top of page

Who created Osteopathy?

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

Andrew Taylor Still (1828–1917) was an American physician and the founder of osteopathy. He developed osteopathy as a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on the body's self-healing mechanisms and the interconnectedness of its various systems. Osteopathy emphasizes the importance of addressing structural and functional imbalances to promote health and well-being. Andrew Still's creation of osteopathy can be explained through four key principles of practice:

The Body is a Unit: Andrew Still believed that the body is a unified whole, with all of its parts interrelated and interconnected. He rejected the notion of treating isolated symptoms or body parts without considering their relationship to the entire organism. This principle emphasizes that health and disease are influenced by the harmonious functioning of all bodily systems.

The Body Has Self-Healing Mechanisms: Still recognized the body's inherent ability to heal itself and maintain homeostasis (balance). He believed that the body's natural healing mechanisms could be enhanced and supported through appropriate medical interventions. Osteopathic treatment aims to facilitate and optimize these self-healing processes by addressing structural and functional imbalances.

Structure and Function Are Interrelated: One of the core tenets of osteopathy is the understanding that the structure of the body influences its function, and vice versa. Andrew Still believed that when the body's structure is compromised, whether due to injury, poor posture, or other factors, it can lead to impaired function and health problems. Osteopathic practitioners focus on identifying and correcting structural abnormalities to improve overall function and well-being.

Treatment is Based on Osteopathic Principles: Osteopathic treatment techniques are designed to align with the principles of osteopathy. Andrew Still developed a hands-on approach to therapy that includes techniques such as osteopathic manipulation, soft tissue techniques, and myofascial release. These techniques aim to restore proper structural alignment, optimize blood flow and nerve function, and promote the body's natural healing processes.

Andrew Still's innovative ideas led to the formalization of osteopathy as a distinct healthcare system. He founded the first osteopathic college, the American School of Osteopathy (now A.T. Still University), in Kirksville, Missouri, in 1892. This marked the beginning of the osteopathic profession. Osteopathy has since evolved and expanded, with osteopathic physicians (DOs) becoming licensed healthcare providers who diagnose, treat, and prevent a wide range of medical conditions. It's important to note that while osteopathy was originally developed by Andrew Still as an alternative approach to mainstream medicine, it has since become an integral part of healthcare systems in many countries. Osteopathic medicine emphasizes a patient-centered, holistic approach to care, focusing on the integration of the principles outlined above to promote health and well-being. Ann Shivas brings over 9 years of invaluable experience in the field of Osteopathy. Her journey has taken her across the globe, where she has had the privilege of working closely with professional athletes, aiding them in their pursuit of optimal health and performance. Ann's passion for Osteopathy extends beyond the limelight, as she is dedicated to sharing her extensive knowledge with her local community in Comox Valley, Courtney, and Cumberland. Through her work, Ann aims to raise awareness about the remarkable benefits of Osteopathy and its potential to transform lives. For those seeking to experience the advantages firsthand, appointments can be conveniently booked online via this link: Book Now.


bottom of page