Osteopathy was developed by American physician AT Still (1828-1917). A meningitis epidemic took three of his sons lives in 1864. That was the moment when he lost his faith in traditional medicine and led to his quest for a better form of medicine.
He came to the realization that his knowledge fell short . Risking his own life, he stole the bodies of Indians, which he then dissected. In this way he brought his knowledge of anatomy to a then unprecedented levels . This gave him insight into the importance of mobility for the operation.
Also thanks to injured buffalo, he became aware of the function of tissues other than the hit position, making it clear to him how the body should be seen as a unit.
He publicized his “discovery” on June 22, 1874, but only in 1889 gave it the name of osteopathy. In the meantime it was his way of dealing with a combination of what he knew from traditional medicine, integrated with his knowledge of the mesmeriaanse surgery and bone setting (now cracking or manual therapy ), which eventually resulted in a treatment system, whose philosophy originated from several sources: Hippocrates, the iatrogenic mechanical school ( Descartes, Borelli Baglivi ), the iatrogenic chemical school (Théophile de Bordeau, Van Helmont, Mesmer). The uniqueness of Stillwater was the way he combined this apparent contrary-minded schools to a system of diagnosis and treatment.
American School of Osteopathy
In the period from 1874 to 1892, he promoted himself as a “magnetizing healer” and later as “enlightening bonesetter”. The American School of Osteopathy was to Kirksville, Missouri opened in 1892.
His treatments were not understood by the medical community and in several states a ban was issued even to practice. Despite this opposition, one could not ignore the results of Osteopathy.
William G. Sutherland
One of his students, William G. Sutherland, was surprised by the fact that the skull has different shaped sutures. He came to the conclusion that this had to have a function. He also felt a movement that had nothing to do with the heart or breathing. He called it the Primary Respiratory Mechanism. Again, despite criticism from the scientific community, dr. Sutherland continued his research. He constructed a sort of clamp, which he fixed some bones on his own head. His wife kept a diary. It described the result when the skull was actually limited in its movement. This resulted in a report that was issued in about 1933 under the title : “The Cranial Bowl”.
In the meantime, there were three English brothers Littlejohn in America on vacation. Because of the asthmatic disposition of one of them, they came into contact with dr. Still. Dr. Still treated the man with amazing results. The three brothers have learned osteopathy from dr. Still.
In Europe, osteopathy was first presented in London in 1898 for the Society of Science, Literature and Art in Kensington Hall. This lecture was by presented John M. Littlejohn and repeated in 1899 and 1900. The first osteopaths settled in the period 1900-1901 in the United Kingdom.
In 1917 in London the British School of Osteopathy was officially opened by dr. John Martin Littlejohn (1865-1947), being the first school of osteopathy in Europe.
Jean-Pierre Barral, a Frenchman, graduated from the School of Osteopathy in Maidstone, Kent . This school was founded by Thomas G. Dummer, DO with people such as Paul Geny and with the cooperation of John Wernham.
Until that time, there was a lot of knowledge about the differences in pressure inside the lungs, but nothing below the diaphragm. Barral dealt with this subject and so visceral osteopathy originated in Europe.
(thanks to Christian Fossum, Norway)