Osteopathy is the system of treatment developed by A. T. Still late in the nineteenth century. Still believed that most diseases of the human body result from improper or inadequate flow of the "nutrient arterial flow." (Sutherland, 1976) Disturbance of arterial flow was often associated with structural defects of the musculoskeletal system, impaired neurotransmission, and numerous other dysfunctions.
"As an electrician controls electric currents, so an Osteopath controls life currents and revives suspended forces.... Study to understand bones, muscles, ligaments, nerves, blood supply, and everything pertaining to the human engine, and if your work be well done, you will have it under perfect control." (Still, 1897, pp. 275-276)
Osteopathy was Edgar Cayce's preferred medical treatment. However, it is important to keep in mind that osteopathy has changed considerably from the early decades of this century when Cayce was giving the readings. Today, osteopathy has assumed a professional stature which is legally recognized as equal to allopathic medicine. D.O.s are provided the same privileges and responsibilities granted M.D.s, including the prescription of medication and performance of surgery. The evolution of osteopathy has produced practitioners that are generally considered to be sympathetic to "holistic medicine" while placing increasing emphasis on interventions utilized by traditional M.D.s. There is, undoubtedly, much less emphasis on manipulative techniques today than during Cayce's era. The formation of the North American Academy of Musculoskeletal Medicine, an organization composed of D.O.s (doctors of osteopathy), registered physical therapists, and M.D.s attests to the integration of osteopathy into contemporary medicine and the greater acceptance of manipulative therapy by mainstream professionals.