Classical Osteopathy as a Profession

CICO - Andrew Taylor StillOsteopathy is an American science, founded by Andrew Taylor Still. It is a drugless manual form of healing which follows a set of principles and emphasizes the interrelationship between structure and function of the body. Early American Classical Osteopathy believes in the body’s ability to self-heal and self-regulate.

Early American Classical Osteopathy

Classical Osteopathy is defined by 4 characteristics;
1. Stillian Principles
2. Treating the Source
3. Precision in Treatment
4. Dynamic Thinking

1. Stillian Principles
Classical osteopathy is osteopathy in its most pure form. It stays true to the founding principles of the profession as developed by its founder Andrew Taylor Still. The theory and application of these principles are at the root of all diagnoses and treatment. Osteopathic skill is honed from a mastery of principles, not a memorization of techniques or adjustments.

2. Treating the Source
Classical Osteopaths do not chase pain. Through the application of principles they determine the source of a problem and treat there instead. Classical osteopaths do not treat the symptomatic expression of a condition.

3. Precision in Treatment
Classical Osteopathic diagnosis and treatment requires precision. Accuracy in treating is paramount. It is only achieved through considerable study of anatomy and physiology and extensive clinical training.

4. Dynamic Thinking
A classical osteopath has the ability to generate a dynamic customized treatment for the individual patient in the individual moment. Every patient is different. Even the same patient is different every time they are treated. The treatment must fit the patient, not the other way around.

Classical Osteopathy vs Eclectic Osteopathy

Where Classical Osteopathy encompasses an understanding of principles and can stand on its own, Eclectic Osteopathy is taught as a series of memorized techniques or manipulations for different parts of the body. Eclectic osteopathy lacks founding principles and theory and is typically layered onto an existing modality like massage therapy or physiotherapy. These types of programs are prevalent in Europe and in Canada.

Classical Osteopathy vs Osteopathic Medicine

In the USA, a medical/manual hybrid called osteopathic medicine is practiced which combines pharmaceutical medicine with structural manipulation.