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History and philosophy

1A T Still Osteopathy occurred in the USA more than a century ago. Founder of osteopathy was Doctor A. T. Still (1828-1917) who developed the concept of osteopathy in 1874, taking the best practices of Egyptian and Greek medicine of Renaissance age. Andrew Taylor Still – doctor who had a medical practice at the borders of Kansas and Missouri states. Besides medicine he was a farmer, fought at the Federates side during the Civil War, was on duty for some time at the Legislative Assembly of Kansas Free State. In 1864, meningitis epidemy spread across the USA and took the lives of his wife and three kids. In his autobiography, doctor Still writes: «This happened in Fall 1864; still the distant thunders of leaving war were heard, when the epidemy broke out. The war was much more merciful to me comparing to this enemy. The war has not touched my family; but when the black wings of spinal meningitis covered our country, the illness took all my beloved as victims”. Neither priests, nor doctors, despite all their efforts, could save the members of his family. Doctor Still was broken and lost, with no belief into then contemporary medicine. The tragedy was a starting point in the search of a different understanding for health. In 1897, doctor Still in his diaries writes: “Who invented osteopathy? Twenty four years ago, on the 22nd day of June at 10 o’clock in 1874, doctor Still “raised the flag of osteopathy”. Literally, “osteopathy” term was proposed by doctor Still in 1889. When telling that he was judged for the absence of the term in the dictionary, Dr. Still retorted: “So what? Let’s add the word to the dictionary”! This word became a symbol of reforms in medicine for Dr. Still and his followers.

Same year, American Osteopathic Association was founded to promote the osteopathy. Students of Dr. Still opened their own schools after the graduation. Number of osteopathic schools rose continuously and rapidly. In 1898, more than a hundred years ago, association of osteopathic colleges was founded to create standards of osteopathic training and the association was in a close cooperation with American Osteopathic Association. In 1903, council of Missouri state started its activity and the first certificate was issued to Mr. A. T. Still.

2In 1939, student of Dr. A. T. Still, U. G. Sutherland made a report on concept of cranial osteopathy at neurosurgeon summit, the idea of the concept was primary breathing mechanism (PBM) and he published a book, “Cranial vessel”. Since 1950s, a course of cranial osteopathy was included into the educational schedule. Practically every fact of state recognition in the USA was preceded with long and heavy struggle.

By the end of XXth century, osteopathy became a separate but equally respected profession in many countries of the world. Revival of interest to manual medicine and other osteopathic methods has occurred. Emphasis to philosophical principles and clinical skills is made in the majority of osteopathic schools and post-graduation education institutes. In US, certification mechanism was developed by osteopathic council for both Medicine Doctors (MD) and Osteopathic Doctors as per the skill level in osteopathic manual medicine. This process assumes additional training for the doctors. In 1927, Mr. Littlejohn, student of Dr. A. T. Still, opened the first British Osteopathic school.

Osteopathic schools were opened in France, Belgium, Austria, Spain and other countries in 1970s.

In Russia, the first osteopathic school was opened in 1994, in Saint-Petersburg – it was the Russian higher school of osteopathic medicine (RHSOM). The school was founded by T. I. Kravchenko, neurologist, doctor of osteopathy with assistance of Dr. V. Frymann (USA). Opening of the school was preceded with opening of the first Osteopathic Center in Saint-Petersburg in 1992, Engelsa pr., b. 27 and RHSOM commenced its activities with the assistance of the Center.
The main goal of the School is the training of instructors on osteopathy.

Russian Osteopathic Association was created in 1997 in Russia and it cooperates with the number of osteopathic public organizations in Europe, USA, Canada and with other medical institutions and public organizations in Russia.
Cooperation between RHSOM and Higher School of osteopathy (France) made it possible to train the first Russian instructors on osteopathy.
In Russia, osteopathy is considered as an independent method of treatment. The first stage was completed in 2002 – it was certification and accreditation of RHSOM educational program. The second stage was completed – on 27 October 2003, osteopathic method was officially approved by the Ministry of Heal of the Russian Federation. The final third stage is approval of the profession – osteopathy. On 13 September 2013 Ministry of education and science signed the Order on approval profession where osteopathy is indicated, profession code is 31.08.52. In 2015, general educational program on osteopathy profession was finalized and medical profession “Osteopathy” was introduced, but osteopathy has no licensing on rendering medical assistance.  The profession licensing is scheduled to be introduced from 01 January 2018. Presently, these are several public osteopathic bodies in Russia. For successful development of osteopathy in Russia, one needs uniting and mutual cooperation of all interested parties in our osteopathic community. 

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