The Philosophy and Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy

Ricerca e scienza
AT Still

By Richard Douglas

1902. Kansas City, MO

In the case of a nine-year-old boy with wonky teeth.

1. The Mechanical Principles of modern Osteopathy

As mentioned in Part I, when we look at the websites of our osteopathic teaching institutions around the world, you will find the following list of osteopathic principles that we must agree to in order to receive our D.O. (diploma osteopathy). However, I cannot find a reference to any of these principles in Still’s book. How strange is that? In a book titled “the Philosophy and Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy”, and written by A.T. Still himself, there are no references to these principles. Do we really agree with these principles? I was told I had to otherwise I would fail my exam, and of course I did fail my exam on the principles of osteopathy because they make no sense. If they do make any sense, then we should be able to apply them in practice, but how do they help us, help our patients? How do these principles explain the cause and effect of the problem and the changes that have occurred? These modern principles are possibly the result of “rewording” (see later) and in my opinion this has had a disastrous effect on the way we think and therefore has a knock-on effect on what we do. These are the principles that to me, make no sense. This article will discuss only the first two modern principles. I ask myself, how can I use these principles to in this case? How do they help me understand what’s going on?

1.   The body is a unit, and the person represents a combination of body, mind and spirit.

2.   Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.

3.   The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing and health maintenance.

4.   Rational treatment is based on an understanding of these principles: body unity, self-regulation, and the interrelationship of structure and function.

I have never really understood why these principles make no sense to me, until I discovered that they simply do not exist and Still never wrote them. The first two principles seem to be concoctions of word changes and re-arrangements, the last two are more like empty common-sense statements that do not help us in anyway in our daily practice. After discussing the reasoning as to the possible cause of wonky teeth in part I we now need to look at how we can possibly influence the situation. It obvious that we can see there is a “derangement” and that means there must be “action” (part I), so something is happening. We also see in the evidence from 2011 and also 2018, that something has changed after treatment, but what? If the principles that we are expected to agree on are correct, then we must be able to apply them to both instances and use them to answer some questions; If these principles that we abide by are of any use, the answers to these questions will be easy to find and we could apply them to both cases in 2011 and then again in 2018. If it is possible to answer these questions based on the principles of modern osteopathy, then you may please enlighten me.

1.   How has the “unit” of body, spirit and mind been influenced in these cases? 

2.   Has the function of anything you see changed in anyway?

3.   Has the structure of anything you see changed in anyway? 

4.   If structure and function are reciprocally interrelated, how has that relationship changed in these pre and post treatment photos

5.   What has the body regenerated or healed? 

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As demonstrated in Part I the words we use and the words that Still used do not mean the same thing. In the 1800 the words had different meanings and more importantly, different usages. The principles we use today might some how seem logical but you when we put them back in context and use the definitions of that time it is easy to understand why these principles make no sense. I will take a look at the first two modern principles that we use and then discus how we can actually use Still’s work, isn’t that the whole point of his writings? To help us understand what he meant and use that in our daily practice. Shouldn’t we therefore at least peruse what he wrote? That is after all, what he asked us to do;

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2. The body is a unit, and the person represents a combination of body, mind and spirit.

As I have already stated in part I of Wonky Teeth there has been an historical change in the consensus of what osteopathy is and the principles on which it stands, (Jane Stark D.O. in her article ‘An historical perspective on principles of osteopathy’) When we look at these seemingly innocent word changes, at first glans we might think, ‘who cares?’. But if we put these changes back into their environment of 1953 then we must reason ‘why?’. Why did they feel the need to change these words? in order to have any insight into the reasoning as why they may have needed to change these words, we must first know which words have been changed. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any teaching institute that can offer any insight into the fundamental changes that have been made and why they were made in the first place. In this section I will take a look the modern principles and the possible changes that have been made. However, in still’s work you cannot look in the index under ‘P’ for ‘principles of osteopathy’ and find a convenient list of principles. They are scattered all through the book but when we compare the modern principles with Still’s work, we can identify certain changes for example;

One of the most seemingly innocent changes that has been made to still’s writings is what he writes about body, mind and spirit. The modern definition states that the body is a ‘unit’ but actually Still wrote:

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Still does refer to the body, mind and spirit but under the heading ‘Man is Triune’ he does not refer to man as a “unit”. You might think ‘who cares?’, well somebody cared enough to want to change it. So what does this word mean and why change it? I refer to Webster’s of 1828 because I would like to know what ‘Triune’ meant in 1892.


TRI’UNEadjective [Latin tres and unus.] Three in one; an epithet applied to God, to express the unity of the Godhead in a trinity of persons.

As I mentioned, there must be some logical reason or need to change the word from “triune” to “unit”. As we can see the word “triune” means “an epithet applied to God”. This means that it is a word that BELONGS to God and Still is using it to describe Man. So, if we place ourselves in the environment of 1950’s God fearing America, is it unreasonable to suggest that the fear of the church may have played a part in this word change. Did their fear of the church make them over look its true meaning, simply ‘three in one’? (1.material body, 2.spiritual being 3. being of mind from ONE WHOLE). This word is very clear, there are three entireties that form one being. A unit can be anything, a unit can be made up of one or numerous numbers of parts that make one unit. (see definition below) It may seem the same, but it is fundamentally it’s a million miles in a different direction. 

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There seems to many different levels of principles in Stills book, for example Still frequently uses the term “superior principle which is mind”. Superior means amongst other things, ‘Higher or greater in excellence; surpassing others in the greatness’, (1828), meaning that in order to have a ‘superior principle’, there must be other principles lower in hierarchy (1828)  

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As all hierarchies work in the same way, it is therefore reasonable to suggest that superior principle of mind cannot exist without the lower order of principles, they must form the foundation on which the superior principle exists. So therefore, it is therefore logical to suggest that we must first understand the mechanical principles before we can ever understand the superior principle. In order to understand Still’s book is titled. “ The philosophy and Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy” we MUST therefore first ask, what do the words ‘Mechanical’ and ‘principle’ actually mean?.

Only then can we reason on the practical and application of Still’s work in the case of Wonky Teeth and in all the cases we see every day. My apologies for repeating myself but again, but do we know what these mechanical principles are? We can’t know because we have never been taught these things, how do I know this to be true? If we had been taught what the mechanical principles are, we would not state the four principles mentioned. I will discuss these mechanical principles later on, for now please note that still didn’t write the first principle of osteopathy as we know it,

the body is not a unit, ‘man’ is TRIUNE

Unit 1828

U’NITnoun [Latin unus, one; unitas, unity.]

