Osteopathy was developed by Andrew Taylor Still, a physician and surgeon in the United States of America in the mid-1800s, who established the first independent school of osteopathy in 1892.
Osteopathy (also called osteopathic medicine) relies on manual contact for diagnosis and treatment. It respects the relationship of body, mind and spirit in health and disease; it lays emphasis on the structural and functional integrity of the body and the body’s intrinsic tendency for self-healing. Osteopathic practitioners use a variety of therapeutic manual techniques to improve physiological function and/or support homeostasis that has been altered by somatic (body framework) dysfunction, i.e. impaired or altered function of related components of the somatic system; skeletal, arthrodial and myofascial structures; and related vascular, lymphatic, and neural elements .
Osteopathic practitioners use their understanding of the relationship between structure and function to optimize the body’s self-regulating, self-healing capabilities. This holistic approach to patient care and healing is based on the concept that a human being is a dynamic functional unit, in which all parts are interrelated and which possesses its own self-regulatory and self-healing mechanisms. One essential component of osteopathic health care is osteopathic manual therapy, typically.