The founder of osteopathy was Dr. Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917). As a classical schooled doctor he lived in a restless time in the United States. Due to a meningitis epidemic he lost three of his sons. It was because of this that he lost all trust in the medical science of that time. Thanks to observations, dissections and a lot of studying he came with the insight that healthy tissue should show a certain amount of movement and that limitation of this movement can cause problems with once health. His personal findings intrigued him with his classical medical background. This brought, in 1870, the fundament for the modern manual medical science. In 1874 he gave his concept the name of Osteopathy. Osteopathy is the fusion of the word “osteon” (bone or tissue) and the word “pathos” (suffer, but also influence). With other words: osteopath stands for the suffering or influencing (of the mobility) of the tissue”.

In Kirksville, in the state of Missouri, he founded in 1892 “The American School of Osteopathy”. His manner of thinking and his manual way of treating was later on taken over and enriched by the students, including W.G. Sutherland and J.M. Littlejohn. Already in 1896 the state of Vermont acknowledged Osteopathy. Since 1966, Osteopathy was legally recognized and fully integrated into health care in America. Via England and France Osteopathy formed from the 60’s a quickly growing branch of the medical science Europe. In the Netherlands there are momentarily circa 400 diplomatic Osteopaths registered. Via a part-time 5-year course, doctors and physiotherapists can become diplomatic Osteopaths. In Gent/Belgium there is a fulltime course of 4 years.