1. One; a word which denotes a single thing or person; the least whole number.

Units are the integral parts of any large number.

2. In mathematics, any known determinate quantity, by the constant repetition of which, any other quantity of the same kind is measured. [See Unity.]

This one seemingly innocent word change has very damaging consequents on the way we think, we now think separate parts and units, we split the body up into parts and systems, In the case of Wonky Teeth the modern osteopathic approach is to talk about bones and joints that are blocked in anterior, posterior or endo-exo-rotated positions. We name muscles that are Hyper, or hypotonic and accuse our particular systems of being dysfunctional and are as the cause of the problem. We make a shopping lists of parts that need unblocking and we have a tool-box full of techniques that fit these parts to unblock them. This way of thinking seems to bear no resemblance to what is written. Unfortunately, this modern approach to osteopathy is so embedded in our minds, it is almost impossible to perceive that there is any other way of thinking, however just as one very smart guy once said;

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”    ― Albert Einstein

As mentioned in part I, my patient had a fall, he fell as a whole human being onto the table and not just with his chin. If the impact was substantial enough to “derange” the ‘material body’, we may therefore reason that it would have affected the whole “Triune” in some way. Would it therefore be reasonable to assume that the impact might just have caused changes in solidity and size of ‘all’ the tissues that bared the brunt of the impact right through to the collateral damage. Is that not what we have been advised to reason on (part I)?

3. Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.

Houston, we have a problem!!

The second principle of modern osteopathy is a perfect example of the consequents of changing words. Still did use the word ‘structure’ and ‘function’ many times, however he only used the word ‘reciprocally’ twice (1902) and even then, he wrote ‘reciprocity’, but as far as I can tell he never used the words structure, function and reciprocally in the same sentence. Meaning that somebody else must have put these words together. I have only found the use of the word ‘reciprocity’ and that was in his chapter entitled ‘Biogen”. (1902 version) I show this excerpt from this chapter only to demonstrate his use of the word reciprocity because this one chapter, is in itself, its own enigma and is philosophically speaking on such another level that if we were to go any further than these two sentences (below), we would open a whole new can of worms. (

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Does it matter if this isn’t what Still wrote, it does seem logical to say “structure and function are reciprocally interrelated” so we accept it as being true. But when we look at what these words and what they mean, in the times they were written, are we certain that this is a principle of osteopathy? and if it is what can we do in our daily practice with structure and function?

Structure 1828

STRUCTUREnoun [Latin , to set or lay.]

1. Act of building; practice of erecting buildings.

His son builds on and never is content, till the last farthing is in structure spent.

2. Manner of building; make; construction; as the want of insight into the structure and constitution of the terraqueous globe.

3. Manner of organization of animals and vegetables, etc.

4. A building of any kind, but chiefly a building of some size or of magnificence; an edifice. The iron bridge over the Seine in Paris, is a beautiful structure

There stands a structure of majestic frame.

5. In mineralogy, the particular arrangement of the integrant particles or molecules of a mineral.

Function 1828

FUNC’TIONnoun [Latin functio, from fungor, to perform.]

1. In a general sense, the doing, executing or performing of anything; discharge; performance; as the function of a calling or office.

Reciprocally 1828

RECIP’ROCALLYadverb Mutually; interchangeably; in such a manner that each affects the other and is equally affected by it.

These two particles do reciprocally affect each other with the same force.

Structure means the manner’ or particular ‘way’ in which something is built, organised or layed out

Function means the tasks or duties that must be carried out.

So, if we put Wonky Teeth under the very best imagining apparatus available, would we see any change in the way the tissues are built or organized, the answer is simple, if the function of these tissues hasn’t changed, then the ‘manner’ or ‘particular way’ the tissues are built cannot change either. The pictures below demonstrate that structure and function do not change.

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These two buildings have exactly the same structure and function, they are built in the same manner and they have to perform the same tasks and they are organized in exactly the same way.

Structure:   They both have Foundations, on which they stand, they both have Walls, Entrances, openings and a Roof.They are both organised with areas to eat, sleep and socialise. 

Function:     They both Shelterpeople from the elements of the environment in which the people that constructed them live.

We could transport the whole structure of the African hut, foundations and all, to the country where I live in the Netherlands and nothing would change in regards to its structure and function. It still has a foundation, walls, entrances, openings and a roof. Its function of sheltering the people from the elements of its environment also hasn’t changed, so what would change? 

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The environment would change.

If the environment suddenly changes, the African hut would need to be adapted to suit its new environment. The foundations would have to be adapted but there is still the same need for its a foundation. The materials used to construct the walls and roof would be inadequate to withstand the elements of its new environment, therefore it will inadequately shelter its occupants from the elements of the new environment. The same is true for the luxury house, place it next to the hut in Africa and it will soon become clear that its foundations, walls and roof cannot survive in that environment. We would also have to adapt the form to suit the environment, but the basic structure (foundation, walls roof etc,) would remain the same and the function would still be exactly the same. Another option would be to just to change the environment to suit the structure.

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As far as I know, Still never used the word ‘environment’ because in his day it probably didn’t exist, it isn’t mentioned in Webster’s 1828 dictionary. Instead he used the word Nature. Even though I am therefore also guilty of using other words, I do opt to continue to use the word ‘environment’ because in our mind today in 2019, Nature means plants, trees, animals, mountains, rivers and desserts. The word ‘environment’ we associate more with the “conditions” in which Nature exists. In the case of wonky teeth, it’s about the conditions of Nature that I will discuss. But on a note of caution, the environment is Nature and the use of the word environment must not in your mind, replace or change the word Nature.

In the case of Wonky Teeth is it therefore unreasonable to suggest that when a young boy falls against a table and busts his lip, that there was a sudden change in the environment of the ‘material body’ and therefore the whole “Triune” ? or in other words, would these tissue not have become ‘deranged’ in some way? If this is true then the tissues must then adapt to the new situation. By definition, adapting means “To make suitable; to fit or suit;(1828). But has the structure changed? The answer can only be NO because in order to adapt there must still be a foundation on which to rebuild on, there must be new wallsentrancesopenings and a new roof adequate to ‘suit’ the new environment. This may require deferent materials but the basic structure is exactly the same. How do we know that the basic structure cannot have changed, because the need for the function also hasn’t changed? However, in Wonky Teeth something has clearly changed but what? The scar tissue around the lips a perfect example, the impact of the fall would cause a ‘change of environment’ meaning the tissues must adapt to the new environment but because there is still a need for lip tissue, the new tissue must somehow resemble the form of lip tissue but also adapt to the new environment. We ‘see’ a scar but our mind we should be alerted to “change from a normal tendency to an abnormal tendency and that means “derangement” (Part I def osteopathy). Derangement needs adaptation and adaptation means altered material form. This adaptation is apparently being managed by the “great principle known as MIND”. 

