
- Cranial osteopathy.
- Visceral manipulation.
- Cranio-sacral treatment