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RUNNING HEAD: HISTORY OF OSTEOPATHY

 

1 History of Osteopathy

 

Brandon Lakomowski

 

Comp 101

 

Kimera Smith RUNNING HEAD: HISTORY OF OSTEOPATHY

 

2 On August 6, 1828 the founder of osteopathy, Andrew Taylor Still was born. Andrew

 

Taylor Still was influenced by his parents towards a great deal of religion and spirituality with a

 

god while growing up. He held a belief that god created all things perfectly and the human body

 

has the ability to heal itself with what the human body had been given. Andrew Taylor Still had

 

always shown a strong opinion on many topics but especially took an interest in the anatomy of

 

the human body; even more so Still was intrigued by the nervous system. In the mid 1800?s there

 

was little to be known on the causes of disease and those practicing medicine were often not

 

experienced; the remedies that were practiced were often times more dangerous than the illness

 

itself! Some typical procedures during the 1850?s include laxatives, purgatives, bloodletting and

 

calomel. Andrew Taylor Still knew that there were more safe and effective treatments so he

 

focused an importance on the musculoskeletal system. He thought that the body could heal itself

 

with proper circulation of blood and proper mental impulse through nervous tissue. On June 22nd

 

1874 osteopathy was born. (Giovanna, Schiowitz, Dowling, 2005).

 

Andrew Taylor Still had something special and he knew it. The community as well as

 

Still?s family members questioned Still's philosophy towards health. Still's philosophy, being that

 

by applying manipulative forces to the joints he could relieve nerve irritation and help the body

 

restore its health. Those practicing medicine were not accepting to what Still was doing with this

 

new medical treatment and many times was called out to be a quack or a fake. Whether people

 

?believed? Still?s new health care approach was fake or not the positive results of his patients

 

willing to try his methods seemed to be enough poof for many. Still's manipulative treatments

 

showed a great amount of results very rapidly and osteopathy grew much bigger. After continued

 

failed attempts to implement osteopathic classes into curriculum at colleges in Kansas, the first RUNNING HEAD: HISTORY OF OSTEOPATHY

 

3 college of osteopathy was started in Missouri in 1892. (American Osteopathic Association,

 

2006). For many years following the large growth of osteopathy, osteopathic physicians fought

 

for the right to be in the same hospitals as medical doctors so they could have similar insurance

 

policies as medical doctors, the same stigma, and overall be the same respected figure as the

 

medical doctors. In a 1950 court decision doctors of osteopathy were granted the right to

 

prescribe medicine in Missouri. Twenty three years later all fifty states held full practice rights

 

which included the ability to prescribe medicine and perform surgery.

 

After osteopathy?s growth in previous years Still decided it was time to teach others his

 

manipulative treatments. Mostly he trained his children and a handful of others to help him

 

maintain his patients. (A.T. Still University, 2010). Eventually there were enough people who

 

wanted to learn Still?s treatments and persuaded him to open The American School of

 

Osteopathy, a two room building in Kirksville, Missouri. The first graduating class consisted of

 

sixteen men and five women who graduated two years later in 1894. The school became a large

 

success for Still, it was estimated on any given day around four hundred people would come to

 

be treated in Kirksville.

 

In 1874 the philosophy of osteopathy was thriving and distinct from any other

 

professions. The philosophy held true that where there is organization, there is life; as well as

 

where there is motion, there is life. (The Cranial Academy, 2005). Deduced from these general

 

statements are four basic principles which give understanding to osteopathy. The first of the four

 

principles states that structure is interrelated with function. As stated before motion is life

 

therefore when motion is hindered by obstructions in the body, the body cannot express its

 

maximum health potential. The second principle of osteopathy states that the human body is one

 

functioning unit, so the osteopathic practitioner must take a holistic approach and look at the RUNNING HEAD: HISTORY OF OSTEOPATHY

 

4 body as one complete unit. The third principle may be the most important to osteopathic

 

philosophy which states that the body is always working to keep itself in a homeostatic range,

 

which is the optimum level for that individual to stay alive. When the body stops adapting or is

 

not able to adapt with its full potential, declined health may occur. The fourth and final principle

 

of osteopathy states that treatment occurs when applying these principles.

 

In 1973 osteopaths sold themselves and their principles to gain the respect of medical

 

doctors. Their manipulative treatments had proven themselves beneficial and effective as a

 

profession but osteopathic practitioners did not want to be looked at as any less than the typical

 

medical physician, so they gave away their profession to become equal with a large accepted

 

profession. After 1973 you couldn?t depict a medical doctor from an osteopathic doctor because

 

they were given all the same legal rights to treat patients as a primary health care provider, the

 

only difference are the initials behind the name and a slightly different curriculum through their

 

college training. A similar health care profession was founded in 1895 by D. D. Palmer. This

 

profession has some similarities but many differences to osteopathy, the main similarity to

 

mention is the third osteopathic principle which describes the body?s ability to express itself with

 

proper mental impulse. Chiropractic and osteopathy both work to restore mental impulse from

 

the central nervous system into the periphery allowing the body to express health. The main

 

difference to mention is chiropractic?s objective, rather than manipulating the spinal column to

 

restore proper structure, D.D. Palmer introduced specific, short-lever vertebral adjustment to

 

restore the transmission of mental impulses. (Strang, 1984, p. 11-12). "Those who cannot

 

remember the past are condemned to repeat it."1 A quote that perfectly describes chiropractic?s

 

situation as a profession in history, just as osteopaths sold themselves to the medical doctors by

 

abandoning their principles, many D.C.?s in history have abandoned their principles to gain RUNNING HEAD: HISTORY OF OSTEOPATHY

 

5 acceptance from the medical community just at osteopaths once did. Those who abandon their

 

principles for respect have provided much work for present day workers in that profession to

 

keep it alive and distinct from all other professions. Many great men and women have worked

 

and dedicated their lives to making both osteopathy and chiropractic possible health care options

 

to the public in our history. RUNNING HEAD: HISTORY OF OSTEOPATHY

 

6 References

 

1 George Santayana, The Life of Reason or The Phases of Human Progress: Reason in Common Sense 284 (2nd ed., Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, New York 1924

 

American Osteopathic Association (2006). Important Dates in Osteopathic History. .

 

E. Giovanna, S. Schiowitz, D. Dowling, (2005). An Osteopathic Approach to Diagnosis and

 

Treatment. 3rd ed. Pennsylvania: Lippencott Williams & Wilkins.

 

Strang, V. V. (1984). The Purpose of Chiropractic Philosophy. In Essential

 

Chiropractic. (pp. 10-15). Davenport, Iowa: Virgil V. Strang. Principles of

 


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