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To demonstrate the relationship between structure, function and form in its environment, I will discuss the images below that have been gathered in vitro. We can all see just by looking at these two lamellae bone samples that basic structure is the same, we must therefore reciprocally assume that the function of lamellae bone in both samples is the same. But we can also see that the form is different, we can then reason that the environment in which they existed must have been different. These two samples must be taken from different bones, the lamellae bone sample on the right seems more densewith more compact bone tissue surrounding the Havers channels, that in themselves also seem to lager in diameter. This must mean that lamellae bone on the right needs more blood and when alive there must have been more “action”, that bone have subject to more stresses and strains than the sample on the left. Therefore they must be performing differently in deferent environments.

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The sample on the left is from a humerus and the sample on the right is from a femur. Now that we know this, we can all understand that the forms are different, they exist in different environments and therefore are required to perform differently. The structure has adapted to its environment. It is perfectly logical for us to understand and accept that a femur is exposed to more force than a humerus. Just to make the point clear, the samples are from the humerus and femur of a cow. 

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We have all just recognized the basic structure of lamellae bone and because we are osteopaths, we logically assume it is human. The basic structure and function of lamellae bone in both Cow and Human are the same, that’s why we can recognize it as possibly being human. In both cow and Human, the form is different because the environment in which they exist is different. Bone cells do not know that they belong to a cow or a Human being, they don’t even know if they are a humerus or a femur, tibia or sternum, they just adapt to their environment. Please do not insult your own intelligence by arguing that DNA is the driving force behind tissue formation, because apparently it is the environment that influences DNA.

Space genes’: NASA confirms space travel changes DNA — even upon return to Earth

Sean Rossman USA TODAY

Published 12:05 PM EDT Mar 16, 2018


–      If this is true, have we ever considered the consequents for the human race of conception, gestation and birth in space? Could that possibly be the birth of an alien?

–      Do we realise that we could commit a crime on earth, go into space, change our DNA and be acquitted for the crime, because the evidence would be disputable.

–      To change DNA in every single cell means that every single cell must be exposed to the same influence, 

Also, if this is true, the influence of the environment must therefore also be true for every tissue that makes up a Human being. Is it not reasonable to suggest that the very fact we have different types of tissue is nothing more than adaptations to micro- stresses and strains exerted on an embryo? When we go into space we change the environment, we change the forces acting on every cell and every cell must adapt to survive, The adaptation would need to been recorded in every cell for the next generation of cells. Are not all tissues just adapting to their environment and the need for a structure to suit it’s the need for function. Please do not mistake my intentions because I do actually agree that structure and function are reciprocally interrelated, but that is the domain of Nature and not of the osteopath. Nature has the need for structures and functions, so do we have any pretense that we osteopaths can influence the manner in which Nature builds its structures? Because if that’s what we really think then we reciprocally must also think we can change their function. Ultimately when we say “structure and function are reciprocally interrelated”, we are basically telling the whole world;

In osteopathy, we do nothing because we have no influence on the structure and function of a human being.

4. Changing times, changing words, changing FORM

I make no apologies for this long and drawn out section about form because understanding “form” is the key to understanding Still’s work and how it might just help us understand Wonky Teeth. As mentioned Still is suggesting that “a being of mind, is far superior to all vital motions and material forms” but what does this mean and how does it relate to wonky teeth? To start with, what are vital motions, and what is material form? Again, nobody has ever taught us what this is and how we can use it in our daily practice. It would have been far too easy for us if Still had actually defined what he meant, because then we wouldn’t have to think for ourselves. All we can do is keep referring to what he wrote and the definitions of his time, for the words he uses. The words must have some meaning, that’s why he used them. I have included the definitions of the words from Webster’s dictionary of 1828 below for reference. But essentially understanding vital motions and material form is not just the key to understanding Wonky Teeth but it is my opinion, the whole point of osteopathy. For some reason we have chosen to ignore it. Still himself isn’t around to ask what he meant by vital motions and material form, so we are left only with our ability to think logically and reason. Our idea of Form

Based on the definitions of the words at that time and in the context of the ‘causes’ of sickness and disease, I offer these possible uses of the words vital motions and material form.

Vital motions;

–       A force or power of one body acting on another (1828) that force is the seat of life; being that on which life depends (1828). 

Material form:

–      Material     (1828) is the “Substance of monumental importance that has influence or effect,

–      Form            (1828) is the particular disposition of matter in each body which distinguishes its appearance from that of every other body.

It is therefore reasonable to assume that vital motion is the force on which all life depends and material form is the unique “appearance” of each and every tissue in our “material body”, at that particular moment in time, not just how they look, but how all substances (tissues) are performing (discussed later) at that time. We may therefore reason that “derangements” in material form will influence and disturb the force on which all life depends. So if the force on which all life depends is deranged, would that not be ‘the beginnings of disease”(definition osteopathy) Shouldn’t we therefore, be looking for derangements in the material form instead of dysfunctions? Isn’t that what Still has been advising for more than a hundred years?

Notethe word “appear” must have been a hugely important word in the 1800’s it has 7 different usages and all have one or more references to the Bible, in This context I offer this usage 4, 5 and 7 of the word appear;

Below the 1828 definitions of Appear, derangement, vital, motion, material and form.

Appear 1828

APPE’ARverb intransitive [Latin appareo, of ad and pareo, to appear or be manifest.]

4. To be obvious; to be known, as a subject of observation or comprehension.

Let thy work appear to thy servant. Psalms 90:16.

It doth not yet appear what we shall be. 1 John 3:2.

5. To be clear or made clear by evidence; as, this fact appears by ancient records.

But sin that it might appear sin. Romans 7:13.

7. To be discovered, or laid open.

That they shame may appear Jeremiah 13:26.

Derangement 1828


1. A putting out of order; disturbance of regularity or regular course; embarrassment.

2. Disorder of the intellect or reason; delirium; insanity; as a derangement of the mental organs.

Vital 1828

VI’TALadjective [Latin vitalis, from vita, life. This must be a contraction of victa, for vivo forms vixi, victus; Gr. Contracted.]

1. Pertaining to life, either animal or vegetable; as vital energies; vital powers.

2. Contributing to life; necessary to life; as vital air; vital blood.

3. Containing life.Spirits that live throughout, vital in every part – and vital virtue infus’d, and vital warmth.

4. Being the seat of life; being that on which life depends.

The dart flew on, and pierc’d a vital part.

