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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

Changes to Time-off-in-lieu conditions of the Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010

The Fair Work Commission handed down changes to the Time-off-in-lieu (TOIL) provisions of the Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010 on 22 August 2016. The new provisions have been in effect since the first full pay period on or after the 22 August 2016. These changes apply to employees and employers covered by the award. Employees and employers in all businesses in all states with the exception of unincorporated businesses in Western Australia are covered by the award. Thus the changes do not apply to unincorporated practices in WA. The intention of the new TOIL clause (28.3 Time off instead of payment for overtime), which replaces the previous TOIL clause 28.3, is to clarify the intention and interpretation of the original clause. An explanation of the new clause is below. Each explanation of a subclause of 28.3 is numbered according to the numeral it corresponds to in clause 28.3 in the award.

Osteopath heads to Rio Paralympics

Osteopathy Australia wishes member, Jessica Gallagher, all the best at the Rio Paralympics! Read her incredible story...