A visionary physician once said, "to find health is the object of the doctor, anyone can find disease." This frontier physician, Andrew Taylor Still, M.D., D.O., founded the osteopathic profession over 100 years ago in Kirksville, Missouri. It is an idea whose time has come again. Still's distinctive philosophy of health care has inspired a number of timely books including Spontaneous Healing by Andrew Weil, M.D., and Touch of Life by Robert Fulford, D.O.
Now in this book, Structured Healing, Harold Magoun Jr. D.O., F.A.A.O. has created a tribute to the founder of the osteopathic profession, and his revolutionary beliefs about health. It is obvious that Dr. Magoun has diligently practiced the art of Dr. Still's patient-centered philosophy for the past 50 years. Through his experience and insight, Dr. Magoun shows us the value of seeking health, while providing a framework for us to do so.
In 1892, Dr. A. T. Still established a profession whose mission it was to change the paradigm of health care delivery. He wanted his school to provide a totally new educational model that valued the patient more than the disease - a model that taught it's students to know and respect the mind, body, and spirit of each individual so that treatment could be custom-tailored to each. Still recognized that disease in an abnormally functioning body was just as predictable as health was in a normally functioning body. Thus, for him and his students, a primary treatment goal was to maximize the function of the body within it's existing structure. Today, in Structured Healing, Dr. Magoun strives to teach us about Still's paradigm shift - not by lecturing in historic terms, but rather by encouraging each of us to experience the shift in practical everyday living.
In reading Structured Healing, recognize that the word "doctor" means "teacher." Like all good teachers, "Doctor Magoun" hopes to pass on underlying principles for lifelong learners to use in shaping their decisions in the future. To this end, "Doctor Magoun" shares the value of understanding four basic osteopathic principles - the same principles that started the "health" revolution in the United States and that personally guided him in fifty years of successful patient care. Each reader recognize and seize responsibility for his or her own health, while choosing appropriate "teachers" along the way to help.
The four osteopathic tenets applied by osteopathic doctors /teachers are listed below. I urge you to seek to better understand their application as you read Structured Healing and to apply them as you seek optimum or high-quality health. The four tenets are:
(1) Each of us is a unit composed of mind, body and spirit each part of which is inter-dependent in maximizing true health.
(2) Within our bodies, each of us has self-healing and self-regulating mechanisms that direct our bodies toward health when given essential materials and support.
(3) Our body's structure determines how our body functions. Likewise, functional demands on our body can modify it's structure.
(4) Rational approaches to maximize health involve considering and applying the three other osteopathic tenets listed above.
It started with the vision of one man. It continues in practitioners such as Harold Magoun, D.O., who seek to be teachers of health rather than care-takers of disease; who remind us to recognize that health comes from within; who challenge us and share principles to structure health and healing in our own lives. Thank you Dr. Still and thank you Dr. Magoun.
Enjoy this book as much as I have and seek health.
Michael L. Kuchera, D.O., F.A.A.O.
Professor of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
Vice President for International Osteopathic Education
Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
Addendum: For his past service, insights, and accomplishments, I had the pleasure this year as Dean of his alma mater, of awarding Harold Magoun, Jr., D.O., F.A.A.O., the honorary degree, "Doctor of Osteopathic Education." He has also been awarded the A. T. Still Medallion of Honor by his specialty college, the American Academy of Osteopathy. These are the highest honors that each organization can bestow. Dr. Magoun is an outstanding physician deserving of both.
Now 73 years old, Dr. Magoun practices what he preaches. Let us all hope this will be our individual legacy.
Michael L. Kuchera, D.O., F.A.A.O.