Motion 1828

MO’TIONnoun [Latin motio. See Move.] The act or process of changing place; change of local position; the passing of a body from one place to another; change of distance between bodies; opposed to rest.

Animal motion is that which is performed by animals in consequence of volition or an act of the will; but how the will operates on the body in producing motion we cannot explain.

Mechanical motion is effected by the force or power of one body acting on another.

Perpetual motion is that which is effected or supplied by itself, without the impulse or intervention of any external cause. Hitherto it has been found impossible to invent a machine that has this principle.

Material 1828

MATE’RIALadjective [Latin materia, matter.]

1. Consisting of matter; not spiritual; as material substance; material bodies.

2. Important; momentous; more or less necessary; having influence or effect.

Hold them for catholics or heretics, it is not a thing very material in this question.

In the account of simple ideas, I shall set down only such as are most material to our present purpose.

So we say, a material point; a material fault or error; a material fact or consideration.

Form 1828

FORMnoun [Latin forma.]

1.   The shape or external appearance of a body; the figure, as defined by lines and angles; that manner of being peculiar to each body, which exhibits it to the eye as distinct from every other body. Thus we speak of the form of a circle, the form of a square or triangle, a circular form the form of the head or of the human body, a handsome form an ugly form a frightful form

–      Matter is the basis or substratum of bodies, form is the particular disposition of matter in each body which distinguishes its appearance from that of every other body.

–      The form of his visage was changed. Daniel 3:19.

As I have mentioned, the first two principles of modern osteopathy make no sense, so why would we make a principle of something that we cannot influence? So if man is actually triune and not a unit and we have no influence on structure and function because that is the domain of Nature, what are we doing? What has changed in wonky teeth? As I mentioned in part I analogies enlighten the mind’ In part I. I used the analogy of a crashed car to demonstrate the consequents of an impact on materials. Now we move on to Form, the structure cannot change because the function must also change. However, when the environment changes the FORM must adapt, just as demonstrated with the African hut. If we reason as to what has changed in wonky teeth, it Is reasonable to suggest that fall induced a sudden change of ‘environment’ for all the tissues, that in-turn induced a change in material form. Is then unreasonable to suggest that the treatment, simply changed the environment again and the form readjusted from an abnormal tendency to normaltendency? 


(also used in Still’s definition of osteopathy) verb transitive [re and adjust.] To settle again; to put in order again what had been discomposed

Below we can see examples of the difference in form changes in Wonky Teeth, but also between the two houses. In the pictures of Wonky Teeth and the two houses we get a similar impression, we see what looks to be a abnormal tendency and an normal tendency. The basic structure and functions haven’t changed but they have a different form. The environment has somehow changed and therefore it is the form that will change. When we look at the two houses, they were both built in the same manner. They have the same foundations, they originally would have been built with the same materials for the same walls, doors and windows and roof. The interior may have been different to suit the occupants needs and own ‘taste’ and ‘needs’ Is this not exactly the same principle for every cell, tissue and organ from which a human being is made. Is it not true that every cell, tissue and organ are built on a foundation, and have walls openings, entrances to let things in and out and is it not true that every cell, tissue and organ have a roof or something to protect them from their surroundings? And is not true that every cell type has a different interior to suit its needs? Both houses also have the same function, they shelter human beings from the elements of the particular environment of the occupants. Both in the picture of ‘wonky teeth’ and of the houses, you don’t have to be a professor to “see’ which has a “normal” tendency and which has an “abnormal” tendency.

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I think we can agree that the house on the left is less likely to protect human beings from the elements, but does that mean the house on the left is dys-functioning? We osteopaths condemn Nature when we use the term dys-function. (the use of dis or dys is also another discussion). Whichever you may chose they amount to the same thing; we then say that Nature is badly or negatively performing its duty. Apparently, we do not appreciate the meaning of the word PER-FORM. It actually means “to the extent of its form” (Per= to the extent of and form) see ‘Per’1828. The house on the left will also protect human beings from the elements to ‘the extent of its form’ You could still shelter from the wind, rain, snow, and sun and to some extent the cold. You could also eat, sleep and socialise in the house on the left. We could also presume that the people living in the house on the left would be more susceptible to sickness and disease than those on the right, but is that a fair presumption? Maybe, but maybe not. Still never condemned ‘Nature does no imperfect work’

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The form of the house on the right looks ‘healthy’ and ‘normal’ but we would have to look inside and inspect the ventilation, heating, drainage, water and food supplies and make sure there are no poisonous substances present? We would have to meet the people that live there to know if they are actually healthier than those living in the house on the left. Globally we would have to look around, where are the houses built, for example, do the houses stand on a former nuclear waste dumping site?

I have just given a description of normal and abnormal tendency of the two houses and the questions we could ask about the health of its occupants, based on the form of the houses. Replace the word house with other words and the same is also true, structure and function remain the same but a change in environment that leads to an abnormal change in form will result in sickness and disease. As mentioned in Part I in Newtons rules reasoning in Natural Philosophy state that the universal law of physics and explanations of phenomena determined through scientific investigation should apply to all instances of that phenomenon (applies to all heavenly bodies, stars and planets) We may therefore reason that the laws of physics that govern ‘health’ and ‘normal’ should universally applied in all aspects of human life, the following can be ‘healthy’ and ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’ and ‘unhealthy’

cell, tissue, organ, human, family, kind (not race), village, town, city, country, culture

Understanding the effect of an impact on the tissues is the key to wonky teeth, because if we reason that in a huge impact can effect a sudden change from a normal to abnormal then being able to contemplate the impact on tissues would give and understanding of what is going on in order to have chance readjusting any derangements. To help us understand, we only need to look around us because the answer to the thing we can’t understand lies in the things we can understand, for example, the photo below on the left shows a healthy and normal village and the photo on the right shows an unhealthy or abnormal village. This is in fact the same village before and after a huge impact. The effect that an impact or force can have, couldn’t be more vividly demonstrated than what happened in this village Oradour-sur-Glane, in France on the 10th of June 1944. The environment was war time Europe and a small village was just going about its daily business just as it had been for hundreds of years previously. On that one day in June 1944 and at that one moment in time, the village was brutally attacked, and 642 villagers were massacred. Today it stands derelict, just as it was left in 1944. The structure of the village is exactly the same as it was on the 10th of June 1944, the function of the village is exactly the same, however the form of the village was so badly devastated that the “whole” village died, not just the people but everything that makes a village a village, All that is left is the skeleton of a village and its former glory. If you want to try and have an idea of what an impact can do to the “whole form” then I recommend visiting this village, then you will “know” that a village just isn’t just, people and buildings. 

