A Manual of Osteopathy
Eduard W. Goetz, D.O.
THE science of Osteopathy was founded by Dr. Andrew
Taylor Still, who was formerly an allopathic physician and surgeon in the
United States army. About forty years ago he realized that the usual
remedies employed in the treating of disease were insufficient. He
then conceived the idea that the human system is a machine, perfectly framed
by its Maker, and, if kept in a condition of proper adjustment, capable
of keeping pace with time for a lengthened period of existence. He
found that manipulation could be made almost at will in connection with
the skeletal structure, with the result that all the organs could be stimulated
to perform their normal function.
After working at the experimental table of Nature
for years, he concluded that he had found a new science, and to this new
science and system of healing he gave the name "Osteopathy," not because
he regarded all healing as "bone setting," but because he regarded the
bones as Nature's medium of manipulating the human system, just as an allopath
or a homeopath regards drugs as a means of healing disease.
The basic principle of Osteopathy is, that if the
human organism is in perfect order, every body tissue and structure performs
its part without interruption; the bony structure representing the framework
upon which the other tissues of the body are built and to which they are
attached. Osteopathy makes use of the bone framework in establishing
landmarks for physical examination as a means of restoring misplaced parts
of the body. Hence, according to Dr. Still, the bones become the
basis of operative manipulation, so that osteopathic manipulation represents
the medium of therapeutic action.
It was in 1887 that Dr. Still began to teach his
sons the science. The American School of Osteopathy is the outgrowth
of this first effort to impart to others this science and art of healing.
Under the existing charter, Osteopathy is taught as a science of healing
and has already been applied to many, if not all, of the diseases to which
flesh is heir.
THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF OSTEOPATHY
The body working under good conditions of mechanical
and physical action produces blood which renders it proof against all forms
We maintain that when all obstructions to the natural
direction of the life forming and healing energies that are resident within
the body are removed; when all chemical changes preparatory to nutrition
are corrected, as they may be without medicine, then Nature fast and surely
regains her normal equilibrium of health and strength.
Osteopathy is the manual treatment of disease, based
upon the fact that man is a most perfect, intricate, and, to a certain
extent, self-recuperating machine, which, with each part or organ in its
proper position and in harmonious relation with every other part, will
run smoothly and perfectly; and when through osteopathic treatment we secure
replacement of parts displaced by accident or any of the various forces
incident to its surroundings and movements, a restoration of function (health)
Osteopathy is founded upon, and sustained by, the
laws of Nature. The organic substances out of which the body is built
up have marvelous recuperative powers, and possess, independent of drugs,
the efficacy to recover their normal function when diseased. A part
of the work is to digest and assimilate the foods prescribed by the normal
appetite, to manufacture therefrom all the chemical compounds needed by
the body for its own growth and repair, and to excrete that which is not
This work can only be carried on by the forces within
the body, and, when interfered with, cannot be corrected, or artificial
chemicals of the body substituted for the natural ones, in the form of
drugs. The Osteopath normalizes the chemical producing organs, and
hence does not require medicine to bring about a cure.
RESULTS ESTABLISH THE SCIENCE AND ART
It is in the results that the practitioner of Osteopathy
finds his justification. Osteopathy has passed the experimental stage.
It is now a demonstrated system of healing. Osteopathy gains results
because it uses and aids Nature. The Osteopath is fighting on the
side of truth, because he is on the side of Nature, and Nature allows none
of her causes to go by default. All Nature is pregnant with force,
and Nature’s force is the most remedial because it is natural. A
prompt resort to osteopathic treatment in the beginning of sickness will
generally ward off a long illness.
Nearly all diseases, both acute and chronic, that
come within the range of the medical profession have been treated and cured
by Osteopathy. One of the most remarkable facts in connection with
the history of Osteopathy is that a large proportion of its cases has been
discarded as incurable by the medical profession, and yet among these so-called
"incurable diseases" a large proportion has been entirely cured.
It is not claimed that Osteopathy is a cure-all, nor is it pretended that
it can give life and force where these have already been almost lost or
dissipated, but it is beyond dispute that life has been made more comfortable
to thousands of unhappy victims of disease, and death has been robbed of
many premature victims by the hand of Osteopathy.
ARE THE CURES PERMANENT?
There is no possible evasion of an affirmative answer
to this. Results tell the story of its permanency. It is not
beside the operating table or in the infirmary that this story can be told,
but in the homes made happy and the hearts made glad by the smiling faces
and genial presence of the loved ones given back to them in life and health,
rescued by the skill of Osteopathy from misery, agony and death.
Wherever Osteopathy has gone it has carried with it the banner of success,
and this guarantees its permanency.
OSTEOPATHY APPEALS TO THE INTELLECT
Any system of practice that can alleviate human
suffering certainly deserves the consideration of fair-minded men and women,
and that system which can best accomplish this result deserves the greatest
measure of confidence.
Those whose good fortune it has been to become familiar
with the true principles underlying this science, or that have had benefits
From the treatment thereby, are undeviating in their opinions that Osteopathy
is all that is claimed. Misconception of the theories and principles
of the science is due only to the improper source of information.
DISEASES TREATED BY THIS SYSTEM
The diseases successfully treated by this method
are those resulting from an abnormal condition of the machinery of the
body, the nerves, blood vessels, and fluids of the human system, which
are, without exception, caused by partial or complete dislocation of the
bones, contracture of muscles, disorganized tissue, and derangement of
the bodily organs.
The machinery of the body is extremely delicate. In
some conditions we find the nervous system in a severely strained or high-strung
state, resulting in great weakness and almost complete prostration. The
weakest, however, are susceptible to this form of treatment, and very quickly
the weakened body can be toned up, and the excited nerves calmed to such an
extent that those who have felt too weak for treatment become invigorated and
strengthened. The method itself is soothing and bracing. Children
even from birth are good subjects for manipulation; infantile and childhood
ailments very readily yield to gentle operations; teething, colic, croup, diphtheria,
being easily baffled by careful handling.