History & Philosophy
Dr. Andrew Still (1821-1917) developed Osteopathic Medicine and founded its first school in Kirksville, Missouri, in 1892. Dr. Still began his medical career in 1854. American medicine during this time was characterized by poorly trained practitioners employing harsh therapies to combat poorly understood disease entities. In 1864, three of Still’s family members died of Spinal Meningitis. This personal loss inspired him to evaluate various alternative medical systems and to abandon orthodox medicine. He began searching for a more effective system of healing.
Dr. Still developed the science of Osteopathy. The “Osteopathy” comes from the Greek word “osteon’ (bone) and “pathos” (to suffer). The name has created some confusion, leasing people to think that Osteopath treats only conditions of the bones. However, Dr. still chose the name encase he recognized the importance of a proper functioning musculoskeletal system for the total well-being of the individual. Through medical manipulation, one could restore structure, health and function of the human body. He dedicated his life to studying human anatomy, noting that structure and function are interrelated. When the circulatory and nervous system of the body is restricted, the body is unable to heal itself. Mechanically adjusting the body removes restrictions and thus promotes healing power to any ailing part of the body.
Dr. Still deemed three principles in Osteopathy: