DEVELOPMENT OF OSTEOPATHY.
Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give
up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever
abysses Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. - Huxley.
The story of the development of Osteopathy is co-extensive with
the life of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. The two are so closely allied
that it is almost impossible to separate them. It is only because
of the wealth of materials and convenience of reference that the
subject is divided. It is true that the idea of Osteopathy as a
complete science did not enter Dr. Still's mind till he was about
forty-six years old; but his earlier life was a daily preparation
in the school of independent action for the work he did later and
will continue to do as long as he lives. His experiences before
he began his life's work, remind us of what John Milton said of
Oliver Cromwell's preparation for leadership of the people of England,
in their revolt against the tyranny of Charles I:
"He [Oliver Cromwell] was a soldier disciplined to perfection
in the knowledge of himself. He had either extinguished, or by habit
had learned to subdue, the whole host of vain hopes, fears, and
passion which infest the soul. He first acquired the government
of himself, and over himself acquired the most signal victory; so
that on the first day he took the field against the external enemy,
he was a veteran in arms, consummately practiced in the toils and
exigencies of war."
So Dr. Still was disciplined by all his experiences in life to
do the very work which later attracted the attention and commanded
the respect of the world.
BEGINNING OF OSTEOPATHY.
No great thought ever springs into existence in the twinkling of
an eye. The Pivotal idea may be born in a moment, but a long period
of gestation or incubation must have preceded its birth. So it was
in the development of Osteopathy. The pivotal idea seems to have
been grasped by Dr. Still and formulated in 1874, but many apparently
radical ideas had entered his mind long before that.
Probably the first incident in the life of Dr. Still, that had
any bearing upon Osteopathy, was that recorded on pages 31 and 32
of his Autobiography. It shows his independence of thought and action,
his ever-present tendency to associate cause and effect, and his
practical ingenuity in adapting means to ends, while yet a child.
"One day, when about ten years old, I suffered from headache.
I made a swing of my father's plow-line between two trees; but my
head hurt too much to make swinging comfortable, so I let the rope
down to about eight or ten inches of the ground, threw the end of
a blanket on it, and I lay down on the ground and used the rope
for a swinging pillow. Thus I lay stretched on my back with my neck
across the rope. Soon I became easy and went to sleep, got up in
a little while with headache all gone. As I knew nothing of anatomy,
I took no thought of how a rope could stop headache and the sick
stomach which accompanied it. After that discovery I roped my neck
whenever I felt those spells coming on. I followed that treatment
for twenty years before the wedge of reason reached my brain, and
I could see that I had suspended the action of the great occipital
nerves, and given harmony to the flow of the arterial blood to and
through the veins, and ease was the effect, as the reader can see."
The late Col. A. L. Conger, in an admirable article that appeared
in the Cosmopolitan Osteopath for November, 1898, on "The Birth
of Osteopathy," quotes Dr. Still's words as follows, relating
to an incident that occurred about the year 1858:
"In the days of the John Brown trouble in Kansas, when I and
some of my co-workers in the stirring events of that time were driven
from our homes and were in hiding in the woods or bushes to keep
beyond the reach of the pro-slavery element, a comrade of mine by
the name of Major Abbott, who was my close, personal, and intimate
friend, said to me one day during a discussion in that lonely spot,
in speaking of medicine: 'Do you know that I have lost all faith
in medicine? I am satisfied that it is all wrong, and that the system
of drugs, as curative agents, will some day be practically overturned,
and some other system or method of curing the sick without drugs
will take its place in healing the sick."'
Dr. Still is always willing to give credit to whom credit is due.
He never forgets a friend. He always has a warm place in his heart
for those who have battled for truth. Concerning Major Abbott and
the intimacy existing between him and Dr. Still, Col. Conger gave
the following important facts in the article mentioned above:
"Major Abbott was formerly from the State of Connecticut;
a man who was thoroughly scientific and had great learning. The
words of Major Abbott made a deep and lasting impression on the
mind of Dr. Still, and the more he thought of the suggestion, the
more it seemed to him that he was to be the instrument through which
this overthrowing of drugs was to be brought about, and some other
and better system was to be given to mankind. And from the reading
of Dr. Still's Autobiography and incidents related by him, it is
safe to say, and be recorded in history, that Major Abbott was the
first person to offer the suggestion to Dr. Sill in this line.
"Several years since, Major Abbott, who was then a resident
of Kansas, paid a visit to Dr. Still at Kirksville, Mo., to revive
and talk over the incidents in the days of the early troubles in
Kansas, in which they both played an important part. Dr. Still and
his brother, Thomas Still, with Major Abbott, were known as three
of John Brown's and Jim Lane's trusted lieutenants, and while Major
Abbott was on this visit to Kirksville they all sat for their pictures,
in memory of some of these stirring events of the former days. Dr.
Still presented a set of these pictures to Mrs. Senator Foraker,
as well as to the writer. Mrs. Foraker took her pictures and fastened
them together in a group with a red, white, and blue ribbon, and
hung them as an appropriate decoration on the wall of her cottage.
"Some months later, when residing at Kirksville, Mo., we were
then occupying the cottage of Mrs. Senator Foraker where these pictures
decorated the wall. One morning Dr. Still came to the cottage looking
very sober, and Mrs. Conger said to him: 'Doctor, what is the matter?'
He responded: 'I have some very bad news this morning.' He then
took from his pocket a letter informing him that Major Abbott had
died the day previous at his home in Kansas. When words of sympathy
were offered to him at the loss of his friend, he took his cane
and touching the picture of Major Abbott, which was hanging underneath
the others in the group, turned its face to the wall. Mrs. Conger
remarked to him: 'Oh! Doctor, why do you do that?’ He said:
'It is hard to bear this separation.' And his eyes quickly filled
with tears, showing the deep love and affection he bore for his
former friend and comrade. And then turning the picture back again,
he said: 'That was one of the best friends I ever had. He was the
first man who put into my head the idea of Osteopathy, or the science
of healing without drugs.’”
BACK TO NATURE.
Dr. Still's residence upon the frontier during the long years in
which he was developing his science was not a mere incident. Primeval
nature was an essential environment for the independence necessary
to accomplish his work. Traditions in medical practice had to be
ignored, functions of the human mechanism not described in the books
had to be discovered. The effects of artificial influences acting
upon the human body, both in health and in disease, had to be cast
aside; the power of nature had to be revealed, and means devised
by which nature would be permitted to exert her inherent powers.