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When a village is attacked and destroyed by an overwhelming force, it is exactly the same principle as when a one single cell becomes, tissue, organ is ‘deranged’ by some other force that is powerful enough to destroy it just as it is the same principle that apply to all our families, towns, cities countries and culture. If the form cannot withstand that overwhelming force it must adapt to it, or it will die or be destroyed. Reason what it would be like to live in a cell (village) and you are one of the cell inclusions, (inhabitants) and you are just going about your daily business. In an instant a massive force in the form of a table comes smashing into your village, you have no idea what it is, or what is going on, how would you react? Would your reaction be a conscious, well thought out response, or would Nature take over? Every cell in every tissue that bared the brunt of the fall against a table in Wonky Teeth was effectively, a group of villages, towns and cities attacked by a massive force, The effect of this attack on one small village in France is felt and known over “whole human world” In this case is would seem that it the fall caused nothing more than a bust lip and all the tissues must have performed their duty, however the environment must have changed and the tissues must have adapted, and the effect must be known over the whole triune, how do I know this to be true because, There is action and we can (should) see it happening.

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A cell has form, tissues have form, organs have form, people have form, towns have form, cities, countries and cultures all have form, they all have structure and they all have functions but when their form is abnormally deranged, vital motions will be disturbed,

Is this not what we should be doing, inspecting the form because a changes in form means “action” (part I), shouldn’t that connect our mind to reason (part I) and shouldn’t we then contemplate (def 1828) the whole ‘triune’? Instead we waste our time looking for dysfunctions (badly functioning parts), totally missing the point, because “Nature does no imperfect work”.  

CONTEMPLATE, (1828) verb transitive [Latin]

To view or consider with continued attention; to study; to meditate on. This word expresses the attention of the mind, but sometimes in connection with that of the eyes; ….

For many years I have never really understood why the modern principles of osteopathy make no sense. Now I realise, it’s because they are based on the need to find dysfunctions, things that do not work properly. But just as Still suggests Nature doesn’t dysfunction, “Nature does no imperfect work”. Apparently, I’ve been wasting my time looking for something that doesn’t exist because Still never expected osteopaths to waste their time looking for dysfunctions and osteopathic lesions, instead he advises us to; 

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Why should we reason on solidity and size? Is it not true that density and size are the basic signs of “action” when tissues are too dense or too soft or have changed in size, have they not adapted, doesn’t that mean that there has been a change I form? To gain more of an understanding of the physiological changes that take place when tissues adapt or change I refer you to my colleague Max Giardin and his Article “form is the whole” 

Solidity 1828

SOLID’ITYnoun [Latin soliditas.]

1. Firmness; hardness; density; compactness; that quality of bodies whcih resists impression and penetration; opposed to fluidity. That which hinders the apporach of two bodies moving ine towards another, I call solidity

2. Fullness of matter; opposed to hollowness.

3. Moral firmness; soundness; strength; validity; truth; certainty; as opposed to weakness or fallaciounes; as the soildity of arguments or reasonig; the solidity of principles, truths or opinious.

4. In geometry, the solid contents of a body.

5. Spot the difference; Material Form / Formulated Matter

if “Nature does no imperfect work why does sickness, disease and pain occur? Is that not “imperfection’? Why are human beings the only species on earth that devotes so much time, effort on health care? If Nature is perfect why do we need doctors’ therapists and osteopaths to relieve us from our ailments? Does that mean that the human race is so much weaker than other species? Surely if nature is perfect then the bacteria and viruses that make us sick, must also be perfect, that must mean they’re also per-forming their duty “to perfection”. We may therefore reason that if a bacteria or virus can do its work to perfection then the environmentmust be favorable for them. This means, that something must have changed to allow our health to go from normal to abnormal. Our environment (internal-external) must have somehow changed and therefore our ‘material form’ must also have changed, this change has action and we should be able to “see” it happening. But what is ‘ material form’? and why is it important in this case? When we take the time “peruse”(preface 1902) Stills work as he request, we come stumble across a confusing situation making the understanding of “form” complicated, we have;

Instead of wasting our time looking for dysfunctions, Still suggest that we should reason on solidity and size but of what? This can only happen when there is a change in material form because then there must be action. But

Material form and Formulated Matter

Both have similar elements of the words form, matter and material but what is the difference and why is knowing the difference important? On the one hand everything we “know’” is gained by studying one of these, but in our daily practice we must deal with the other. This is like training to be a solider by playing a computer game. You might learn the mechanisms and techniques of being a soldier but you will not experience the real sensation, all you have is a perceived sensation. We learn anatomy from books and dissection but our patients do not enter the practice as a book or dissected preparation. To explain what this does to our mind, I will ask you to decide by looking at the famous photo, answer in your own mind the question, what is Still holding in this photo? In my opinion this photo defines osteopathy in all its facets.

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Because we are osteopaths who have been taught to think in “units” we split everything up into parts and systems, so we say Still is holding a femur. But if we look closely, he is also holding a pipe, so somebody who smokes a pipe, would say ‘he’s holding a pipe’, they might even know the make of the pipe. They might not know the name of the bone, or even which part of the body it originated from. But If we reason in terms of “form” as we’ve been asked to do, we should say he’s holding formulated matter. The pipe is formulated matter originating from a living tree and the femur is formulated matter originating from a living human being.

But If we do insist that Still is holding a femur, then we must also agree that there are another two femur’s in this photo, They would be Still’s own left and right femurs, we can’t “see” them, but somehow we “know” that Still must also have two femurs. What is the difference between Still’s own two femur’s and the one he’s holding in his hands? If we think in terms of “form” then the difference is, that on that day and at that moment in time, his own two femurs ‘where’ material form and the one in his hands ‘is’ formulated matter. As I have mentioned, we study formulated matter but we deal with material form. Still is very clear on the difference and the importance of understanding these differences, but we don’t know, because we never have lectures on Still’s own work. 

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The difference is “a being of mind”. When the ‘environment’ changes for any living thing, it must adapt or die. The same is true for every tissue in our body. This adaptation doesn’t just happen randomly, it is been “wisely managed”. Adaptation has action, therefore in Wonky Teeth we can clearly see that there is some form of derangement, so there must there have been a change of environment for the tissues. If there was no change in environment there would be no need for adaptation after the fall. There would also be no need for readjustment after the treatment. When there is no life there is no wise management, only formulated matter, no means to adapt and therefore there is no action. 

