Osteopathy

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Osteopathy

Osteopathy

Osteopathy

History Principles and philosophy Somatic dysfunction (osteopathic injury) The visit The treatment The techniques Fields of application of osteopathy Osteopathic training in Italy
  • History
    • Osteopathy in Europe
  • Principles and philosophy
  • Somatic dysfunction (osteopathic injury)
  • Visit
  • The treatment
  • The techniques
  • Fields of application of osteopathy
  • Osteopathic training in Italy

History

The history of osteopathy is closely related to Still's life, at least in its early stages. Still was born on August 6, 1828, in Virginia. His father, a Methodist doctor and preacher, has a strong influence on him, so much so as to push him to study medicine. Convinced of the abolitionist of slavery, he participated as a doctor in the civil war; during his life he is also interested in hypnosis and engineering. His confidence in the skills of the medicine of the time was hit hard when he saw his wife and three children die helplessly from an epidemic of meningitis: it was 1864, and from this moment Still began to study the human body more carefully., especially anatomy.

The passion for mechanics and the belief that the human being is naturally equipped with all the substances necessary for his recovery lead him to think that the best way to treat patients is to allow the body to function at its best, acting to ensure a optimal blood and lymphatic circulation and to free the nerves from any mechanical disturbance. Following this approach, Still begins to treat patients, obtaining good results. Only in 1874 he decides to give a name to this therapy (in the autobiography he writes that he "hoisted the flag of osteopathy"): he exposes his ideas in a medical university that he and his father had supported, but the reaction of the medical establishment is negative; he then began working as a wandering doctor in various cities.

In 1892 he decided to found the American School of Osteopathy (ASO) in the city where he lives, Kirksville, Missouri. The first class consists of five women and sixteen men and the course lasts a few months. In the following years, enrollments will increase considerably, as will the duration of the courses, which will shortly reach two years.

In 1897, Still's students founded the American Association for the Advancement of Osteopathy (AAAO), now known as the American Osteopathy Association (AOA); in that same year Still wrote his autobiography. Given the progress of the students, he gradually leaves the teaching and writes three other books, The philosophy of osteopathy, Osteopathy: research and practice and Philosophy and mechanical principles of osteopathy; died on December 12, 1917, at the age of 89.

In 1952 the American Osteopathy Association was recognized by the United States Department of Health as the accredited association for osteopathic medical training. Currently osteopathic education in America is equivalent to medical education, with the only difference that students also learn osteopathic principles and techniques. The qualification obtained is the degree in Osteopathy, DO (Doctor of Osteopathy).

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Osteopathy in Europe

The first European nation to accept osteopathy, at the beginning of the twentieth century, was Great Britain: here the first osteopaths created, in 1911, the British Osteopathic Association. In 1917 John Martin Littlejohn, a former ASO teacher, founded the British School of Osteopathy, which, after decades of attempts, finally gained recognition in 1993.

Also in France osteopathy arrives early, but begins to spread only in the sixties of the last century, above all thanks to physiotherapists; recently it has also been recognized officially. Especially in France, the foundations were laid for the spread of osteopathy in other European countries, including Italy in the eighties: here the first graduates formed in 1989 the Register of Italian Osteopaths (ROI).

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