Osteopathy predates Physiotherapy and Chiropractic therapies. It has its origins in the 1800’s when Dr. Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917) an American Doctor became disillusioned with allopathic medicine following the death of three of his children to meningitis. He dedicated his life studying anatomy, health and disease, searching for a drugless, more natural, hands on approach to medicine. In 1892, Dr. Still founded the American School of Osteopathy (ASO) in Kirksville, U.S.A.
In 1918, Dr. Martin Littlejohn, a student of Dr. A.T. Still founded the British School of Osteopathy in London, England. In 1993, the UK government officially recognised Osteopathy with the passing of the Osteopaths Act 1993. Since then, Osteopathy has spread to most countries in the E.U. and beyond.
Osteopathy is based around 4 key principles that are unique to this particular manual therapy. The principles are as follows:
Osteopathic treatment gets significant results through circulatory changes. Any ‘restrictions’ within the flow of blood will cause dysfunction, and illness can follow. “The artery is the river of life, health and ease and, if muddy or impure, disease follows” (Dr. A.T. Still, DO, 1908.)
The role of the Osteopath is to remove any restriction or tension, thus allowing the free flow of blood which in turn allows the body to heal itself.
The structure of body tissues, such as bones, ligaments, muscles and fascia must be free to move and not impinge upon nerves and blood vessels. Mechanical problems (restrictions in movement) often precede a change in the physiology and/or chemistry of the body, which can lead to illness.
Within the body everything is connected and inter-dependent. A restriction or malfunction in any part of the body will affect the whole body.