Osteopathy’s Birthday!


Did you know that June, 22nd 2024 marked the 150 birthday of osteopathy? 

Remarkable right!!

The amazing part is really that after 150 years, osteopathy is still relatively an unknown profession and health care modality in Canada.

The amazing part is really that after 150 years, osteopathy is still relatively an unknown profession and health care modality in Canada.

So, in the spirit of the birth of osteopathy, I give you a short osteopathic history lesson!

Osteopathy was founded by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. He was a physician and surgeon who ultimately hated medicine…..okay that might be harsh, but let’s look at what some of the “medicines” used in the late 1800’s – cocaine, opium, arsenic and mercury…

Don’t get me wrong, there were some amazing things that came from medicine at the time, such as x-rays and anesthetic but cocaine for children’s toothaches??? Thank goodness medicine has come a long way since then!

Ultimately this encouraged him to look for alternatives.

A.T. Still was American and spent his youth in native villages as his family was there to help convert the natives to Christianity. This allowed A.T. Still to learn the ways of the natives including the general laws of nature and how to hunt. This would later, following his participation in the American Civil War, prove beneficial as he began his study of the human body.

One of the primary tool of discovery Dr. Still used was dissection of the deer as human dissection was illegal at the time. His focus was on the mechanical functioning of the body and its ability to free the fluids, what he thought as the key to self-regulation and self-healing.

Dr. Still was the first to suggest the body could heal itself. He felt the human body was the “greatest engine the mind could conceive of” and that by returning it to “running order” the body could return to top form and functioning. Although he did not formally name the practice till a few years after osteopathy’s discovery (as he called it) he always believed osteopathy was “natural and always present”. The “discovery” date of osteopathy – June 22nd,1874.

In 1892 at the age of 64, Dr. Still opened his first school of Osteopathy in Kirksville Missouri.

Early writings of Dr. Still were very philosophical but within the writings you could identify two specific techniques – osteoarticular adjustments and visceral mobilization. Later graduates of his program introduced cranio-sacral therapy and fascial release into the fold of osteopathic practice.

Osteopathy took root in 1917 in Europe with Littlejohn. But osteopathy did not take root in Canada till 1991 with the foundation of the Canadian College of Osteopathy by Philippe Druelle. Today there are several campuses of this school across Canada today. The same college to which I was trained.

Health Tip – straight from Dr. Still

As per the writings of Dr. A.T. Still and the tenants and philosophy of osteopathy I’d like to take the time to remind everyone the ability to heal is found within, not without.

We have spent much of our waking moments in the last decades looking outside of us for the “cure” to whatever ailment we may have.

And although I strongly believe in complimentary care including that offered at Take Flight, and our ability to help access that healing ability within the body, we as individuals are all ultimately responsible for our own health and taking care of the body we were given to live in on this planet.

Yes, we often need some help and that is where medicine and complimentary health care come in, as we cannot always do it all alone, but we rarely sit with ourselves to really know what we need. We seldom listen to the information that our body is sharing asking “what is wrong with me” versus considering that what our body is giving is simply providing information and asking “what is my body trying to tell me?”

As I have said many times to many clients in recent weeks, pain is simply information and it is one of the few ways our body has to talk with us.

As we live in today’s every changing climate (I am not talking weather here….) it is becoming clear to me that we need to be more aligned with our own being, with the wisdom and knowledge we store within our own body to which we reside. To learn to listen to its messaging.

Through practice I have learned the intelligence in our tissues is immense! The tissues have the knowledge of all our years on this earth, not just that of this lifetime, in this form, rather as DNA and the cells we generate from this DNA holding the wisdom from our mothers and fathers, their mothers and fathers continuing through our entire ancestry.

Tapping into it might not be the easiest as we were never really taught to do so. But the question I have, since your youth, have you ever tried? Have you ever considered how you might do this?

I am not talking the jabbering mind that continues on and on most days thinking of the same old thing over and over, I am talking that deep resonance of truth within.

If we could spend time being, with less doing, and connecting with ourselves at a deeper level and getting to learn more about the information our body is telling us through its aches, pains, challenges etc, we could potentially prevent all sorts of challenges in our future; …… perhaps even prevent disease.

And even in pain, should we have to endure it, live a fulfilled life with less suffering and more joy.

I believe being aligned with and understanding our body and the wisdom it shares allows us to lead a more fruitful, fulfilled and joyous life.

I call this connecting with our “Inner Physician”, the same thing I connect with daily with clients on my table as the wisdom resides within.

Coming soon – “Tapping into your Inner Physician”. A course to help you connect with your inner wisdom.