• “Osteopathy releases pressure, soothes nerves and stimulates circulation. For normal tissue, nothing else is needed.”
    -George F. Miller, D.O.











    “Find it, fix it, let it alone.”
    -A. T. Still, D.O.















    “Osteopathy is knowledge, or it is nothing.”
    -A. T. Still, D.O.


    Osteopathy was founded in 1874 by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still

    Dr. Still, a physician who was born in Virginia (USA) in the early 1800’s, was trained through apprenticeship and was subsequently employed as a U.S.Army doctor during the American Civil War. The horrors of war and the subsequent death of his wife and children from an epidemic of spinal meningitis left him extremely disillusioned with traditional medical practice. After a period of intense study and reflection, Still founded osteopathic practice.

    Increasingly, he opposed the use of drugs and surgery and saw the human body as being capable of curing itself, with the duty of the ‘osteopathic’ practitioner being to remove any barriers to the healthy function of each individual. He promoted healthy lifestyle, nutrition, abstinence from alcohol and drugs and used primarily manipulation techniques to improve physiological function. He believed that everything that was necessary to sustain human life was already present within the human body.

    Dr. Still named his new school of medicine “osteopathy”, reasoning that the “bone, osteon, was the starting point from which I was to ascertain the cause of pathological conditions.” The scientific foundation of osteopathy was anatomy and its philosophy was based on the understanding of the integration between body, mind and spirit, the interrelatedness of structure and function, and the ability of the body to heal itself when mechanically sound. Still felt that once the ‘mechanical blockages’ to the free flow of bodily fluids were removed, then the free circulation of all fluids would naturally return. This was, he felt, the key to the body’s innate ability to self-heal and self-regulate.

    Dr. Still founded the American School of Osteopathy (now the Andrew Taylor Still University, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine) in Kirksville, Missouri on May 10, 1892.

    “Osteopathy is the ‘Open Sesame’ to Health.”
    -Louis Richardson, D.O.

    In the United States, osteopathic medicine is practiced by those holding a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree (D.O.). A doctor with a D.O. degree is a fully licensed medical doctor (M.D.) and can prescribe the same drugs and perform the same surgeries as a doctor with an M.D. Some will argue that the distinction between the two has blurred to such an extent as to render the D.O. degree almost obsolete. However, many osteopathic physicians will explain that they strive for a more holistic, more compassionate and community-minded approach to health-care.

    The rest of the world (Europe, Asia, Canada, Australia) has not adopted this medical model of Osteopathy. Instead, the training focuses specifically on traditional manual practice.
    In the United Kingdom, osteopathy developed as a distinct profession with the first osteopathic college being established in 1917 by Dr. Martin Littlejohn. In Canada, osteopaths are trained along similar lines as their European counterparts. Canadian osteopathic training typically involves a 5-year course of study with written and practical examinations at each year end and a final written thesis upon completion of the required course work. The Canadian College of Osteopathy, founded in 1991 by Philippe Druelle,D.O., offers a comprehensive program in Traditional Osteopathy (philosophy, theory, methodology, technique, clinical education and research).

    “…to be an Osteopath you must study and know the exact construction of the human body, the exact location of every bone, nerve, fiber, muscle, and organ, the origin, the course and flow of all the fluids of the body, the relation of each to the other, and the function each is to perform in perpetuating life and health. In addition you must have the skill and ability to enable you to detect the exact location of every obstruction to the regular movements of this grand machinery of life.”
    -A. T. Still, D.O.

    (nb these are taken from the curriculum of the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine)

    1) The body is a unit.
    2) Structure and function are reciprocally inter-related.
    3) The body possesses self-regulatory mechanisms.
    4) The body has the inherent capacity to defend and repair itself.
    5) When the normal adaptability is disrupted, or when environmental changes overcome the body’s capacity for self-maintenance, disease may ensue.
    6) The movement of body fluids is essential to the maintenance of health.
    7) The nerves play a crucial part in controlling the fluids of the body.
    8) There are somatic components to disease that are not only manifestations of disease, but also are factors that contribute to maintenance of the disease state.

    When all parts of the body are perfectly adjusted in position and action, it (the body) can best meet its environmental changes of temperature, food, mental strain and all difficulties to which the body is subjected.”  -Perrin T. Wilson, D.O.


    1) High velocity, low amplitude thrusts (‘joint manipulation’).
    2) Joint mobilizations.
    3) Myofascial release.
    4) Muscle energy techniques.
    5) Soft tissue techniques.
    6) Cranial osteopathy.
    7) Visceral manipulation.
    8) Lymphatic techniques.
    9) Strain-counterstrain.

