Health and Medicine

Health Care

What is the difference between osteopathic medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, and chiropractic medicine?

Osteopathic medicine was developed in the United States by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still (1828–1917). It recognizes the role of the musculoskeletal system in healthy function of the human body. The physician is fully licensed and uses manipulation techniques as well as traditional diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Osteopathy is practiced as part of conventional Western medicine.

Developed by a German physician, Christian F. S. Hahnemann (1755–1843), the therapy of homeopathy treats patients with small doses of 2,000 substances. Based on the principle that “like cures like,” the medicine used is one that produces the same symptoms in a healthy person that the disease is producing in the sick person.

Chiropractic medicine is based on the belief that disease results from the lack of normal nerve function. Relying on physical manipulation and adjustment of the spine for therapy, rather than on drugs or surgery, this therapy, used by the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hindus, was rediscovered in 1895 by American osteopath Daniel David Palmer (1845–1913).

Naturopathy is based on the principle that disease is due to the accumulation of waste products and toxins in the body. Practitioners believe that health is maintained by avoiding anything artificial or unnatural in the diet or in the environment.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Science Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App