Text-Book of Osteopathy
American College of Mechano-Therapy
This treatise was written with a view of presenting
to those interested in Physiological Therapeutics, and particularly
in that branch known as Mechano-Therapy, a concise resume of the Practice
of Osteopathy as now carried on by its foremost practitioners.
Osteopathy derives its name and meaning from the
words "Osteo," signifying bone, and "pathos," suffering, feeling,
or disease. The term therefore, presupposes that disease is caused
by some pathological process due to faulty position or adjustment
of bones. This theory regarding the etiology of disease has never
been taken seriously by the scientific world, and indeed, it is a
fact that the rank and file of Osteopaths are just as luke-warm in
the defense of same as the present-day Homeopaths are in the defense
of their erstwhile slogan: "Similia similibus curantur."
We anticipate the reader's question: "What, then,
is responsible for the popularity of Osteopathy?" The answer is plain:
"The Manual Manipulations incident to the practice of that profession."
These manipulations are known under various names, such as Mano-Therapy,
Massage, Swedish Movements, Medical Gymnastics, etc. Furthermore the
failure of the Medical Profession to recognize and practice Physiological
Therapeutics, has in a large measure contributed to the spread of
Osteopathy in the United States. This is easily proven from the fact
that in European Countries, especially in Germany, where there are
all kinds of "Naturopaths," "Kneipp-Curists," etc., Osteopathy is
practically without representation, and simply for the reason that
Mechano-Therapeutic principles have been utilized there for a long
It must be regretted by everyone interested in
the study of Physiological Therapeutics that a system of treatment,
the practical application of which is so beneficial within certain
limits, should have been given a name which will forever leave it
without the pale of serious, scientific contemplation and which is
bound to bury it along with all other panaceas and fads started by
well-meaning men whose enthusiasm overbalanced their mental calibre.
We have endeavored to give herewith the scientific
facts relating to etiology, symptomatology and diagnosis of disease,
together with such manipulative treatment as is generally used by
Osteopaths, thus rejecting the theory, but giving the Mechano-Therapeutic
principles of Osteopathy.
May we express the hope that all those engaged in the work of Manipulative
Healing and Physiological Therapeutics generally, may at all times
remember the limitation as well as the advantages of their calling.
As a rule, acute diseases, infectious, surgical and accidental, are
not amenable to these methods, and should be left to the physician,
not because he can cure them all, but because emergencies make artificial
and surgical interference not only permissible but necessary in a
certain percentage of cases.