It has been said, in derision, by the opponents of Osteopathy,
that Dr. Still was only an uneducated country doctor, and, therefore,
unqualified to evolve anything of value. True, according to the
standard of those critics whose days and nights have been spent
following traditions; true, in the opinion of those who never studied
a plant or an animal without a book or a teacher to tell them what
to look for, and then tell them what they had found. No great discovery
was ever made by one who stuck to the paths already established.
Analyzing plants with Gray in hand never made a great botanist.
Studying the human body under the ever-guiding and controlling influence
of a book or a preceptor, never made a great anatomist. Agassiz,
the greatest science teacher of the ages, would not permit his pupils
to use these guides, or tell them anything till they had made a
thorough study of the object under consideration, without the aid
of a preceptor. This was the method of Dr. Still. The field of nature
was his laboratory; not the modern laboratory with its array of
unnatural specimens and bewildering aggregations of instruments.
Dr. Still is not the only man evolved in nature's school instead
of the artificial surrounding of a college, who has been misjudged.
Even Wendell Phillips, later a great admirer of Abraham Lincoln,
said of him in 1862: "Of no mind whatever," "neither
insight nor prevision nor decision;" "a first-rate second-grade
man;" "as honest as the measure of his intellect and the
circumstances of his life allow." It has been said that Shakespeare
could not have been born anywhere but in England, and any time but
in the sixteenth century. Abraham Lincoln could not have been evolved
anywhere else than upon the soil of slavery in the South and of
abolitionism in the North. So Dr. Still could not have been evolved
elsewhere than upon the plains of Missouri and Kansas.
The following is taken from the Autobiography, and shows his views
upon the influences of his environment in the development of Osteopathy:
"I, who had had some experience in alleviating pain, found
medicines a failure. Since early life I had been a student of nature's
books. In my early days in wind-swept Kansas, I had devoted my attention
to the study of anatomy. I became a robber in the name of science.
Indian graves were desecrated and the bodies of the sleeping dead
exhumed in the name of science. Yes, I grew to be one of those vultures
of the scalpel, and studied the dead that the living might be benefited.
I had printed books, but went back to the great book of nature as
my chief study.
"My science, or discovery, was born in Kansas under many trying
circumstances. On the frontier, while fighting the pro-slavery sentiment
and snakes and badgers, then later on through the Civil War, and
after the Civil War until, like a burst of sunshine, the whole truth
dawned on my mind, I was gradually approaching a science by study,
research, and observation that the world is receiving.
"Is the frontier a place to study science? our college-bred
gentleman may ask. Henry Ward Beecher once remarked that it made
very little difference how one acquired an education, whether it
be in the classic shades and frescoed halls of old Oxford, or Harvard,
or by the fireside in the lonely cabin on the frontier. The frontier
is a very good place to get the truth. There is no one there to
bother you. The frontier is the great book of nature. It is the
fountain-head of knowledge, and natural science is here taught from
first principles. How does the scientist learn of the habits and
manners of the animals which he wishes to study? By the observation
of the animals. The old frontiersman knows more of the customs and
habits of the wild animals than the scientist ever discovered. Agassiz,
with all his knowledge of natural history, knows not as much of
the mink and beaver as the trapper whose life business has been
to catch them.
"Indian after Indian was exhumed and dissected, and still
I was not satisfied. A thousand experiments were made with bones,
until I became quite familiar with the bony structure. I might have
advanced sooner in Osteopathy had not our Civil War interfered with
the progress of my studies.” - Autobiography, pages 94 to
It has been said that the trouble with most men is not that they
know too much, but that they know so much that is not true. When
we think of the abandoned theories and the discarded practices of
the medical profession, we conclude that that saying applies especially
to those -whose very title, doctor, designates them as learned.
What Dr. Still learned from nature was true and did not have to
be unlearned. Whenever he got a scent of truth he followed the trail
wherever it led. If to error, he abandoned it; if to truth, he laid
firm hold upon it.
The world has furnished but few examples of such sturdy self-sacrificing
devotion to principle as Dr. Still. The practice of allopathy had
convinced him that the drug theory was radically wrong, and from
his own researches he thought he saw the dawn of a better system.
He determined to get closer to nature and learn from her the exact
truth. To pursue his new idea, it was necessary to forsake the tenets
of the drug system. This meant sacrifice of his medical practice,
and great pecuniary loss, for his business life up to that time
had been successful, and he had accumulated property of considerable
value. But he had the courage of his convictions; truth was more
to him than wealth, or even the comforts of life. Then began his
most remarkable struggle of over twenty years, in which poverty,
false accusations, the desertion of friends, and the scoffs and
jeers of ignorant and prejudiced neighbors seemed only to strengthen
his determination to complete the work which he felt was his to
THE HUMAN BODY A PERFECT MACHINE.
It was in the spring of 1864, that he was aroused as never before,
and completely lost faith in the efficacy of drug medication. He
had not only come to the conclusion that "the artery is the
father of the rivers of life," but by the tragedy of death
in his own family, he was led to the decision, once for all, that
an All-wise Creator was the designer of our bodies as well as the
author of our spirits, and that the human body is, therefore, a
perfect machine. This was his first fundamental thought in the development
of his science. Note his words:
"Not until I had been tried by fire did I cut loose from that
stupidity, drugs. Not until my heart had been torn and lacerated
with grief and affliction, could I fully realize the inefficacy
of drugs. Some may say that it was necessary that I should suffer
in order that good might come, but I feel that my grief came through
gross ignorance on the part of the medical profession. It was when
I stood gazing upon three members of my family, - two of my own
children and one adopted child, - all dead from the disease spinal
meningitis, that I propounded to myself the serious question, 'In
sickness has not God left man in a world of guessing? Guess what
is the matter? What to give, and guess the result? And when dead,
guess where he goes.' I decided then that God was not a guessing
God, but a God of truth.
"And all His works, spiritual and material, are harmonious.
His law of animal life was absolute. So wise a God had certainly
placed the remedy within the material house in which the spirit
of life dwells.
"With this thought I trimmed my sail and launched my craft
as an explorer. Like Columbus, I found driftwood upon the surface.
I noticed the course of the wind whence they came, and steered my
vessel accordingly. Soon I saw the green islands of health all over
the seas of reason. Ever since then I have watched for the driftwood
and course of the wind, and I have never failed to find the source
whence the drifting came.
"Believing that a loving, intelligent Maker of man had deposited
in this body some place or through the whole system, drugs in abundance
to cure all infirmities, on every voyage of exploration I have been
able to bring back a cargo of indisputable truths, that all the
remedies necessary to health exist in the human body. They can be
administered by adjusting the body in such condition that the remedies
may naturally associate themselves together, hear the cries, and
relieve the afflicted.
