Osteopathy was founded by physician and surgeon Andrew Taylor Still. With his father also being a surgeon, Still soon discovered that in order to understand and achieve optimal health, one must understand that all aspects of the human form are directly related to human function. They began working together holistically. Dr. Still was the first to treat patients in this way. He saw the body as one single, integrated, functional unit. While searching for the causes of dysfunction rather the symptoms, his goals were often achieved without surgery or other medicines. Dr. Still founded the first school of osteopathy in Kirksville, Missouri in 1892.
In the early 1900’s, John Martin Littlejohn came from Great Britain to study osteopathy with Dr. Still in Kirksville, Missouri. Littlejohn participated in the founding of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Littlejohn moved back to England in 1910, started the British School of Osteopathy and subsequently expanded the practice of osteopathy. The model that was created by A.T. Still was modified somewhat early on by J. Martin Littlejohn, M.D., D.O., to exclude Pharmacotherapeutics and Surgery and was carried to Europe and the rest of the world. The growth of Osteopathy since then has been tremendous and is currently practiced around the world, generally following the Littlejohn model.
In Canada, during the early twentieth century, a number of alternative health practices became popular. The most popular of them all, particularly in Ontario, was osteopathy. In the 1910s and 1920s a dynamic osteopathy profession emerged in Canada and made inroads towards achieving professional status. In the end they were unsuccessful, and osteopathic medicine nearly faded into obscurity. Canada currently is a patchwork of self-regulating osteopathic associations maintaining the practice, albeit more akin to the European osteopathic medical model.
WHO’s Benchmarks in Education
In 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) put forth a document stating the worldly requirements for all education institutions to abide by, in regards to training for osteopathy. To summarize these benchmarks, the WHO insists on 4,000 hours in training to reach an accredited level osteopathy. This can be achieved in two ways. Follow either plans for training under the
Type I or Type II format listed in the benchmarks.
In summary, both Type I and Type II require the same levels of education in health sciences and osteopathic philosophies.
There are 2 types of Osteopathy within Canada:
During an initial treatment one can expect the gathering of personal and health information in order to proceed with an assessment protocol. This information will be obtained under the client’s discretion. Before any assessment or treatment is performed the practitioner must obtain consent to touch and manipute tissues. Once this step is complete the practitioner will perform an appropriate assessment, conclusion, and treatment which relate to the client’s concerns and health goals. Typically clothes remain on for the session, however in some circumstances the practitioner may request the displacement or removal of garments in order to perform treatment. Consent must be obtain prior to this request and this is at the discretion of the client. Once the treatment is complete the practitioner will conclude with a post-assessment protocol to observe improvements and may give recommendations for homecare before a follow session is booked. Client is entitled to ask questions, make comments or stop the treatment at any time during the visit.
Sign up to hear the latest news and events from OCDO!