Osteopathy arose in USA more than 100 years ago. Founder of osteopathy is doctor Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917), who having been unsatisfied with contemporary orthodox methods of treatment, devised osteopathy concept in 1874, having taken the best from Egyptian and Greek medicine of the Age of Renaissance.
ЭAndrew Taylor Still – is a doctor, who practised on the border of states Kansas and Missouri. Except medical work he was a farmer, fought on the side of federalists during civil war and worked in Legislative Assembly of a free Kansas state for some time. In 1864 in USA meningitis epidemic burst out, which took his wife’s and three children’s lives away. Still writes in his autobiography: “It was in the spring of 1864; the distant thunders of the retreating war could be easily heard; but a new enemy appeared. War had been very merciful to me compared with this foe. War had left my family unharmed; but when the dark wings of spinal meningitis hovered over the land, it seemed to select my loved ones for its prey”. Neither priests nor doctors could save his family in spite of all their efforts. Doctor Still was broken and perplexed, having lost the faith in a medicine of the time. Tragedy was a starting point of searching for the other understanding of health. In 1897 Still will write in his diaries: “Who invented Osteopathy? 24 years ago on the 22 day of June at 10 o’clock a sunbeam has glimmered on the horizon of truth”. In 1874 after 10 years of investigations Still “flung to the breeze the banner of Osteopathy”. He didn’t define then what it actually meant. Though after it there were attempts to present his discoveries at Baker University, educational institution, which he helped to establish. He was refused to listen to.
In fact term “osteopathy” was offered by Still in 1889. They say when he was accused of absence of such a word in a dictionary, Still parried: “So what? We’ll put it to the dictionary!” This word became a symbol of reform in medicine for Still and his followers.
Andrew Taylor Still suggested a postulate: “structure governs function, function defines structure”. Osteopathy dealt with natural structure of body, was aimed at its normal and restoration functioning, and didn’t hurt the structure. Those times exactly the opposite things were observed: widely used laxatives, emetics, bloodletting and medicines that caused addiction. His small clinic quickly won popularity and sometimes there were more than 1000 people in its waiting list. 18 years more had passed and doctor Still founded the first school in 1892 – American School of Osteopathy in Kirkville, state Missouri. There were 21 students in the first intake, including Still’s two sons. And in January of 1897 school already occupied 4 buildings, where professors taught 280 students from 24 states of America and two provinces of Canada.
The same year American Osteopathic Association was founded to assist osteopathy advancement. Having completed education Still’s students opened their own schools. Number of schools of osteopathy continuously and quickly grew up in America. In 1898, more than 100 years ago, to create standards of teaching osteopathy Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine was founded, which started to work in a close connection with American Osteopathic Association. In 1903 Council of state Missouri was opened, the first certificate of osteopathy was given to Andrew Taylor Still.
In 1918 John Martin Littlejohn (1865-1947), DO, Still’s student, founded the first European School of Osteopathy in England.
In 1939 doctor Still’s student, William Garner Sutherland (1873-1954), reported on the concept of cranial osteopathy in Neurosurgical Society, basis of the concept was a doctrine of the primary respiratory mechanism (PRM), of the inherent rhythm of tissues; and published the book “The Cranial Bowl”.
Sutherland is a founder of a cranial school of osteopathy. While being a student he was interested in bevelled surfaces of the greater wings of sphenoid and squamous parts of the temporal bone; an idea flashed through his mind: “Beveled like the gills of a fish, indicating respiratory motion for an articular mechanism”. Sutherland had been studying bones of skull for 30 years and even tried to prove badness of his idea. The final stage of his long investigations was a successful use of a theory of cranial diagnostics and treatment of patients by Sutherland. In 1946 the Osteopathic Cranial Association was founded.
William Garner Sutherland In 60s the first osteopathic school was founded in France. At present numerous schools of osteopathic medicine exist in USA, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Russia, Latvia, Canada, New Zealand and Argentina.
These methods developed and more than in a century transformed into one of the schools of official medicine that is put into practice of many medical institutions in the West. Majority of contemporary Americans prefer to have their own osteopath as well as their personal psychoanalytic. They visit osteopath as only they feel the slightest symptoms of indisposition: pain in muscles that occurred due to gym, nervous disorders caused by stress, and even gastritis that is a consequence of a well-known “fast food”. In USA osteopathy can be practiced only by specialists with medical education. In European countries, New Zealand doctors complete special osteopathic colleges.