"I have never failed to find all remedies in plain view on
the front shelves of the store of the Infinite." - Autobiography,
pages 97 to 100.
In his address to the graduates of the American School of Osteopathy
on what the Journal of Osteopathy, July, 1897, says was the "First
Commencement day of the American School of Osteopathy, June 22,
1597," Dr. Still made the following statement in his characteristic
"I wish to say to the graduates who are to go out into the
world, that when I entered this contest I took as my foundation
to build upon that the whole universe, with its world, men, women,
fishes, fowls, and beasts, with all their forms and principles of
life, was formulated by the mind of an unerring God, and that He
had placed all the principles of motion, life, and all its remedies
to be used in sickness, inside the human body - that He had placed
them somewhere in the structure, if He know how, or He had left
his machinery of life at the very point where skill should have
executed its most important work."
That this fundamental principle is still foremost in Dr. Still's
mind is evidenced by remarks made at the reunion of the graduates
of the June class, 1900, held at the World's Fair, St. Louis, July
13, 1904. In substance he spoke, in part, as follows
"I have been thinking over a subject of great importance and
would like to have you appoint a committee of investigation, or
perhaps the class could constitute a committee of the whole and
report a year hence. The question is whether God made man with the
right number of toes, fingers, and legs all the proper length, vertebrae
of correct shape and in right position, stomach suitable in size
and structure and capable of secreting the elements necessary to
carry on digestion and so on for all parts of the body. If a mistake
has been made the committee ought to so report, and we could then
ask God to correct His mistakes."
Of course all present saw the point.
Once in a great while, we find an M. D. confident that the human
body was made about right. Dr. Still was not more radical on this
subject than Dr. Rabagliati is as to the wisdom of putting an appendix
in the human body and leaving it there. He says in "Air, Food,
and Exercise," pages 21, 22, and 23
"When a surgeon takes upon himself to say that a natural structure
is 'obsolete and out of date,' suggesting, by implication at least,
that all might yet be well if he were called in to remove it by
surgical operation, his mental attitude as well as the language
in which he expresses it, strikes us as with a jar. It does seem
a pity that men so able and so knowing had not been entrusted with
the making of man and of the world on which he was to dwell. They
could lave done the work so much better. And what a number of useful
hints have been lost because they were not consulted when the thankless
task of fashioning them was in course of being accomplished. A structure
rich in lymphoid elements has probably a useful part to play in
the economy, and it would be far more useful to poor and suffering
humanity though possibly less immediately beneficial to the prophets,
to advise it how to keep the appendix vermiformis and other parts
sound and healthy than to proceed to remove them in the way that
is now so freely proposed and carried out. Even after the appendix
is removed the caecum or other parts of the intestine may become
inflamed, and the appendix less patient may still suffer from inflammation
of the caecum or of the bowel, from perityphlitis or enteritis.
Are we to excise the caecum in order to prevent typhilitis or perityphilitis?
or the bowel, in order to prevent enteritis? Or would it be wise
to amputate the head in order to prevent neuralgia of the face?"
THE ARTERY THE RIVER OF LIFE.
The second thought to which attention is called is the fundamental
idea of the importance of the artery and other tubular structures
through which the nutritive elements are carried to their destination
and the waste materials of the body are carried away to be expelled.
"Today I am, as I have been for fifty years, fully established
in the belief that the artery is the father of the rivers of life,
health, and ease, and its muddy or impure water is first in all
disease." - Autobiography, page 33.
"In the year 1874, I proclaimed that a disturbed artery marked
the beginning to an hour and a minute when disease began to sow
its seeds of destruction in the human body. That in no case could
it be done without a broken or suspended current of arterial blood,
which by nature was intended to supply and nourish all nerves, ligaments,
muscles, skin, bones, and the artery itself. He who wished to successfully
solve the problem of disease or deformities of any kinds in all
cases without exception would find one or more obstructions in some
artery, or some of its branches. At an early day this philosophy
solved to me the problem of malignant growths and their removal
by reproduction of the normal flow of the arterial fluids, which,
when done, transfers the blood to the venous circulation for return
and renewal after the process of renovation is completed by the
lungs, excretories, and porous system. Fevers, flux, headaches,
heart and lung troubles, measles, mumps, and whooping-cough, and
all diseases met and treated since that time, have proven to my
mind that there is no exception to this law. The rule of the artery
must be absolute, universal, and unobstructed, or disease will be
the result. I proclaimed then and there that all nerves depended
wholly on the arterial system for their qualities, such as sensation,
nutrition, and motion, even though by the law of reciprocity they
furnished force, nutrition, and sensation to the artery itself,
and further proclaimed that the brain of man was God's drug-store,
and had in it all liquids, drugs, lubricating oils, opiates, acids,
and antiacids, and every quality of drugs that the wisdom of God
thought necessary for human happiness and health." - Autobiography,
pages 218 and 219.
THE NERVE THE SOURCE OF THE MANIFESTATIONS OF LIFE.
The third thought is that of the influence of the nerve and the
part it plays, especially in the control of the fluids of the body.
"This year (1874) I began a more extended study of the drive-wheels,
pinions, cups, arms, and shafts of life, with their forces and supplies,
framework, attachments by ligaments, muscles, origin, and insertion.
Nerves, origin and supplies, blood supply to and from the heart,
and how and where the motor-nerves received their power and motion;
how the sensory nerves acted in their functions, voluntary and involuntary
nerves in performing their duties, the source of supplies and the
work being done in health, in the obstructing parts, places, and
principles, through which they passed to perform their part of the
functions of life; all awoke a new interest in me.
"I believed that something abnormal could be found some place
in some of the nerve divisions which would tolerate a temporary
or permanent suspension of the blood either in arteries or veins,
which effect caused disease.
"With this thought in view I began to ask myself, what is
fever? Is it an effect, or is it a being, as commonly described
by medical authors? I concluded it was only an effect, and on that
line I have experimented and proven the position I then took to
be a truth, wonderfully sustained by nature, responding every time
in the affirmative. I have concluded after twenty-five years' close
observation and experimenting that there is no such disease as fever,
flux, diphtheria, typhus, typhoid, lung-fever, or any other fever
classed under the common head of fever. Rheumatism, sciatica, gout,
colic, liver disease, nettle-rash, or croup, on to the end of the
list of diseases, do not exist as diseases. All these separate and
combined are only effects. The cause can be found, and does exist,
in the limited and excited action of the nerves only, which control
the fluids of parts or the whole of the body. It appears perfectly
reasonable to any person born above the condition of an idiot, who
has familiarized himself with anatomy and its working with the machinery
of life, that all diseases are mere effects, the cause being a partial
or complete failure of the nerves to properly conduct the fluids
"On this stone I have builded and sustained Osteopathy for
twenty-five years. Day by day the evidences grow stronger and stronger
that this theory is correct." - Autobiography, pages 106, 107,
It will be seen from the above quotations that Dr. Still sought
and found certain fundamental principles. These became fixed ideas
in his own mind early in the development of his science. With the
thought that man is a perfect machine, it will be seen at once that
his mechanical turn of mind would naturally lead him to try to correct
any abnormality, if he found the body working badly, just as a watch-repairer,
or a wagon-repairer, or any other mechanic would go about his work,
if he found his Machine ineffective.
