What Is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a philosophy and form of traditional healthcare that takes into account and emphasizes the interrelationship between structure and function of the body, as well as the body’s ability to heal itself.
Osteopathy, or Osteopathic Medicine, is based on the belief that most diseases are related to an imbalance in the body, many of which could be corrected by synchronizing the relationship between structure and function. If an individual is structurally balanced, their body is more efficient in maintaining homeostasis (the stable equilibrium that is sustained by physiologic processes) thereby making it more effective at preserving health. This is achieved through of hands on treatment given by a physician trained in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.
Osteopathy was founded in 1874 by Andrew Taylor Still, M.D. Dr. Still was a Missouri physician who had become frustrated with what he saw in the ineffective nature of remedies at that time. He believed that the doctor’s role in fighting disease was to restore the body’s proper structure and therefore ensuring free flow of blood, lymph and cerebrospinal fluid to nourish all the cells of the body. Dr. Still founded the American School of Osteopathy in Missouri in 1892. The school taught manual manipulation as well as surgery and drug therapies. Today, D.O.s get the same training as M.D.s, but they also learn Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (hands on treatments) and use this along with more conventional medical modalities. D.O.’s can practice in all medical specialties.
William G. Sutherland, D.O., a student of Dr. Still, introduced Osteopaths to the cranial concept. Osteopathy in the Cranial Field is the study of gentle rhythmic motions found within the cranium. These motions make a connection between what is occurring in the cranium, the nervous system, the cerebrospinal fluid and all the cells in the body. Osteopathy in the Cranial Field is an extension of Osteopathy as taught by Dr. Still.