”To find health should be the object of the doctor. Anyone can find disease.”Dr. A. T. Still
Osteopathy is a form of treatment developed by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917). He introduced osteopathy to the public in 1874.
Dr. Still was a medical officer in the American Civil War where he witnessed a great deal of suffering and death. He also lost three of his children to spinal meningitis. Dr. Still was unsatisfied with the medical treatments of that time and wanted to develop a more efficient therapy.
Dr. Still studied anatomy widely and noticed that a person’s health is affected by the condition of the musculoskeletal system. He realized that optimal health is possible only if the body’s tissues and cells function in harmony. Based on these ideas, he came to the conclusion that diseases are caused by small anatomical changes. He proved that good health can be achieved by treating the body with hands and thus normalizing its functions.
Dr. Still based the practice of osteopathy on four major principles:
- The body is an integrated unit of mind, body and spirit.
- The body has self-regulatory and recovery mechanisms.
- The structure and function of the body are in interaction with each other.
- The treatment is based on understanding and reconciling these three principles.
Osteopathy spread to England in the beginning of the 20th century when John Martin Littlejohn, a student of Dr. Still, founded the British School of Osteopathy in London. The first Finnish osteopaths were trained in London.