The study of the human body revealed the fact that it is a very
complicated structure. Although the non-performance of duty on the
part of vessels and nerves was held responsible for disease, it
was evident to Dr. Still's mind that they were not primarily responsible
for the disturbance. Something must be out of order or these would,
of necessity, perform their functions. Knowing the structure and
location of the nerves and the blood and lymph vessels, he saw clearly
that the other tissues would interfere with them if all were not
perfectly normal. As the relations of all the tissues of the body
are determined by their relations to the bony framework, his system
naturally became crystalized about the skeleton.
THE DAY DAWN OF TRUTH.
Like many a good Methodist, who can give the exact moment of his
conversion, so Dr. Still can give the exact moment when he first
saw the light of unobstructed truth and the day dawn of Osteopathy
made its appearance. It was June 22, 1874, at ten o'clock in the
forenoon. Then it was that the full force of the light of truth
penetrated his mind as never before. He had been theorizing and
putting his theories into practice. He had been questioning nature,
and her answer to his queries had revealed to him knowledge not
recorded by the schoolmen. The fundamental principles underlying
the healing art had been discovered, formulated, and, as in the
twinkling of an eye, they were recognized as a complete and harmonious
whole. Much remained to be done by Dr. Still himself, but the future
work was to follow along the lines irrevocably established. Any
departure from the convictions of that June morning would have been
as heretical as for a Methodist to question the goodness of God
or His power to forgive sins.
Dr. Still's first patients were among the poor and unfortunate.
Many a time was he refused admittance altogether, or compelled to
enter by the back door for fear he might be seen, and the fact that
he had been called result in ridicule, abuse, or perhaps ostracism
of the patient's family. The fact that it was necessary for him
to come in contact with a large number of people to get sufficient
material upon which to demonstrate his claims, made it necessary
for him to go from place to place to secure practice.
As early as 1872, he made trips through the country and saw every
chronic case he could find. On one of these early trips he cured
a boy who had a prenatal intolerance to light, so he was practically
blind, which caused those who were familiar with the case to look
upon Dr. Still as a miracle worker. It was several years before
be entirely discarded the use of drugs. Once when called into the
country about ten miles to see a lady with pneumonia, he forgot
to take his medicines with him. He resorted to manipulation and
cured the case more promptly than usual by the use of drugs.
Dr. Still lectured in every school house in Adair County, Missouri.
His subject was "Man's Lost Center." Of course what is
now known as Osteopathy was his theme. He always found the common
people good listeners. The points made were illustrated by treating
the afflicted of his audiences. Often his lecture and his treating
would hold his audience till after midnight. Generally one of his
sons was with him and would assist by holding some portion of the
patient's body, as directed, while he did the specific work, While
many of his treatments were more general than he advocates now,
his chief purpose at all times was to locate all possible causes
of the trouble and remove them by direct and specific manipulation.
DR. H. M. STILL'S RECOLLECTIONS OF HIS FATHER'S EARLY WORK.
The following is taken from an article entitled "Some Early
recollections of My Father in the Discovery and Development of Osteopathy,"
furnished for this book by Dr. Harry M. Still. This article shows
up many interesting traits of Dr. Still's character and many thrilling
incidents in his early work with his new science, which are omitted
here, only to allow space for the testimony of others along the
"On account of my being the bad boy of the family, father
almost always took me with him on trips to the country. I was of
a very nervous and very sensitive temperament. Consequently, when
I heard anybody rebuking or making fun of my father's theory, or
treatment, it was like shaking a red rag at a bull, or touching
off the fuse of a charge of dynamite; it simply meant fight on my
part. Many a time on the streets I have heard the boys say: 'There
goes that old crazy crank.' These boys' words simply ignited the
fuse which caused a volcanic explosion from me. That boy either
apologized to me or one or the other of us took a thrashing. It
was not the boys alone who talked about father, but men and women
as well. Many a time I have heard the men make the same remark as
"Spending most all of my time with father, as a boy, I have
been in a position to watch the growth of Osteopathy from its infancy
to the present. I was much impressed with the most I saw father
doing every day of my life. One day, when I was about ten years
old, I went with him to the country to see a patient. On our way
back, we saw an old gentleman sitting out in his front yard almost
choking to death, suffering with the dreadful disease called asthma,
struggling to the last ounce of his strength for the breath of life.
Father stopped and went over to see the suffering man. He said:
'Hello, Joe! What are you trying to do?' He answered, 'Make a die
of it, I guess, Doctor.' So father began to examine and manipulate
his spine, and in a few minutes time the man was as easy as ever
he had been in his life. The man was really frightened at the rapidity
of his relief. I will never, as long as I live, forget the language
that man used. He said in a frightened tone of voice, 'My Good!
Doctor, what have you done to me? My lungs are as free as ever they
were in my life.' About two months later father met the gentleman,
and he said that he had not even had symptoms of a return of the
asthma. The poor fellow was dumfounded, and from that day to this
he has never had asthma. It was always a mystery to Joe what cured
him. I guess father even was really guessing just what nerve was
tied up in the lesion. This is but one instance out of hundreds.
"The following year, I think in 1878, we went to Holden,
Johnson County, Missouri. He spent several months in Johnson County
in 1878-79 in the practice of his new profession - you might say
just born and unnamed. Here is where I was converted enough to know
that father could treat and cure any curable disease on earth without
the use of medicine. People came from great distances to see him,
the wonderful faith cure doctor, as they called him. It looked to
me just like the old-fashioned camp-meeting, as everybody who was
treated went off happy and shouting. My father spent several years
going from place to place, treating all classes of patients who
were not afraid to come to him. Almost all of the patients he treated
free of charge. The poor always got their treatment free, and if
they did not have car-fare and board they got it from father, providing
he had it or could borrow it. Those days he was very poor, as he
had given up the practice of medicine, and had spent the best part
of fifteen years in hard work and study, without a friend to encourage
him. With all of these adversities and stumbling-blocks nothing
could shake him. His convictions and belief were a permanent fixture
in his gray matter. There is not one man out of a million who would
have gone through what he did. We were so poor that I had to spend
several years of the best part of my life at work trying to help
support our family, instead of being in school.
