AT Still Osteopathy

The Principles of Osteopathy, As Espoused by Andrew Taylor Still:

To find health should be the objective of any doctor. Anyone can find disease

The founder of osteopathy, Andrew Taylor Still, first used the term ‘osteopathy’ in 1874 to describe a philosophy of healing that he developed. Etymologically the word osteopathy derives from Greek: osteo (bone) and pathos (incoming effects from). Osteopathy describes the influence of bones in relation to disease: causation and cures; not bone disease or bone pain. Therefore ‘osteopathy’ is really ‘the incoming effects from bone’, or the suffering that results when disorder exists among them. 

Pathology in orthodox medicine means the study of suffering (or rather the study of disease ‘products’, which is really a change in its original meaning.

Orthodox medicine treats diseases; it doesn't make you healthy.

With all this, Andrew Taylor Still believed the body had an inherent healing ability, and that an uninterrupted nerve and blood supply to all tissues of the body was essential to their normal function. Thus if any structural problem (e.g. muscle spasm, chronic tissue tension or curvature of the spine etc.) interfered with normal blood and nerve supply, the self-healing power would also be interfered with and disease would be the result.

1. The body is a unit - every part of the body is interrelated.
2. The body has the ability to heal itself. The body has its own mechanisms for healing. Osteopaths can help the patient with this process.
3. Structure and function are related. This means that the structure of the body effects the way the body functions.
4. The body has an ability to defend itself.
5. The freedom of body fluids and nerve impulses to move unimpeded is essential for health.
6. The vital force controls the working of the body and expresses itself as health when all its parts are in order.
7. Nature heals while osteopathy assists. Osteopaths are committed to doing no harm.
8. Osteopaths treat patients who have a condition of health. They do not treat conditions in isolation.
9. Osteopathy builds health - by treating within the vital health of the patient.

What is an 'osteopathic lesion'?

Howard Beardmore DO – The osteopathic lesion is not ‘a bone out of place’ but any obstruction to physiological processes or irritation, deficiency or excess that may, if left unaddressed, lead to a state of unhealth. This can include: diet, lifestyle, posture, mental or physical trauma and poisoning; any method that is only directed at only managing the symptomatic picture, acts by palliating symptoms and suppressing nature’s attempt to clean’. 

Traditional Chinese Medicine states, “There is no such thing as incurable diseases, only incurable people”.

With all this, Andrew Taylor Still believed the body had an inherent healing ability, and that an uninterrupted nerve and blood supply to all tissues of the body was essential to their normal function. Thus if any structural problem (e.g. muscle spasm, chronic tissue tension or curvature of the spine etc.) interfered with normal blood and nerve supply, the self-healing power would also be interfered with and disease would be the result.

Commonly, if we have a pain, we take a pain-killer; if we have an infection, we take an antibiotic. That’s fine. But if we need to keep taking them, it surely begs the next question – what are we missing or ignoring? 

The main point here is that orthodox medicine deals with normality and disease, not health (see What is Good Health?). Being clear on this, it does considers good health only in terms of ‘normal’, i.e. it has parameters of good health: normal blood pressure, normal heart rate, normal blood glucose etc. Orthodox medicine treats diseases; it doesn't make you healthy.

With all this, Andrew Taylor Still believed the body had an inherent healing ability, and that an uninterrupted nerve and blood supply to all tissues of the body was essential to their normal function. Thus if any structural problem (e.g. muscle spasm, chronic tissue tension or curvature of the spine etc.) interfered with normal blood and nerve supply, the self-healing power would also be interfered with and disease would be the result.

Laurence Hattersley OsteopathLaurence Hattersley OsteopathLaurence Hattersley Osteopath