Matter, Mind, and Motion: A.T. Still’s Life and Brilliance

A T. Still: From the Dry Bone to the Living Man, by John Lewis.

“All mysteries are hidden in Nature, all facts are found in Nature, all discoveries are made in Nature. Then does not follow that Nature’s unchangeable laws must be followed in order to find what you seek? Osteopathy is founded in Nature. Osteopathy is natural. Osteopathy is nature.” – A.T. Still

This book is utterly inspiring and incredible for anyone interested in not only the cause of dis-ease in humans, but also the cure. For a philosophy rooted in science and spirit – for there is no separation from this perspective.

There is one book that “saved my life” a few years back when I read it in 2008/2009 – and what I mean by that is the book affected me profoundly in ways I cannot convey except to say that it revitalized me to move forward in a direction that didn’t look like a path at the time because I was feeling so lost and disenchanted with the state of the world. It helped me find deep personal roots in a movement both pragmatically and spiritually.

John Lewis’ book is the second one in my lifetime to have this effect on me. His book is “saving my life” as I move forward in the career to which I feel a deep pragmatic and spiritual calling.


As some of you know, the next step in my life is to go through the process of becoming a D.O.:

“It means to know the normal in health, the abnormal in disease, and the process of adjusting the abnormal back to the normal” – A.T. Still

This man was a staunch abolitionist (born in 1828), minister’s son, MD, husband, philanthropist, seeker of truth and science and all that connects us, brilliant, eccentric, dedicated, and a kind teacher with a warm, fatherly heart.

Andrew Taylor Still cured blindness (not congenital of course), cancers, all kinds of trauma-related injuries, as well as several kinds of disease from chronic spinal ‘lesions’ (lesions are defined differently by him than how they are now defined today). The author, Lewis, studied The Old Doctor’s life for more than a decade in total to write this account of Andrew Taylor Still’s character, purpose and life’s work; his remarkable penmanship notwithstanding, his efforts show through in the detail and continuity of the book – with backstory where appropriate. It makes for a wonderful read, and an important historical artifact:

“He did not invent a system of healing. Like the force of gravity, osteopathy was always present, something familiar to everyone, waiting for a perceptive mind to unlock its secrets.” – From Dry Bone to Living Man, pg. 6
A.T. Still is now on my shortlist of folks whose character traits I strive to emulate. I hope I can be half as great as what he was.
To find health should be the object of the doctor. Anyone can find disease. – A.T. Still

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