"In the year of 1884-85, after reading anatomy and physiology
with father, I accompanied him to Hannibal to assist him in the
practice of his new profession. At that time they called him 'the
Lightning Bone Setter.' Here is where he had some wonderful cures.
Patients came to him from all parts of the country. I believe I
would be safe in saying that in the six months we practiced at Hannibal
we accumulated a dray load of plaster Paris casts, crutches, and
all classes of surgical appliances. We went from Hannibal to Nevada,
Missouri, where the State Insane Asylum is located. Here we made
fully a hundred cures; some most wonderful. I remember one very
interesting case. This lady had been in the asylum for several years.
It seemed that she had lost her mind suddenly while playing a piano.
Father examined her neck and found a lesion of the atlas. In less
time that I have taken in the telling, the girl was as rational
as ever. Strange to say, the first thing she said was, 'Where is
my piano and music?' She was anxious to finish the piece she had
started playing three years before. By this time father was becoming
so well known, through his work, that he desired to return to Kirksville,
Missouri, for practice. For nearly two years he and I did all the
work. The practice grew so beyond our expectation that we were snowed
under with work. In the meantime brothers Charles and Herman were
studying. Then we all together could not do the work. Father began
to think, 'What are we to do with all of these patients flocking
from all parts of the country?' He said, 'I have taught my boys
to be successful in the practice of Osteopathy. Why not start a
school?’ The first class consisted of three regular students
besides his sons, Dr. Wilderson, Dr. Hatten, and Dr. Ward."
DR. C. E. STILL'S EARLY EXPERIENCES.
Dr. Charles E. Still says in the Journal of Osteopathy, February,
"About the year 1880 my father took my brother Harry and myself
to Holden, Johnson County, to assist him in his work, for he was
then an itinerant Osteopath, treating in many places months at a
time. Nearly all the cases he had were of a chronic nature, which
had been given up by the medical doctors, and the cures which followed
seemed marvelous to the people.
"From Holden we came back to our home in Kirksville, and I
continued to work and study occasionally under my father, but never
attempted anything alone. A year later I went with him to Hannibal,
and remained awhile studying and operating under his directions.
From 1880 to 1893, I never did any work save in conjunction with
my father, or under his direction, and will frankly state that I
did not know that I cured any one. I treated many who were cured,
but as I practiced with my father and under his directions, I gave
him credit for it all. As yet my father, A. T. Still, was the only
person known as an Osteopath, and with the masses it was supposed
to be a power he possessed, which would die with him. It was the
general remark, 'There will be no Osteopathy after Dr. Still is
"About July 16, 1893, I left home - the first person, after
my father, to go into the world and establish the fact that Osteopathy
was a science which could be imparted to others. On reaching Minneapolis
I took offices in the Windsor Hotel. On my arrival I found a letter
from Dr. Thomas McDavit, Secretary of the Board of Health, notifying
me if I did not get out of the town he would at once institute proceedings
against me. I replied through my attorney, Hon. F. F. Davis, that
in future all correspondence with him must be through my attorney.
Patients poured in upon me so rapidly that hunting and fishing were
impossible, and I never shot a bird nor cast a hook while there.
This was the first time that I learned that I was able to handle
DR. A. G. HILDRETII'S INTRODUCTION TO OSTEOPATHY.
Dr. A. G. Hildreth gives the following account of his personal
introduction to the science of Osteopathy:
"One time, along about '84' or '85,' before Dr. Still had
even named his treatment, my wife and I were in Kirksville one Sunday
visiting her parents. Early in the morning I walked over to call
on Dr. Still. He was living at that time near my wife's people on
the east side of town in a small four or five room cottage. I found
him at home, and had not been in the house long when he said: 'Come
out here, I want to show you something.' He took me around behind
the house, and pulling a great big goods box, perhaps five feet
square, away from the side of the house, for the open side of the
box was against the side of the building, drew from the box a coffee
or gunny sack, as they are sometimes called, full of bones, and
I soon learned they were human bones. He began putting them together
and telling me what he believed to be their relation to the health
of the human structure, and it was then he first told me of the
proposed name for his new method of treatment that he proposed to
introduce, and that would in time revolutionize the theory and practice
of medicine. I listened intently to what he had to say. But, like
all others at that time, more or less incredulously. Yet I knew
him well enough to know that he was a man who usually did whatever
he said he would do, and that interview and visit set me to thinking.
I presume that that sack of bones was among the first considerable
collection of bones which had to do with the discovery of Osteopathy.
It was the first that had to do with my ever thinking of studying
DR. HERBERT BERNARD'S EARLY IMPRESSIONS.
The following from Dr. Herbert Bernard, of Detroit, Michigan, indicates
the methods of work of the founder of Osteopathy as observed by
others, and the estimation placed upon him and his science early
in its development:
"My early boyhood days were spent in Kirksville, my family
being neighbors of Dr. Still. His boys, Charles, Harry and Herman,
were playmates of mine, so that I had the advantage of seeing the
old doctor study Osteopathy. The first thing that I can remember
of him was that he seemed to be constantly absorbed in some deep
study. It was this, and the carrying around with him of a handful
of bones, that led people to believe that he was slightly demented.
The medical men called him, 'That old crank, Still.' Many times
have I seen him sitting on a stump in the woods with a handful of
bones, so engrossed in their study that he would not bear the approach
of us boys. He would have the joints of the bones fastened with
'sling-shot' rubbers, dislocating and resetting them; or he would
be running his fingers over their rough places studying the points
of muscular attachments. He would often scare me by catching me
up and running his fingers over my spine, never saying a word but
'man is a machine.' I presume I have heard him mumble that sentence
a thousand times. Of course I gave him a wide berth, as I, too,
thought he was a little off.
"My early understanding of his theory was that he replaced
the machinery of the body, when he found it disturbed, and in that
way cured disease. The first case I ever knew him to treat was a
servant of ours, a Miss Barbara Morehouse, who was suffering with
a curvature of the spine. He treated and cured this case, I think,
in the latter part of the seventies, probably 1878 or 1879. Afterward,
probably about one year, he treated and cured my mother of severe
headaches. He said there was a bone out of place in her neck. And
the M. D.'s used this as another proof of his reported insanity.
