Studying anatomy regularly results in marvel and despair. That is because the sheer complexity of an organic organism can be overwhelming.
The amount of significant details seem endless and while the system often seems chaotic and undistinguishable on first sight, by observing patiently, one finds that really everything has meaning and purpose.
Nature is a marvelous mechanic, structural engineer, sanitary engineer, electric technician, physicist, chemist, data scientist and much more. By virtue of being all of this, out of lifeless matter it creates a being, which feels, thinks and is aware of itself.

Andrew Still was a country doctor in the midwest USA during the late nineteenth century, a time and place moved by the conflict between northern and southern states and characterized by small, local christian settlements. Medical treatments were crude, sometimes tending a little more towards science, sometimes tending a lot towards quackery.

Experiences as a doctor in battlefield hospitals and the loss of three children due to infectious diseases pushed him to search for better procedures than those he got taught so far.
By exploring and comparing the views on medicine within his own culture with those of the Native Americans in the vicinity, he found his best approach to understand the anatomic and physiology so well first, that he may find the single dysfunctional structure which cannot selfcorrect and to bring it back into a functioning condition.

Nowadays it is taken for granted that a doctor possesses extensive knowledge about the body, but in those times his determination to aquire solid information was revolutionary. The second principle of noninterference once the work was done, was inspired by his christian culture and the Native American healers.
He called his approach later ‘Osteopathy’, which may give a slightly wrong idea, because not only musculosceletal system, but all visible and palpatable parts of the body are considered important.
Namely bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, muscles, arteries, veins, lymphatic vessels, organs, skins, and more.
The interaction of these many parts is the focus of the osteopaths treatment, his hands are his solely tools.

By knowledge about the location of a structure, its dimensions, what it does and which factors may influence it, the osteopath may find and treat conglomerations, blockages, defective positions and limitations of motion.

This distinguishes the Osteopath from other medical specializations, which usually focus on single body parts, body regions, tissues or illnesses.
The general practitioner, as an exception, does take care of the whole patient, but mostly prescribes pharmaceutics.
The Osteopath is the general practitioner who knows how to treat every part of the body with this bare hands.
Very important for this is the musculosceletal system indeed (hence the name ‘Osteopath’) but far from exclusively.


Joints, organs, vessels and nerves can conglomerate and lose their range of motion. If these hardenings are mild (or the patient in delicate condition) then the gentle method of mobilisation is indicated. The structures are loosened then by rhythmic, circling motions according to the motion pattern of that structure.


If the movement limitations are of a rigid quality and the patient is in overal good condition, the blocked joint can be moved towards its end of motion and be pushed back into its normal movement pattern with a slight thrust. These technics were converted into a an new therapy concept called Chiropractics during Stills lifetime by one of his students. Chiropractic is focussing solely on the joints, which in Osteopathy is considered an unduly simplification.

Muscle Energy Technics

When joints are brought into a certain position and the patient pushes with mild force, corrections can happen by means of the pull of the patients own muscles.


By pressing and holding certain points remote structures can be influenced , e.g. muscle tension can be lowered or vegetative states can be triggered. This concept is similar to acupuncture.