What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a unique philosophy of medicine founded by the 19th Century physician Andrew Taylor Still.


A.T. Still, was a frontiersman, Union Civil War veteran, and physician.

He hailed from Virginia and settled in Kansas where he served at the Wakarusa Shawnee mission under his father - a Methodist preacher and physician.

Andrew Taylor Still
A.T. Still, Founder of Osteopathy

An avid hunter and farmer, Still marveled in the wondrous balance of nature and its ability to maintain equilibrium. He studied anatomy avidly, and often remarked at the elegant structure of animal and human anatomy with its correlates to disease states. Still was astounded at the surprising ability of natural physiology to heal itself. After losing several children to meningitis and pneumonia, Still became dismayed by the inability of contemporary medical practice to treat disease and sought a better path. Inspired by the Spiritualist movements of the day, his own obsessive curiosity for anatomy, and his appreciation for the Shawnee philosophy of balance in nature, Still invented a system of medicine and manual manipulation which sought to allow the innate wisdom of natural physiology and its restorative ability to flourish. With this in mind he founded a system of holistic medicine with an eye toward the structure and function of the entire human organism. Seeing individual patients as an integrated whole rather than a sum of disease states Still founded the system of Osteopathy. He began treating patients and gained tremendous fame due to his success, with patients and students coming from around the globe to benefit from his knowledge.

Since his day, Osteopathy has evolved alongside traditional medicine to learn from all the concurrent developments in the science of health and medicine while maintaining its holistic and integrative roots. Osteopaths are licensed physicians with the ability to order tests, prescribe medications, and perform surgeries. Osteopaths practice in all types of hospitals and practices. Osteopathy in its traditional form is still practiced by physicians who see the importance of its role in understanding the patient as a gestalt with individual needs, goals, and complexity. Using eyes, ears, and hands as primary diagnostic tools, Osteopaths seek to return anatomical, physiological, and homeostatic mechanisms to a normal point of balance as a means of bringing about healing.  

At DOMA, our goal is osteopathic. We seek to understand your total self in order to actualize your health goals, and regain your vitality.

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