Our eGuide Chapter, “Osteopathic Medicine,” by Harold Magoun, DO, FAAO, DOEd (Hon), describes Osteopathy and Osteopathic Medicine in the following paragraphs.
Osteopathy is a traditional term which refers to Osteopathic Manipulation. The modern term, Osteopathic Medicine, is indicative of the total licensure of Osteopathic Physicians to practice medicine, surgery, obstetrics and manipulation.
Andrew Taylor Still, MD, the founder of Osteopathic Medicine who practiced at the time of the Civil War, was very dissatisfied with the profession of medicine. After losing three of his own children in an epidemic of spinal meningitis, he decided there had to be a better answer.
Closer examination of his patients revealed that those with illness and other complaints had areas of tightness, soreness, swelling and other physical problems. He found that by working with them manually, better results were achieved than with his medicines. He concluded:
- The body is designed to heal itself
- Structural abnormalities are intimately related to bodily function
- Restoration of structural integrity by manipulation normalizes blood and nerve supply which allows the body to heal itself.
He intended to “improve the practice of medicine, surgery and obstetrics,” but his new ideas were rejected. So he established a new philosophy of medicine called “Osteopathy,” and opened the first Osteopathic College in Kirksville Missouri, in 1892.
Today, there are twenty one Osteopathic Colleges and more than 40,000 Osteopathic Physicians (DOs). It is estimated that in excess of 20% of the US military medical corps are DOs.
The Member-Only Additions continue, describing Osteopathic Medicine as the originator of several forms of manipulative therapies, such as Craniosacral Therapy. The section also has a summary of “History of Osteopathic Medicine,” a consumer site and two Case Examples.
The Practitioner-Member-Only Additions continue beyond the Member-Only Additions: an association of DOs (AOA), Osteopathic Medical Colleges (AACOM), the Worldwide WWW Resource Website, and a summary of “Osteopathic Medicine: A Distinctive Branch of Mainstream Medical Care.”