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Osteopathy is a holistic approach of manual medicine based on philosophical principles introduced by the founder of osteopathy Dr. A.T. Still.

These basic principles are:
  •  • Our body is a unique biological unit
  •  • The body has the inherent ability to defend, heal, correct & regulate itself
  •  • Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated. Any structural changes affect function and vice versa

Another important concept of osteopathy is somatic dysfunction.
Somatic dysfunction is altered or impaired function of related components of the somatic system: skeletal with arthrovertebral, myofascial structures, and related vascular and neural elements.

It includes:
  •   • Tissue texture changes
  •   • Asymmetry of structure
  •   • Restriction of motion
  •   • Tenderness to palpation

The goal of an osteopathic manual treatment is to restore the normal functioning of the affected areas of the body with somatic dysfunctions by stimulating a more appropriate healing process and interrelations between different systems of the human body (musculoskeletal, nervous, circulatory, pulmonary, digestive system etc). The patient is assessed and treated as a whole unique unit.

Dr. Still said:
“... We teach you anatomy in all its branches, that you may be able to have and keep a living picture before your mind all the time, so you can see all joints, ligaments, muscles, glands, arteries, veins, lymphatic, superficial and deep fascia, all organs, how they are fed, what they must do, and why they are expected to do a part, and what would follow in case that part was not well done and on time“...
“... Look upon the human body as an organization of laborers. The business of the operator is to keep peace and harmony throughout... It is a worthy Osteopath who realizes the great importance of this truth, and practices it“...
Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, Founder of Osteopathy
Osteopathy was founded by Andrew Taylor Still, M.D., D.O. Dr. Still was the first who treated patients as a whole, searching for the causes of dysfunction rather the symptoms. Dr. Still founded the first school of osteopathy in Kirksville, Missouri in 1892.

The model that was created by A.T. Still and that which is currently taught in the USA was modified somewhat early on by J. Martin Littlejohn, M.D., D.O., to exclude Pharmacotherapeutics and Surgery and was carried to Europe and the rest of the world. The growth of Osteopathy since then has been tremendous and is currently practiced around the world, generally following the Littlejohn model.

Origin
Dr.Still, who practiced for many years as an orthodox physician, came to the conclusion that contemporary orthodox medical treatment of his day was unscientifically based, and was largely ineffective or at times outright harmful. He detected that the body's structure is reciprocally related to the way it functioned. He developed his treatments based upon his understanding of anatomy and physiology, using philosophical principles.

Unique Approach to Treatment
An osteopath works to gently realign musculoskeletal system, investigating why there is a fault in the system framework and how it can be related to the physical problem and looking for the reasons behind it. Osteopathy is not a system of techniques. True osteopathy, as taught by Dr. Still, includes the "osteopathic thinking" to find the source of the problem, and indicates the way to unlock its own self-healing mechanisms.
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