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History of osteopathy

Andrew TaylorStill
Andrew Taylor Still Osteopath Osteopath

Osteopathy was founded in 1874 by North American physician, Andrew Taylor Still. Osteopathy is an art, a science, and a philosophy of life which apprehends the patient in their entirety.


Osteopathy is a manual therapy focused on the search for the causes of a condition and not on its effects. The aim of this technique is to preserve or restore the mobility of the different anatomical structures of the body: not only bone, muscle and ligament structures but also visceral, nervous, arterial, facial and cranial structures.


In 1865, an epidemic of meningitis caused four of Still's family members to die, including three of his children. Still was once again disappointed by the inefficiency of medicine at the time and put all his determination into finding his own method of treatment, which would become osteopathy.


In 1874, Still cured a child of dysentery during an epidemic by using only his hands. He then went on to successfully treat seventeen others.


After several years of practice and experimentation, he founded the American School of Osteopathy in 1892, which grew rapidly and significantly. The ASO was one of the first institutions to refuse all forms of discrimination, as the criteria for enrollment did not include gender or skin color. Here too, Still was a precursor of change.


Later, osteopathy would develop and spread throughout the United States, England and finally to Europe, with the help of Still's first students including W.G Sutherland and J.M. Littlejohn. 

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