The Story of Osteopathy Part One
Andrew Taylor Still was born in Lee County, Virginia on 6th August 1828, the third of nine children born to Abram and Martha Still. Abram was an itinerant Methodist preacher, farmer and doctor. Six years later, Abram moved the family to Tennessee to accept the position of a circuit preacher and in 1837 they moved to Missouri, a journey of over 700 miles, taking 7 weeks with 6 children in two covered wagons and six horses. At the age of ten, Andrew suffered from frequent headaches with nausea. He constructed a rope swing between two trees, eight to ten inches off the ground. He lay down using the rope for a swinging pillow. He wrote, “I lay stretched on my back, with my neck across the rope. Soon I became easy and went to sleep, got up in a little while with headache all gone.” He later quipped that this was the first osteopathic treatment. He continued to use this ‘treatment’ successfully every time he had a headache. As a young frontiersman, Andrew became very expert with the rifle and hunted deer, turkeys, eagles, hawks, wild geese, wildcats, and foxes. He was a good judge of dogs, and quoted as an authority on the subject.