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The femur he is holding is Formulated matter because it has no mind to manage it and is therefore dead formulated matter in the form of a human femur. In the photo, Still could be thinking or imagining anything, we have no Idea. But let’s say he is passionate and devoted to osteopathy and on that day, on that one particular moment, he was sitting there holding formulated matter in the form of a pipe and human femur in his hands, we could also ask,” Dr Still, what are you ‘holding’ in your mind? If the formulated matter in the form of a human femur originates from a living human being then it is reasonable to suggest that Still is contemplating the whole living person because; 

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The formulated matter in the form of a human femur originated from a living body which is one of three, that made one whole person. The femur has form, and it will have signs of action. For example, he could reason that the whole person was either a man, women or child, he could reason as to the age, quality of life, sickness and disease or any possible traumas. This would be nothing more than Still’s own method of reasoning described in part I. If Still was trained as we are, to think in units and sections, he would “study” the femur and its anatomical features. He would say it belonged to a male or female and he wouldn’t say man, or women. But because he did “discovered” something else, maybe he’s just doing what Albert Einstein suggests (see above),

 He might just simply be thinking differently and contemplating;

Dry bone, to living man…… by reason of mind.

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6. Structure, function and the ‘whole’ form

When a nine-year-old boy falls and hits his chin on a table, he falls with his entire being, the whole ‘Triune’ hits formulated matter in the form of a table. In the pre and post treatment photo’s we see something has changed and we can reason that the material form needed to adapt to the impact of the fall. Then we see a readjustment after treatment. But is a nine-year-old boy only comprised of ‘material form’ and how does structure, function and form relate? Surely a nine-year-old boy is more than just material form. Websters definition of form does not clearly define ‘form’ in the context of the whole person, with which we deal with every day. Even the 1828 definiton only deals with shape or external appearance of a body (1828) and the particular disposition of matter in each body which distinguishes its appearance from that of every other body (1828). Still also never really explained what he meant by ‘form’, he seems to leave that to our own intelligent reasoning to decide what that might be. I only realsed in 2016 when I rediscovered osteopathy that I had already found my interpretation of structure, function and the whole form, long before I even had anything to with osteopathy. Apparently, I found it on a Saturday afternoon, whilst I was watching horse racing on T.V. many years ago at my grandmother’s house. And I have this guy, John McCririck, to thank for pointing out the practical meaning of form.

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John McCririck was an eccentric tipster, that is to say, an expert on the ‘form’ of race horses. He gave a pre-race indication of the horse’s ‘form’ to give the viewers watching televised horse races an idea on which horse to bet their money on. He knew everything about the individual horses, jockeys and stables and he knew how they per-formed in previous races and even knew about the ground they raced on. He knew the trainers and owners of the horses, he gathered information from as many different sources he could to give him an idea as to which horse would “perform” the best on that day. In horse racing we can ask the same questions as we do in osteopathy, we can ask, what is the structure, function and form of a horse?

What is the structure of a horse?

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We could say Its anatomy; this is the ‘ manner’ in which a horse is built

What is the function of a horse?

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We could say, a horse is designed to instantly react and flee from its’ predators, by running and to keep running. It is designed to communicate and interact and also to ensure the continuation of the species.

What is the form of a horse?

We could use the definition of form used in horse racing.

Form (horse racing)

In horse racing, the form of a horse is a record of significant events, mainly its performance in previous races.[1] The form may identify the horse’s sire,(father) dam (mother) and wider pedigree (family line). It is used by tipsters and punters as an aid in the prediction of its performance in future races.

Form (in osteopathy, my own personal interpretation)

In osteopathy, form is the “record” held within all tissues of the significant events that they have encountered and gives an impression of how they are per-forming at that moment in time. Form is also defined by ancestry, upbringing and passage through life. Derangements in form on any level can be used by osteopaths as an aid in the prediction of…. ‘the beginnings of disease’

The material body has form, the spiritual being has form, the superior principle which is mind has form,

the whole Triune has form and it is unique

Is this not what we actually do every day? We are all osteopaths treating many patients every day, they come to us and they pay us for our help and advice. We might actually all be doing what we should be doing every day in our practice, but then we go and spoil it by trying to explain it, rationalize it and measure it with modern osteopathic definitions and principles and we apply techniques that make no sense. Ultimately, we are probably not as smart as we think we are, the conscious decisions we make must also have a foundation on which they are formed, that can only be the “superior principle which is mind”, the mind that oversees everything, it has access to ALL the information available. The mind that we place on a pedestal, the conscious or rational mind is woefully inadequate to deal with All this information. Can we therefore reason that there must be some line of communication between the superior mind that has all the information and our conscious mind, that has only a tiny fraction of the information available, could that be line of communication be that one thing we call intuition, the moment we instantly become conscious of something that our superior mind notes as being of some importance. So, when a nine-year-old boy walks in to your practice and you already know that he has wonky teeth, should seeing a scar on a his lip not “connect the mind to reason”? would you not instantly “reason’ that this must be of some importance? 

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o  There is action in the form of a scar,

o  That action connects the mind to reason, (INTUITION )

o  Then we can reason that there must have been an impact and therefore changes in solidity (density) and size,

o  These changes in solidity and size may be the cause of wonky teeth.

This is a process that only takes a fraction of a second in our mind, but we have been taught set that aside and base our treatment on our rational findings of our osteopathic testing.

In discussion making, who do you trust the most, the person with all the information, or the person who only has afraction of the information?

We know our anatomy, we know our physiology, we know our tests, and we know or techniques

During my basic training, nobody ever taught me about “form”, (That happened in the Evost course)

7. What are the Mechanical Principles of osteopathy?

Al these pages further and we still have no real idea what the principles of osteopathy are, Still made no lists of principles, however he does have a section entitled “Principles of Osteopathy” so why is this not taught and why do we abide by principles that have no resemblance to what is written by Still himself. Confusingly enough in the section he does write on the “Principles of Osteopathy” he doesn’t mention:

Mechanic 1828


MECHAN’ICAL, adjective [Latin mechanicus; Gr. a machine.]

1. Pertaining to machines, or to the art of constructing machines; pertaining to the art of making wares, goods, instruments, furniture, etc. We say, a man is employed in mechanical labor; he lives by mechanical occupation.

