What is Osteopathy
Dr. Still, the founder, an American surgeon described it as:
“Osteopathy is a scientific knowledge of anatomy and physiology in the hands of a person of intelligence and skill, who can apply that knowledge to the use of the man when sick or wounded by strains, shock, falls, or mechanical derangement or injury of any kind to the body. An up-to-date osteopath must have a masterful knowledge of anatomy and physiology... By our knowledge of physiology, we can comprehend the requirements of the circulation of the fluids of the body as to time, speed and quantity, in harmony with the demands of normal life.”
Dr. Still, Philosophy and principles of osteopathy, published in 1892, Kirksville.
© Still National Osteopathic Museum
Like many clinical investigators of his time, Still considered the patient to be his field of study and spoke of Osteopathy as: a Science, a Philosophy, and an Art.
As the profession developed, osteopathic principles evolved as:
1. The body is a unit; the person is a unit of body, mind and spirit.
2. The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing and health maintenance.
3. Structure and function are interdependent: This concept avoids the artificial separation of physiology, anatomy and biochemical and electrical fields.
4. The rationale of treatment is based upon an understanding of the basic principles of body unit, self-regulation and the inter-relationship of structure and function.