The origins of osteopathy date back to the second half of the 19th century, when knowledge in diagnostic and therapeutic fields made enormous headway. The development and progress of other sciences were brought to bear on new data and techniques in modern medical research.

In those times rich in discoveries, but still poor in efficient therapies, Andrew Taylor Still practiced medicine. 

Doctor A. T. Still was born in Virginia in 1828. His father, a pastor and doctor, introduced him to religion, nature and medicine at an early age.

In 1837, his family moved to Missouri. He was 9 years old and an animal-lover who was fascinated with their anatomy. He began to help his father in his practice of medicine which was based on plants, manipulations and minor operations in this mining region. In this environment of bone-setters' articular manipulations, the young Still developed the themes that would dominate his life.

In 1849, at 21, he moved to the Mâcon region in Missouri, where he was a farmer, pastor and above all a doctor.

In this era, most doctors trained as apprentices with an older collegue and completed their training by reading. They also obtained a licence to practice from the State authorities. Still's training was empirical, based on his father's work in the field, his personal reading and his observations.