The philosophy of osteopathy was created by the American doctor Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917) in Kirksville, United States of America in 1874.
Despite his knowledge of the medicine of his time, Dr. A. T. Still could not prevent the death of some of his children and his first wife. This inability inspired him to consider new practices of medicine. He concluded that most diseases could be improved or cured without the medicines available at his time (blood-letting, nauseants, mercury).
Osteopathy to activate the self-healing powers
In his work with his patients and by thorough studies of anatomy and physiology, he concluded further that even the slightest change in bones, joints or muscles had a significant influence onto the whole body. He called his concept osteopathy, which is composed of two Greek words. For Still, the bone (Greek “osteon”) was the point of origin of assessing the cause for pathological states (“suffering”, Greek ‘pathos’). By freeing disturbances of the bone mechanics, he exerted influence onto the function of vessels and nerves, thus activating self-healing powers. His idea of the "triune man", a unity of body, mind and soul conveyed the idea of a perfect self-healing mechanism. Being a religious person, Still regarded the human as god’s perfect creation.
Considering the human being in a comprehensive way
With osteopathy, Still created a new form of medicine, aimed at the human as a whole and not limiting itself to treating diseases. His medicine assisted the patients in stimulating their own self-healing powers in order to regain health. This principle of viewing the human as a whole is still valid today.