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Our History

In 1874, Andrew Taylor Still MD DO (1828-1917), a medical doctor living on the Missouri frontier, discovered the significance of living anatomy in health and disease. Dr. Still realized that optimal health is possible only when all of the tissues and cells of the body function together in harmonious motion. He reasoned that disease could have its origins in slight anatomical deviation from normal. He then proved he could restore health by treating the body with his hands, naming his innovative approach to restoring health: Osteopathy. He understood that the human body is composed of many parts, all intimately related as a functional whole. More than a hundred years ago, Dr. Still realized that the human being is more than just a physical body. He envisioned a totally new medical system that acknowledges the relationships of the body, mind, emotions and spirit.

As a practicing physician Dr. Still diligently researched and developed osteopathy. He developed a very practical way of treating people using just his hands. Today, osteopaths continue to use their hands to treat their patients in this same tradition.

In the late 1800s none of today's miracle drugs, such as antibiotics, were available. Out of necessity, Dr. Still looked first to nature's own ability to heal and found a way to access this ability within the body. Still saw this self-correcting potential as a cornerstone of his osteopathic philosophy.

Today osteopathy has grown as a recognised allied health, with a combination of traditional methods and modern scientific philosophies. When combined with appropriate use of present day medical therapeutics, osteopathy offers a profound contribution to the practice of health.

Osteopathy has been practiced in Australia for over 100 years and has been taught in universities since the early 1980's.

The Australian Osteopathic Association was originally founded in 1955 in Victoria, the AOA became a national body in 1991 and and became Osteopathy Australia in 2014. Today Osteopathy Australia represents osteopaths in every state and territory across Australia. We are a member of Allied Health Professions Australia and the Osteopathic International Alliance.

Latest news

Skin: a bare bones covering

While it’s not the role of an osteopath to diagnose skin conditions, UK specialty doctor in Dermatology Manu Mehra believes we are uniquely positioned to make observations that save lives.

Osteopathy student tipped to make top 10 in inaugural 2016 NAB AFL Women's Draft

Nicola Stevens is expected to be drafted in the top 10, and even tipped to go as high as number 5 — but it could have been higher were it not for an ACL injury. Her experience in playing AFL football and suffering injuries herself, has led her to believe that osteopathic treatment and commitment to rehabilitation is the most effective in obtaining optimal results in health and performance.