Andrew Taylor Still, founder of osteopathy.Andrew Taylor Still, founder of osteopathy.
Time 1874
Title Dr. Andrew Taylor Still articulates osteopathic principles
Event Osteopathic medicine is founded on the philosophy that all body systems are interrelated and dependent upon one another for good health. Dr. Still believes that by correcting problems in the body's structure, through manipulative treatment, the body's ability to function and to heal itself is greatly improved. He also promotes the idea of preventive medicine and endorses the philosophy that physicians should focus on treating the whole patient, rather than just the disease. Based on this philosophy, Dr. Still opens the first school of osteopathic medicine in Kirksville, Missouri in 1892.

Because osteopathy recognizes that all parts of the body work together to create healing, the mind or brain is considered part of this holistic system. Therefore, osteopathy considers that disorder in body structure can cause or exacerbate mental problems like depression. In turn, it is thought that mental disorder can cause or exacerbate physical disease.

Osteopathic physicians use all of the tools available through modern medicine including prescription medicine and surgery. They also incorporate osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) into their regimen of patient care when appropriate. OMT is a set of manual medicine techniques that may be used to relieve pain, restore range of motion, and enhance the body's capacity to heal.

There is no distinct spiritual component of osteopathy, but some modern practitioners recognize a bodily “energy” (like the Eastern concept of chi) as a healing force.

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