Traditional Osteopathy dates back about 150 years. It is a manual therapy and the brainchild of renegade physician Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. After losing much of his family to infectious diseases that allopathic medicine (drugs and surgeries) of that time failed to cure, A.T. Still denounced the medical practices of his day and proposed a new philosophy around treating people and disease.
Basically, A.T. Still understood the body inherently possessed all the tools needed for health. He proposed that when people got sick, diseased, or unwell; that it was due to something being out of alignment and throwing that persons homeostasis out of order. Using manual therapy techniques to treat his patients A.T. Still had great success in restoring health, even in the treatment of infectious and communicable diseases! His successes led to osteopathic schools opening throughout the US and Europe. Contemporary osteopathic manual practices embraces allopathic medical care, and work to collaborate with practitioners from other fields. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners seek “red flag” situations, times when it is best for our patients to follow up with a MD for further investigation.
Osteopathic Manual Practice is commonly used to treat issues arising from the musculoskeletal system, but can also be used to facilitate health in all other systems of the body (digestive, cardiovascular, reproductive, hormonal, etc.).
Currently there are 2 branches of osteopathy. Traditional Osteopathy and Osteopathic Physicians. In America, in the 1930’s, Osteopathy became integrated with the American Medical Association, giving rise to Osteopathic Physicians, an offshoot of Traditional Osteopathy. Osteopathic Physicians are full-fledged medical doctors trained in the use of medications and surgeries. There are no training schools for Osteopathic Physicians in Canada.
The following is a collection of links you can follow to find more in-depth info on some hot topics.
The best link I have found describing the history of osteopathy is through the Canadian School of Osteopathy in Toronto.
For further info on the political standing of the profession here in BC, check out the Society for the Promotion of Manual Practice Osteopathy (SPMPO).