"We moved away from Kirksville in 1852. I returned there on
a visit in 1887, and went over to see the old Doctor. He got down
his box of bones and explained his theory of Osteopathy to me. I
remember in that conversation a few things he said. One was 'People
think that no one but Still can do this work, but I am going to
have Harry give up the grocery business and go with me. I will then
buy Charlie and Herm out of the regular army and have them also
study and practice Osteopathy. Some day I will have a school, and
in twenty years there will be at least 1,000 Osteopaths in the United
"I have seen Osteopathy grow through three stages: First we
were considered no more than harmless lunatics or criminals. Six
years ago I was requested to go to the back door in several instances
when calling upon a patient. Quick results were dangerous in those
days, as the patients would think there had been some rabbit's-foot
business worked upon them. They were afraid to tell of their relief
or cure, thinking people would take them for faith-cure followers.
It was almost impossible to get a woman to tell of a cure, especially
if it were female disorders. The next stage was one in which we
and our patients were considered faddists, and the fad Osteopathy
would soon disappear. Now they think there is some good in it, as
there is always good in massage. I notice that now people are giving
it a better chance in acute diseases and obstetrics than ever before.
Once, when I first came to Detroit, a woman telephoned me, asking
what price I charged to pray for people. Another one looked all
over one of my operating tables trying to find the electric wires
that he thought were hidden."
DR. J. O. HATTEN'S FIRST STUDY OF OSTEOPATHY.
J. O. Hatten, M. D., D. O., probably saw more of Dr. Still's early
work than any one else except his sons. The following account by
Dr. Hatten is taken from an elaborate article which he furnished
for this book. Many interesting points are omitted simply because
they appear, in their essential features, elsewhere in this volume.
Dr. Fatten says:
"In the spring of 1887 1 made arrangement to study his theory
of bone-setting, so-called at that time. I made it my business to
investigate everything coining in the line of curing diseases without
the use of drugs, and Dr. Still's success was most wonderful.
"I first met Dr. A. T. Still at Nevada City, Missouri. His
son Harry accompanied him on all his rounds. There was where I first
joined him in my pursuit of Osteopathy, and I stayed with him until
he organized the American School of Osteopathy, and I worked in
the operating rooms until after the first class was graduated. We
traveled over all the Southern and Western part of the State of
Missouri, collecting all of the information that we could from all
classes of people and studying diseases, cripples, and deformities
of all kinds that the mind could conceive of. We treated everything
and examined everything that came in our way.
"Coming in contact with Dr. Still my eyes were opened to the
truth, the true philosophy of the science. He taught me to see the
squirrel's tail and so we went after the squirrel. I traveled on
the road with him and had the opportunity of seeing thousands of
cases of all kinds and varieties treated. He would always have something
new to explain. He would give his lecture on his discoveries and
explain his theory and make it so simple that any one could understand
"Later on we were called to Eldorado Springs, Missouri, to
treat a man for asthma, who was a great sufferer. He was soon relieved
of all his trouble and the people crowded in by the hundreds. We
had such crowds of people that we could not begin to see all of
them, let alone to treat them. We used only sixteen rooms in the
St. James Hotel, and the sidewalk was so crowded that we were compelled
to retreat to the suburbs of the town for room for the people with
all their curiosity.
"At Nevada City people came 150 miles in covered wagons, and
came with tents on the train from far and near. We had to go out
from the square where there were side streets. They filled the side
streets with wagons and tents and stayed as long as we would stay.
We were located on a street-car line so the people coming on trains
could come to us on street cars. Those passing would often ask:
'Is that a funeral ?' 'Oh, no, it's Dr. Still, the bone-setter,
in town. We could not see half of the people, let alone treat them.
He would work until he would give out, then go off some place and
hide until morning for a little rest. It was the same way everywhere
we went. With all the good we were doing, some people thought it
was the works of the devil or some other great supernatural power,
and those good people would go so far as to pray to have the Doctor
taken from our midst. This was the great cry of many people in different
localities. The ministers would preach against him and condemn him
for his great and glorious deeds; but the Doctor would only strive
the harder. All we ever asked then for Osteopathy was a chance to
show what it was, and give it a chance on its own merits. We always
invited the public to investigate, and I never knew of a man to
investigate but what he became a convert."
DR. W. H. WILDERSON AN EARLY FRIEND OF OSTEOPATHY.
As stated above, Nevada, Missouri, was one of the towns visited
by Dr. Still during his itinerant practice, hunting for willing
subjects upon whom to demonstrate his theories. Dr. W. H. Wilderson
writes as follows concerning his work there.
"I first met Dr. A. T. Still at Nevada, Missouri, in 1890.
He was at that time giving treatment along the same general lines
as those taught at the American School of Osteopathy at the present
day, though he gave no name to the treatment, other than to call
it 'bone setting,' or the relief of disease by manipulation.
"The old Doctor was at that time, as he is today, a man of
independent thought and action, possessing many bright, though very
peculiar, ideas, which in late years, I think, have been modified
to some extent. At this time Dr. Still and his new method possessed
but few friends (of whom the writer was one), though his enemies,
the medics, and their friends were legion. This, however, did not
affect matters other than to bring in hundreds of people anxious
to test the new treatment, with the result that many of them were
cured, or greatly relieved, in an incredibly short time, and this
being heralded throughout the country brought the treatment into
great popularity with the masses."
A LAYMAN'S TESTIMONY.
Ivy B. Summers, editor of the Lagrange (Missouri) Herald Democrat,
speaks as follows of Dr. Still's early work:
" I knew Dr. Still years ago when I was connected with the
Hannibal press. He made occasional visits to that city in the interest
of his treatment. It was when Osteopathy was in its infancy, or
to use the doctor's characteristic expression, had its toes out.
He gradually worked himself into creditable practice, and to my
personal knowledge effected cures that were the comment of the town
and called forth the laudation of the press. One case in particular
I remember in the person of a beautiful five-year-old girl, who
from infancy had been subject to spells of intense nervousness.
So great was her affliction that she would shriek at the top of
her voice, and all efforts to quiet her were unavailing, until her
excitement had subsided of itself. Dr. Still was called, examined
the patient, located the cause, removed it, and the girl is now
a handsome, healthy young lady. She has never experienced a recurrence
of her old malady. I know a Hannibal business man whose wealth runs
up somewhere in the neighborhood of $700,000. He fell and dislocated
his patella. The family physician put his limb in plaster cast and
left orders for him to remain in bed. He did so for weeks, and instead
of the injured member improving, it continued to grow worse. A friend
told him to consult Still, and the incredulous sufferer laughed
at the idea, as thousands of others, who are not conversant with
the treatment, have done. Finally, however, he was persuaded to
go to the institute, where he secured relief in one hour after his
arrival. In a week he was cured and able to walk as well as ever,
without even a trace of pain lingering in the leg.