2. Constructed or performed by the rules or laws of mechanics. The work is not mechanical.

3. Skilled in the art of making machines; bred to manual labor.

4. Pertaining to artisans or mechanics; vulgar.To make a god, a hero or a king, Descend to a mechanic dialect.

5. Pertaining to the principles of mechanics, in philosophy; as mechanical powers or forces; a mechanical principle.

6. Acting by physical power; as mechanical pressure.

Principle 1828

PRIN’CIPLE, noun [Latin principium, beginning.]

1.In a general sense, the cause, source or origin of anything; that from which a thing proceeds; as the principle of motion; the principles of action.

2. Element; constituent part; primordial substance. Modern philosophers suppose matter to be one simple principle or solid extension diversified by its various shapes.

3. Being that produces anything; operative cause. The soul of man is an active principle

4. In science, a truth admitted either without proof, or considered as having been before proved. In the former sense, it is synonymous with axiom; in the latter, with the phrase, established principle

Based on the highlighted definitions used in the dictionary of Still’s time, we again can see that what we think these words mean isn’t actually what they meant in the 1800’s. In part I, I discussed the meaning of the word ‘Philosophy’ and when we look at the words ‘mechanical’ and ‘principles’ we see that they mean various things, but if we place them in the context Natural philosophy (part I) and we can agree that “Nature does no imperfect work” we may therefore assume that these words mean;

– Mechanical:        5. Pertaining to the principles of mechanics, in philosophy; as mechanical powers or forces; a mechanical principle.

– Principle:              1.the cause, source or origin of…. (in the context of osteopathy, we could say ‘the source or origin of Health’)

4. a truth admitted either without proof, or considered as having been before proved.

Mechanical principles in osteopathy means, the mechanical forces that are the source of health

If these definitions are true and applicable, we should find the key words in Still’s section ‘Principles of osteopathy’. In his book he uses one word frequently; this one word appears in the section ‘Principles of osteopathy’ , it appears on numerous occasions in rest of Still’s book and also in the 1828 dictionary in the definitions of the word’s motion’ (see Vital motions) and ‘mechanical’This one word appears 198 times (quick count) in ‘The Philosophy and Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy’ 1902On one page alone it was mentioned timesIn Webster’s dictionary there are 24 different usages for this one word. We may therefore assume that this was a very important word in Stills day. This seemingly important word appears ZERO times in the modern definitions and modern principles of osteopathy. The word ‘dysfunction’ is the word that modern osteopathy constantly uses when trying to explain osteopathy, however it was apparently meaningless to Still because it is mentioned ZERO times in his book ‘The Philosophy and Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy’ 1902.

This one word is ‘force’.

What is “force” and why is so important?  

Force 1828

FORCEnoun [Latin fortis. All words denoting force power, strength, are from verbs which express straining, or driving, rushing, and this word has the elements of Latin vireo.]

1. Strength; active power; vigor; might; energy that may be exerted; that physical property in a body which may produce action or motion in another body, or may counteract such motion. By the force of the muscles we raise a weight, or resist an assault.

2. Momentum; the quantity of power produced by motion or the action of one body on another; as the force of a cannon ball.

Somehow, we seem to have over complicated osteopathy and the philosophy and mechanical principles it is governed by, but actually it’s not that complicated. We have turned osteopathy into an intellectual fight, the person who knows more facts will get the highest marks. However, there is only one person who ever really knew what osteopathy should be. Shouldn’t we then at least try and understand what Still himself meant even though we will never actually know. But if we can’t be bothered to make the effort, then maybe we should stop calling ourselves osteopaths, because what we say we are doing is not wat we should be doing., so why don’t we just follow the simple instructions like these below?

Know your anatomy and physiology

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Understand the natural forces that govern health, and how Nature Per-forms

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Know how these forces should be ‘conveyed’

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Recognise any derangements and reason on the natural forces that may have caused any derangements

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Use the Natural Forces to readjust derangements from abnormal, back to normal, Nature will do the rest

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8. What was the driving ‘force’ in the case of wonky teeth?

The force of the impact might have had an effect on all the tissues and the whole Triune. As mention in part I, I made a conscious decision to discard the things I had been taught and allow my own intuition and knowledge to guide my thinking. I just tried to imagine how the force of impact would have travelled through all the tissues and the possible influence that might have had. In 2011 I had no knowledge of Still’s work, as it is written in his book. I had only my intuition and the one principle that has always fascinated me since my teenage years;

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. (Newtons 3e law of motion)

If this is true then we have a problem, because if there is action as Still suggest, there must also be force because action means “the exertion of force” (1828) So, when a young boy falls against a table and busts his lip, we can imagine that a huge force impacted all the tissues in a particular way. If the lip was damaged that means the tissues were unable to withstand the sudden and increased forces acting on them. Did this young boy only fall with his lip, or was the whole Triune subjected to the same forces? Newton uses the word ‘action” and Still says ‘the material body has action’ So it is reasonable to suggest that if a certain amount of force impacted in a certain way, it would cause a specific derangement. Wouldn’t that mean that the same amount of force in the opposite direction is necessary to achieve “readjustment”. 


AC’TIONnoun [Latin actio. See Act.]

1. Literally, a driving; hence, the state of acting or moving; exertion of power or force, as when one body acts on another; or action is the effect of power exerted on one body by another; motion produced. Hence, action is opposed to rest. action when produced by one body on another, is mechanical; when produced by the will of living being, spontaneous or voluntary.

Re-adjustment 1828

ADJUST’MENTnoun The act of adjusting; regulation; a reducing to just form or order; a making fit or conformable; settlement.

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Can you think of any methods or techniques that you have ever been taught that can induce the right amount force needed to readjust the derangements that have occurred in all tissues, at the same time, without actually hurting or injuring your patient as a fall or impact itself would have done? Do you know of any techniques or methods that cab readjust deranged teeth of a nine-year-old boy in sixteen weeks?

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9. Which techniques were used in this readjustment?

