Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, M.D founded osteopathy in 1874. According to Osteopathy, the most ailments are due to “structural derangement” of the body. So Osteopathy is the practice of therapy based on manipulation of bones and muscles. In Osteopathy system of medicine, the structure and functions of the body are given equal importance and advocates the body's natural ability to heal itself under the right conditions.
Osteopathy emphasis on the relationship between the organs and the musculoskeletal system as well as on treating the whole individual rather than just the disease.
These are the eight major principles of osteopathy and are widely accepted throughout the osteopathic community.
1. The body is a unit.
2. Structure and function are reciprocally inter-related.
3. The body possesses self-regulatory mechanisms.
4. The body has the inherent capacity to defend and repair itself.
5. When the normal adaptability is disrupted, or when environmental changes overcome the body’s capacity for self maintenance, disease may ensue.
6. The movement of body fluids is essential to the maintenance of health.
7. The nerves play a crucial part in controlling the fluids of the body.
8. There are somatic components to disease that are not only manifestations of disease, but also are factors that contribute to maintenance of the disease state.
These principles are not held by osteopathic physicians to be empirical laws, nor contradictions to medical principles; they are thought to be the underpinnings of the osteopathic philosophy on health and disease. The first school of osteopathy was founded at Kirksville, Mo., in 1892. A growing number of other colleges in the United States are accredited by the American Osteopathic Association to give the required four-year course of training and to grant the degree of D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy). The majority of D.O.’s in the United States practice no differently than the M.D.’s and do not employ the traditional aspects of osteopathy as given to us by Andrew Taylor Still. Thus, the unique hands-on discipline is not integrated in their practices. As with Doctors of Medicine (M.D.s), D.O.s educated in the United States are fully licensed physicians and surgeons who practice the full scope of medicine. Currently, there are 27 accredited osteopathic medical schools in the United States and 125 accredited U.S. allopathic medical schools.