DR. STILL'S GRASP OF TRUTH.
Dr. Still fears mental stagnation more than "the plague."
He believes in progress and constantly preaches the doctrine to
his followers. He believes there is much in the Osteopathy of the
future that he has not fathomed. In 1896 he said:
"Osteopathy is a science; not what we know of it, but the
subject we are studying, is as deep as eternity. We know but little
of it. I have worked and worried here in Kirksville for twenty-two
long years, and I intend to study for twenty-three thousand years
Those who know Dr. Still know that he will not cease to be an original
investigator so long as he lives. He often likened Osteopathy to
a squirrel in a hole in a tree. He would say that he had succeeded
in getting the tail out, and it was necessary for others to extricate
the body from its hiding-place. He believed that Osteopathy is synonymous
with truth, and it would gradually unfold and develop into perfect
symmetry. This was what gave him courage to carry on his work under
the most adverse and trying conditions. Singly and alone he went
forward with his mind set upon the high ideal conceived within his
Dr. Still had no resentment for those that did not accept his views.
He did not want pity; but he often pitied those who could not or
would not see the truth. He did not ask for sympathy; but he always
appreciated the oneness of thought and feeling which comes from
a knowledge of truth which seemed to be hidden from most men. He
has often said that he has had more fun because of the attitude
of others towards his work, than any monkey ever had. He knew that
he was right, and had an unswerving confidence that the right would
prevail. The following quotation shows the spirit in which he worked:
"Osteopathy was a single fight. It was a fight for truth.
It never struck a wave that made it tremble. When people would call
me a crank I didn't get mad at that, I didn't get cross at all.
Said I, if you had as much sense on this subject as the sheep I
would feel hard towards you, but you are perfectly excusable. I
would ask the very fellows who laughed at me how many bones they
had in their foot, and 75 percent of them could not tell. Each of
those bones in the foot has a place to supply, muscles are attached
to them, arteries and nerves pass around and between them."
THE NAME OSTEOPATHY,
Many criticisms have been offered as to the appropriateness of
the term Osteopathy to designate a system of medical practice, in
its broad sense. No one word has been found that would more aptly
express the ideas involved in the principles and practices of the
science. The term was never used in the sense of a diseased bone,
neither was it employed to indicate a bone-setting treatment.
The following explanation of the origin of the name Osteopathy
is given by Dr. Sill in the catalogue of the American School of
Osteopathy for 1902-3:
"I had worked and tried to reason that a body that was perfectly
normal in structure could keep a man in the full enjoyment of health
just as long as the body was perfectly normal. On that conclusion,
I worked first to know what was normal in form and what was not
normal; then I compared the two in disease and health. I found by
hard study and experimenting that no human body was normal in bone
form whilst harboring any disease, either acute or chronic. I got
good results in adjusting these bodies to such a degree that people
began to ask what I was going to call my new science.
"I listened to all who thought I ought to name my science,
so I began to think over names, such as Allopathy, Hydropathy, Homeopathy,
and other names, and as I was in Kansas when the name Osawatomie
was coined, by taking the first part of the word Osage, and the
last part of Pottawattamie, and the new word coined represented
two tribes of Indians, I concluded I would start out with the word
os (bone) and the word pathology, and press them into one word -
"I wanted to call my science Osteopathy, and I did not care
what Greek scholars said about it!'
OSTEOPATHY NOT A SECRET.
It was claimed by several, Governor Stone, of Missouri, and Judge
Toney, of Kentucky, and others, that osteopathic methods and practices
were secret. This belief may have grown out of a written statement
signed by the members of the first class in the American School
of Osteopathy, in which they then promised to keep inviolate the
principles of Osteopathy, as taught by Dr. A. T. Still, and not
impart knowledge there obtained to any person not a recognized student
of the American School of Osteopathy. Their reason for making the
statement was that it "is but justly due the discoverer, Dr.
A. T. Still." It evidently was not the intention to keep Osteopathy
a secret, but to give honor to whom honor was due, and emphasize
the fact known then, and more fully realized by every honest osteopath
today, that Osteopathy cannot be learned except by diligent study
and careful training in the practice under the guidance of those
learned in the science. This could be done then only as it is done
now: that is in some regularly organized and conducted school of
Osteopathy. As the American School of Osteopathy was the only one
of the kind, and the only one at the time in which a knowledge of
the science could possibly be obtained, their declaration of principles
was wise. Had all of them lived up to their promise, the profession
would have been saved the embarrassment of having to apologize for
much that has since been done in the name of Osteopathy.
Most osteopaths take pleasure in explaining the condition they
find in patients, how that condition produces the disturbances from
which the patient is suffering, and what must be done to give relief
or effect a cure. But in many cases this is a waste of words. The
explanation will not, as a rule be appreciated by those who believe
in mysticism, who believe drugs cure diseases, who do not understand
the workings of nerves, who do not understand the processes of nutrition,
who do not recognize the completeness of the structure of the human
body and its inherent powers of self-preservation. Often these fundamental
ideas are grasped, in general, not in detail, as readily by the
unlearned as by the learned; and the derisive word or look of some
learned person ignorant of Osteopathy may be more convincing to
the doubting Thomases or the vacillating learners than any argument
based upon indisputable facts. Osteopathy, in its completeness,
was an evolution in the mind of Dr. Still; so it must be in the
mind of others.
We are also often importuned, by those who want to find some short
cut for entrance into the practice, to explain how we treat. Any
attempt to do so must prove futile. Hence it is, that osteopaths
are sometimes accused of trying to keep their practice secret, because
they disclaim the ability to teach in a few lessons what it took
them at least two years of hard work under competent instructors
to learn. Dr. Still spent over thirty years evolving the science;
yet we sometimes find people without a knowledge of the sciences
of the human body who think they can learn it in a few hours. It
would be just as easy to learn drug medication without the medical
colleges as to learn Osteopathy without the osteopathic college.
Dr. Still never contemplated for a moment the keeping of his discoveries
a secret. His one concern, after he had developed Osteopathy into
a complete system, seemed to be how he could best give it to the
public so that it might most effectually bless mankind. Many thought
him foolish for giving to others what he had developed to the point
where he might have made himself and family rich if he had limited
the practice. Dr. Wm. Smith quotes Dr. Henry Marks as saying in
October, 1892: "Still is a philanthropist, but a fool; he could
keep that knowledge to himself and his family - make himself and
them rich; but he gives it to the world. We need more men like that."
Any one can see at once from the facts recorded in Chapter VII,
and elsewhere in this book, that it would have been foolishness
for Dr. Still to give his discoveries to the world before his system
was fully developed or before a school could have been established
to teach the new science. These came in due process of time. Many
saw the merits in his work, and Dr. Still demonstrated that others
could learn and practice the science. Not till then could it be
given to the world with any hope of its being accepted or understood.
