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 body working under good conditions of mechanical and physical action produces blood which renders it proof against all forms of disease.
    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) will supervene.

    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 so required.

    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.


    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.


    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.
    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.


    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.