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History of Osteopathy

“To find health should be the object of the doctor. Anyone can find disease.”
-A.T. Still, M.D., D.O., founder of Osteopathic Medicine

Osteopathy was founded in the late 1800s by physician and surgeon Andrew Taylor Still, MD DO in Kirksville, Missouri, when he discovered the significance of living anatomy in health and disease. Dr. Still realized that in order to achieve the highest possible form of health, all parts of the body should work together harmoniously. He reasoned that disease could have its origins in slight anatomical deviation from normal. He then proved he could restore health by treating the body with his hands, naming his innovative approach Osteopathy.

Dr. Still understood that the human body is composed of many parts, all intimately related as a functional whole. More than a hundred years ago, he also realized that the human being is more than just a physical body. He envisioned a totally new medical system that acknowledges the relationships of the body, mind, emotions and spirit.

In 1892 Dr. Still founded the first school of Osteopathy in Kirksville, Missouri, and today there are 33 colleges of osteopathic medicine in the U.S. and over 96,000 practicing D.O.’s.

Cranial Osteopathy

“The goal of an osteopathic treatment is to affect a more efficient interchange between all the fluids of the body and across all their tissue interfaces.”
-William G. Sutherland, D.O., founder of Cranial Osteopathy

William Garner Sutherland, D.O., discovered, developed and taught Cranial Osteopathy in the early to mid-1900s. Cranial Osteopathy is a very subtle and gentle approach to the treatment of the whole body (not just the head as the name implies). Cranial Osteopathy examines the complex structure of the head in detail and its considerable influence on the health of the whole body via its connection to the spine. It is seen as an expansion of the general principles of osteopathy that include a special understanding of the central nervous system and the surrounding fluid, its connective tissue covering, and a mechanism called primary respiration. Those who wish to practice cranial osteopathy train intensively through post-graduate studies.

Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, describes Cranial Osteopathy on his website.

William G. Sutherland, D.O.

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