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Osteopathy is a hands-on medical treatment which aims to reestablish the healthy functioning and tissue balance of all the structures and systems within the human body. This facilitates the body’s ability to reestablish its self-regulation.
In order to achieve this the osteopathic approach is based on the quality and subtle precision of the practitioner’s palpation and work on the body’s mobility and the quality of body tissue.
The founder of osteopathy was the American doctor Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917).
Son of a doctor and methodist minister he learnt working alongside his father treating in particular Shawnee Native Americans for whom he was responsible. It would seem that the contributions made by this people had a decisive influence on A.T. Still’s development.
Many years of tireless research followed based on studying the human body. This led to him frequently opening tribal tombs in order to exhume and perform autopsies on the corpses they contained.
The death of his three children from cerebrospinal meningitis in 1865 only intensified his determination.
In his autobiography A.T. Still wrote that it was at exactly 10 o’clock in the morning of 22nd June 1874 that all the knowledge he had accumulated over the decades suddenly became globally coherent to him.
He then defined the following fundamental principles:
Structure governs function:
The biomechanical interdependence between the body’s structures and the functions they perform.
The unity of the human body:
The body should be treated and understood globally as a whole
The rule of the artery is supreme:
The importance of free blood circulation
- The body heals itself:
The body possesses powerful means of regulating and of healing itself
The title of osteopath is officially recognised in France (4th March 2002 law) and in most European countries.
The acts and conditions for practicing as an osteopath and the minimum pedagogical content of osteopathic studies necessary for obtaining the Diploma and qualifying as an Osteopath D.O. are listed in detail in the 25th March 2007 decree of application. This has been updated on numerous occasions.