    These techniques are employed together with dietary, postural and occupational advice in an effort to help patients recover from injury and illness.

    “Osteopathy releases pressure, soothes nerves and stimulates circulation. For normal tissue,
    nothing else is needed.”

    -George F. Miller, D.O.

    Suzanne Reid attended the Canadian College of Osteopathy in Toronto, Ontario from 1993 – 1999. She completed the required course work and examinations of the traditional osteopathic program, yet has not completed her thesis presentation.

    Suzanne has integrated all the elements of osteopathy into her practice, with a particular interest in the fields of cranial and visceral osteopathy. The integration of her previous physiotherapy training and subsequent knowledge of osteopathic theory, methodology and clinical techniques has been of great value, both for her patients and for her own personal and professional evolution.

    The five year curriculum of the Canadian College of Osteopathy includes 34 sessions, each with a particular focus (i.e. pelvis, lumbar spine, General Osteopathic Technique, muscle energy, etc.). Each specific course includes osteopathic theory, clinical methodology, anatomy, physiology and specific inter-relationships with other body systems. As well, there is a strong focus on the development of diagnostic palpation skills (osteopathic ‘listening’), clinical evaluation and treatment.

    Marc Desjardins

    The Collège d’études ostéopathiques de Montréal (CEO) was founded on March 11, 1981. The CEO subsequently established a network of other colleges in Canada and in Europe, including the Canadian College of Osteopathy (CCO) in Toronto. The CEO offers both part-time and full-time programmes of study. Our osteopath, Marc Desjardins, studied in the full-time programme, which is validated by the University of Wales, in the United Kingdom. The CEO’s full-time programme, which is four and a half years long, is characterised by the quality of its teaching, with students being followed closely by a faculty of experienced osteopaths. It is also characterised by the large number of hours (3,000) of training, which the students undergo, both in classroom and clinical contexts. Successfully completing the full-time programme leads to a Bachelor of Science in Osteopathy (B.Sc.O.). Those who want to pursue their studies can obtain a Diploma in Osteopathy (Manual Practitioner – D.O. – Québec), by carrying out and defending a research project. Marc obtained his Diploma in Osteopathy following his study of the effects of therapeutic touch on respiratory capacity, a research project that enabled him to explore, confirm and subsequently integrate within his current practice, certain observations he had made throughout his years of experience as a manual therapist.

     For Marc, the essence of osteopathic practice lies in restoring the relationships between the different systems of the body, by seeking out restrictions, working to resolve them, and then allowing the area that has been freed up to regenerate itself. He believes his role is to enable his patients to become aware of areas of restriction, so that he can help them free these areas up, using respiratory parameters. The vitality of the cells in the areas of restriction is diminished because these cells are incapable of carrying out their primary function, which is to participate in good respiratory function.

    Marc recognises the importance of using the combination of reason and intuition in his choice of the approach that he will use with each patient. Even if he is trained in several different techniques and if he continues to study other techniques and to attend specialised symposia to develop his skills, Marc remains aware of his own limitations, as well as of those of his patients.

     The key to Marc’s approach is empathy. He understands that it may not be possible to fully achieve harmonisation of the body’s tissues, but knows that, for a person who is in pain, a few minutes of release can pave the way to a more global release. For Marc, the process of achieving this form of release gives patients the possibility of opening themselves up to a space that is infinitely wide and protective, thereby enabling the bodily envelope, by way of the senses, to tap into the healing powers of this space.

    Hailing from Montréal, where he worked for 10 years as a personal athletic trainer (certified by the American College of Sports Medicine) and for 20 years as a massage therapist (member of the Fédération québécoise des massothérapeutes), Marc is now an osteopath who obtained his Bachelor of Science (Honours) Degree in Osteopathy in 2007 from the Collège d’études ostéopathiques de Montréal as well as from the University of Wales (United Kingdom).

    Serving his patients in either French or English, Marc believes in treating not only the body but also the being (body and mind) as a whole; furthermore, he is convinced of the importance of truly engaging the patient in the healing process and in the work that is necessary to achieve overall wellbeing. A skilled all-around athlete, Marc lives in the Gatineau area where he easily maintains his active lifestyle.

    link to Canadian College of Osteopathy

    For more information, please contact Killens Reid Physiotherapy
    Tel: 613.594.8512 Fax 613.594.0213 Email: killensreid@rogers.com