History of Osteopathy
Osteopathy was founded in the USA by a medical doctor, Andrew Taylor Still. He was the son of a Methodist minister and was brought up in the mid southern states of America, an area we might associate with the Wild West, an area frequented by outlaws such as Billy the Kid, and quack doctors purveying medicines purporting to be elixirs of life.
Still became disillusioned with the overuse of drugs, many of which included high levels of mercury and alcohol, so called “heroic medicine” and, following his experiences in the American Civil War, looked for a more natural form of healing.
He opened his first practice in Kirksville, Missouri in 1874, and his form of treatment became very popular in a very short space of time. Many asked to be taught his philosophy and practice, and he started a school of osteopathy in the town a couple of years later.
One of his students, John Martin Littlejohn brought osteopathy to the U.K. and he started his own clinic and school in 1917. The school, located in London, later became known as the British School of Osteopathy and is flourishing today as Europe’s largest and oldest osteopathic training establishment.
Today, osteopathy in the U.K. is regulated by Act of Parliament, and all practicing osteopaths must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council who maintain the very high standards expected of all Osteopathic Practitioners.