Osteopathy is nearly 150 years old. Created by a doctor named Andrew Taylor Still in 1874, he wanted to offer an alternative to the conventional treatments of the time. Medicine back then; which included poisons, alcohol and some drugs that are now considered class A, often did more harm than good.
Osteo – prefix from Greek ‘osteon’ meaning bone.
Pathy – suffix from Greek ‘pathos’ to mean suffering or disease.
The name suggests osteopaths may study bone disease, but actually A T Still was concerned with the alignment of bones, using them as reference points. The bony reference points allows you to see and feel how that part of the body relates to other parts locally and holistically. A T Still considered in great detail how the fascia, the muscles, ligaments, aterial supply and venous drainage along with all the other structures in the body, work together to create health, or work in dysfunction to create dis-ease.
Fast forward to modern day, osteopaths have developed their skills and practice while maintaining the philosophy taught by A T Still. That philosophy includes that the body is a unit, in that all parts must work together for health. He considered the importance of the body, mind and spirit as one, which conventional healthcare has largely kept as separate entities to study in isolation until more recently.
Not all osteopathic training is the same globally. I trained in the UK where osteopathy is a regulated profession requiring a 4-5 year degree program, registration with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and regular continuous professional development is mandatory to maintain and develop your skills. See https://www.osteopathy.org.uk/home/ for more information.