Having perused this book many times, I haven’t come across any techniques that he described. Again, we do totally the opposite, we learn techniques and we are told that we must repeat these techniques in a practical exam in a fake situation. We come into our practical exam with the patient we bring (friend or family) and we act out a case that we have been given to solve. The teacher gives answers to the question we ask and they expect us to follow the right protocol and use the techniques which they themselves have decided are necessary to solve the case. Do we not see how senseless and stupid this is? we are applying protocols and techniques to situations that do not exist, where is the form, where is the action, where are the derangements? We have become so technique and protocol minded that we are on the verge of being addicted to techniques, we crave more techniques, we look for post graduate courses that state things like this : (translated) Bootcamp in Cranial Techniques, a 2 day course that takes a look at cranial osteopathy, 80% practice and 20% theory = 100% fun. Everyone goes home with a totally new insight and a whole range of cranial techniques

The ad goes on to say that the teacher is an “expert in cranial techniques”

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Personally, I am no expert on any techniques of any kind and I would probably fail any practical exam that requires me to copy a technique in a fake situation. Therefore I ask any experts if they can tell me which techniques I used in the case of wonky teeth in 2011 and then again in 2018, and can they enlighten me as to which of these techniques can induce the right amount force needed to readjust the derangements that have occurred in all tissues, at the same time, without actually hurting or injuring my patient, as a fall or impact itself would have done? Do you know of any techniques or methods that can readjust deranged teeth of a nine-year-old boy in sixteen weeks? Also, which techniques would readjust the form of an Os. palatina in nine days and move a tooth that has been stuck for four years. If anyone has any idea which standard osteopathic techniques were applied, please enlighten me, not just theoretically but with photographic evidence. 

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The more I began to understand Stills work, the more I realised that my intuition might just have some foundation, which lead me to reason that there are no techniques in osteopathy, because if we do understand the principles of osteopathy then we would know, there can’t be any techniques. To start with the word “technique” did not exist in Still’s day so Still himself probably wouldn’t have used the term. it does not appear in the Websters 1828 dictionary. Secondly, in our times “technique” means particular method of doing an activity, usually a method that involves practical skills.

This means a specific method, but if we reason that when we treat a patient, we have the forces of one triune (patient) interacting with the forces of another triune (osteopath) at one particular point in time, that means every time we touch our patients, the action is always different, the triune is constantly adapting, constantly changing, there is can never be a point in time that the situation is the same as in the past. Standard osteopathic techniques can never be applied. If we take 1000 patients with the same dysfunction, let’s say an ilium anterior, we have all learnt the technique to ‘correct’ it, I agree there must be some ‘action’ present, but do we honestly believe that all the forces influencing the 1000 ilium anteriors are in a 1000 cases exactly the same. Because we are trying to prove that osteopathy works, we then apply a standard technique to the 1000 ilium anteriors and measure the changes to show the world what we can do. We only end up proving that our techniques do nothing, the results are always disappointing, The only reference I can find regarding any advice as to what we should be doing is actually also advising us what we shouldn’t be doing;

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We should do our work “without rubbing or manipulating further than to insure unobstructive flow of the nerve forces”

Again, the words we use to say what we do, are the words he used to say what we shouldn’t use to form the basis of what we do. Our whole profession is based on manipulation but for example in the U.S. (part I) it now defines osteopathy as OMM (OSTEOPAHTIC MANIPULATIVE MEDICINE) but Still is suggesting that we should only manipulate when needed to insure unobstructed flow. But what does the word manipulation mean to us and what did it mean to him? To us manipulation is a technique we use to reduce dysfunctions and we are being advised not to do that only when needed. What did manipulation mean to him, In general it means work by hand, (1828) and that in itself isn’t very useful because we would then seem to be asked NOT to work with our hands as much as possible. We must therefore also know what work means, generally it means, to move one way or another (1828)

We should do our work without any rubbing or unnecessarily moving our hands from one way to another.

NOTE: the word force is used twice, living force and nerve-forces in one sentence.

Manipulation 1828

MANIPULA’TIONnoun [Latin manipulus, supra.] In general, work by hand; manual operation; as in mining, the manner of digging ore; in chimistry, the operation of preparing substances for experiments; in pharmacy, the preparation of drugs.

Work 1828

WORKverb intransitive [G., Gr.]

1.   In a general sense, to move, or to move one way and the other; to perform; as in popular language it is said, a mill or machine works well.

I would again ask any experts on osteopathic techniques if they could please tell me which techniques can initiate enough force needed to readjust deranged teeth in sixteen weeks without actually moving our hands one way or the other.

10. Is this Osteopathy?

Coming back to the original question I asked in Part I, I asked ‘Is this osteopathy?  The question in my own mind came about after treating a nine-year-old boy and making a conscious decision to discard everything I have been taught and allow my knowledge and intuition to guide my actions. I stopped making lists of dysfunctions and applying techniques that I have been taught. Instead, I saw something that intrigued me to ask a question. The answer made me reason that if a scar is visible, there must have been damage due to an impact of some kind. In answer to the question, is this osteopathy? I can only say that I have provided enough reason to suggest that it might be, but what I offer bears no resemblance to the modern definitions and principles that I have been taught, If all the osteopaths over the world have agreed that osteopathy is something other than what is written in Still own words, then this case cannot be osteopathy. I will respect you and your own powers of reasoning to formulate your own answer. However, I would just like to point out this promise we made when signing our “osteopathic oath”

“I will be ever alert to further the application of basic biologic truths to the healing arts and to develop the principles of osteopathy, which were first enunciated by Andrew Taylor Still.”

Then the very least we should do is have some knowledge of what is was that he himself “enunciated”. How can we swear an oath on something which we have no knowledge, how can we gain this knowledge if we don’t’ even study his work? Reading it isn’t enough, we have been asked to “peruse” it Even if you own this book, do you really understand it, can you use it your daily practice. It has taken me many years of intuitively knowing that modern osteopathic principles and techniques are wrong, but I had no foundation to my reasoning.

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The very oath we swear to, in itself demonstrates that we seem to have no concept of the what the principles of osteopathy are when we say “develop the principles”. To start with Still never wrote the principle we swear an oath to and secondly, we humans cannot “develop” Stills principles because they are based on the Forces of Nature. The word ‘develop’ in our times means to grow or cause to grow and become more mature, advanced, or elaborate. (

How foolish could we be to suggest that we can ‘develop’ the forces of nature that have existed for almost 14 billion years? We cannot measure all the forces acting on anything at one moment in time, so we try to measure parts of Nature, we end up over estimate ourselves by drawing conclusion form those minute parts that we measure

Nature has no conclusion, it goes on and on, it waits for no-one and in 14 billion years the form of the whole universe has constantly been changing, but the forces that govern it haven’t.

I do not have the authority or qualifications to answer this one simple question, is this osteopathy? Nor do I have the authority to define osteopathy and the principle on which It exists, it is however my responsibility to understand and practice the philosophy and principles of osteopathy. If I was a pilot, I would have been advised to understand the basic principles of why the plane I am flying, actually stays in the air. Shouldn’t we therefore at least know what the basic principles of health are? Whatever the philosophy and principles of osteopathy are, is apparently something we will all have to decide for ourselves but;

Before we say we are osteopaths, shouldn’t the first thing we should ask be,

‘Are we really what we say we are’?