Osteopathy History

Osteopathy was founded in the late 1800s by Andrew Taylor Still, an American physician and surgeon who viewed the body as having the natural ability to recover from ill health when functioning effectively.

He developed an approach that integrated manual techniques to affect body function so as to enable the body to ‘restore health’.

This approach officially became known as ‘osteopathy’ in 1885, and in 1892 Still formed the American School of Osteopathy in Kirkville, USA, to teach others his methodologies.

Osteopathy came to Britain in 1913, when one of Still’s early students, John Martin Littlejohn, returned to London to practice and with the aim of setting up ‘a standard of osteopathic science, to show the public what the science is and to clinically demonstrate its efficiency‘. He established the first osteopathic school in the country, the British School of Osteopathy, in 1917, and served as Dean of the School for 40 years.

Since those early days osteopathy has evolved significantly, informed by experience and research, to become an internationally practiced profession, recognised by the World Health Organisation and other international bodies. UCO graduates have helped to profoundly influence the development and future of osteopathy in the UK and worldwide, as practitioners, educators, researchers and representatives of the profession.

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