The term ‘osteopathy’ was coined by an American physician Dr Andrew Taylor Still in 1874. Still had observed the crude medical practices of his time and concluded that they were frequently more dangerous than disease.
Possibly driven by the loss of three of his children to meningitis and longstanding study of engineering and anatomy he developed a musculo-skeletal approach to healing. He stressed the importance of the vascular system and the innate self-healing ability of the body when the structure and blood supply are unimpeded. He founded the first American School of Osteopathy in Kirksville Missouri.
Many of his ideas have a long history in the philosophy of medicine, dating back to Hippocrates who stressed the importance of a healthy lifestyle, avoidance of stress and the principle that medicine should work with, not against, nature and first, do no harm.