NO SHORT CUT ROAD TO OSTEOPATHY.
It may also be laid down as a rule, almost without exception, that
those who claim to teach Osteopathy by correspondence, by book instruction,
or by any short cut method, are ignorant of the subject as a science
covering the whole field of therapeutics, and are constantly bolstering
their practice up by the use of adjuncts which often retard rather
than accelerate the recovery of the patient. Their work does not
compare at all favorably with that of those who know and practice
Dr. Still is not a man to foist upon others a half-developed theory,
or one that will not stand the most rigid practical tests. When
he thinks he sees a new way of applying his principles he goes to
work quietly, perhaps with the aid of a few trustworthy friends
and fellow-workers, to put it to the most rigid tests. If there
is anything in the idea, he gives others the benefit of it; if not,
that phase of the subject is settled once for all. He and all true
osteopaths deplore the fact that some things have been published
that should not have been placed before the public. Immature theories
and accidental results in practice have been heralded in some cases
before their time, and much has been made of these mistakes by the
ever alert opposition. Dr. Still said in November, 1904: "I
never reported I could take off goiter, till I had removed the ninth;
nor asthma till seven or eight were cured. I never said I could
handle bloody flux (dysentery) till I had cured about twenty."
It is safe to say, however, that seldom, if ever, in the process
of the evolution of a new science and the putting of it into practice,
have fewer absurd or serious mistakes been made. The literature
of Osteopathy (Chapter IX) is voluminous and most that has been
done from its earliest history has been read and known by all who
cared to investigate.
DEVELOPMENT OF OSTEOPATHS.
With the evolution of Osteopathy came the evolution of the osteopath.
The germ had long since been planted by Dr. Still and he alone had
nurtured the young plant. Osteopaths were to be produced by the
establishment of schools, the fundamental work of which was formulated
by Dr. Still himself, and expanded by him and the scores of able
men and women who have gathered about him, till today the Osteopathic
Colleges are giving a course ranging from twenty to thirty months,
that will compare favorably with the requirements of medical colleges.
That germ of school work was planted over twelve years ago, and
it, too, had to pass through the processes of evolution. Concerning
the early training of the osteopath, Dr. W. J. Conner, in a paper
read before the Missouri State Osteopathic Association, June 24,
1902, in speaking of the advantages and disadvantages of the early
graduate in Osteopathy, said:
"The opportunities of the early osteopath, in some respects,
were very poor, while in others they were the best. When I was in
school we had one teacher and all we studied was anatomy, and only
book anatomy at that; there was no dissecting or anything of that
kind, while on the other hand we had the freedom of the operating
rooms during the whole day and assisted in the treatment of all
the eases which came here for treatment, and, of course, had our
clinic cases besides. There were no text-books on Osteopathy to
guide us, consequently we had to depend entirely on our reasoning
faculties to diagnose our cases.
"I remember answering a telegram down at Edina one night,
and when I got to the house the brother who met me at the train
discovered that their M. D. was in the house and he proceeded to
stow me away in the kitchen until the M. D. left. Another illustration:
A prominent minister of St. Louis came to Kirksville for treatment.
He refused to give his name or address for fear his friends would
know where he was. He soon found out that he was not in the hands
of 'con' men or quacks. He had been taught by his medical friends
that osteopaths were men of that character, but before he was here
a week he was willing to tell all about himself, and had no occasion
to regret his coming to Kirksville, nor fear of being ridiculed
by his friends, because in a week's time he got relief that the
old-school doctors had been months trying to give him. He could
answer nearly as the blind man whom Christ healed, 'I was blind,
now I see."'
Early in the practice of Osteopathy by far the greater number of
patients had chronic ailments. They were able to go to the office
of the osteopath for treatment and receive all necessary care at
home or nearby boarding houses. The widening of the practice brought
in a greater number of acute cases and created a demand for "sanitariums"
and "infirmaries," where patients could be properly cared
for and provided with all that is necessary for their welfare. Such
institutions are now found in several of the large cities. Their
success is proof of the advantages, in more severe cases, of having
patients entirely under the care of osteopaths and away from the
inducements to resort to drugs, electricity, X-rays, etc. The cheerful
environment of the patients in some of these places, possibly all,
free from the usual odors of drugs and the distressing features
connected with frequent surgical operations and their common fatal
consequences, make osteopathic sanitariums especially desirable,
and they are becoming more and more popular.
THE RAPID SPREAD OF OSTEOPATHY.
As shown in Chapter VI, a scientific principle soon finds its way
into the hearts of the people. As a knowledge of the effects of
Osteopathy became more widespread, the demand for it at points remote
from its birthplace in the geographical center of the United States
soon led to its introduction into almost every state in the union.
More distant countries also called for Doctors of Osteopathy.
Through the solicitation of Mrs. J. B. Atherton, of Honolulu, Hawaiian
Islands, Dr, Geo. Tull made an engagement with her to go to the
islands for six months as osteopathic physician to the Atherton
family. He sailed from San Francisco on December 1, 1897, and arrived
at Honolulu on the 7th, where he began work, his practice being
confined to the Atherton family for the first month. Through their
kind influence, many were prevailed upon to try the new method of
healing. Their standing and the kindly influence and interest of
Dr. Gee. P. Andrews quelled a hostile opposition, and made it possible
to introduce Osteopathy for the first time beyond the boundaries
of the United States. Having fulfilled his contract, Dr. Tull left
Honolulu on May 26, 1898, for San Francisco, where he arrived seven
Dr. Carrie A. Gillmn has been engaged in the practice in Honolulu
Osteopathy was introduced into Canada at St. Johns, New Brunswick,
in 1898, by Dr. H. L. Spangler. Since then it has steadily grown
in favor till there are now (1905) about twenty five practicing
in the most important centers of population in the dominion.
Dr. Emily Bronson Conger was the first person to practice Osteopathy
in the Philippines. She gives a most interesting account of her
experience there, in her book entitled "An Ohio Woman in the
Mexico, Ireland, England, China, and the West Indies have recently
been invaded by osteopaths, who have found fruitful fields for the
reception of the new art of healing.
Thus by the natural processes of evolution, Osteopathy became a
science and an art to Dr. Still. By the same process his sons and
a few intimate friends became osteopaths. By a like process schools
were evolved which are now instructing others in the same work.
And by the same inevitable laws of growth it has become so intermingled
with the thoughts of the people that it has been introduced into
every state in the union, into the isles of the sea, and into the