Selected Writings of Carl Philip McConnell DO


Author: Carl Philip McConnell DO
Pages: 151
ISBN: 978-1-909052-42-0
Language: English


“Those who think that osteopathic art is simple or elementary have a woefully foreshortened perspective. In reality it plumbs the very deeps of existence.  It has manifold contacts. It is a cross-section of the living – of life, which is an art.”
Carl Philip McConnell DO
 The Osteopathic Art 1935


It is timely once again, to bring the writings of Carl Philip McConnell DO to the attention of the osteopathic profession.  This timeliness applies to all the physicians who practise Osteopathy as well as to the undergraduate students in all of our colleges.  Through his understanding of the teachings of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, his own clinical experience and his pursuit of research, Dr. McConnell contributed to the development of the profession through the first part of its first century.

Now that this profession is larger and serving in many new ways, it is important that the practice of Osteopathy continue to be taught so that its truths can lead to skillful use.  The writings of Dr. McConnell bring the valuable teaching of the early days into the challenging clinical world of today.

The outstanding characteristic of Dr. Still’s work that impressed Dr. McConnell was the precision, the intensive palpation and his understanding of the facts he perceived.  The osteopathic problem presented itself as the ability of the physician to find and resolve the correct problem.  The core of the matter rests upon definite knowledge of anatomy.  For Dr. Still, anatomy meant histology and physiology as considered in the living human body as a whole.

For Dr. McConnell, knowing the human body meant to know the meaning of “the feel of the tissues” and the interpretation of data from palpation and proprioception.  The manual operations for diagnosis are “no small part of the properties of the living organism to be evaluated in the practice of Osteopathy.”

“This knowledge is of foremost consideration in actual practice.  It distinctly reflects the status of the life-giving forces.  In the final analysis, of course, all methods must be co-ordinated, not in the abstract, but in their application to the concrete case.”

With Dr. Still, “The necessity of tactual education is stressed to the point of a martinet.  Of this necessity there are no qualifications or howevers ….For in no other practical way can the art of Osteopathy be attained.”

Dr. McConnell reminds us that this point of view–that is so essentially osteopathic and which is so elusive if the necessary ground work has not been laid–is difficult to put into practice.  We are not lacking in theory, but it is safe to say that every one of us falls short in etiologic diagnosis.  “How many of us ever stop to think of how absolutely revolutionizing the osteopathic viewpoint is?”

These selected writings offer an opportunity for today’s reader to gain a glimpse of what Dr. McConnell did for the teaching of Osteopathy in the early years of Dr. Still’s work.

Anne L. Wales DO DSc(Hon)
North Attleboro


  • Forward by Anne Wales DO
  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgments
  • Andrew Taylor Still
    • A Glimpse of Dr. Still’s Art (1917))
    • Some Personal Traits of Dr. Still (1918)
  • Osteopathic Principles
    • The Osteopathic Concept of Etiology (1929)
    • The Trained Tactual Sense, (1930)
    • Significance of Principles (1917)
    • Osteopathic Art I–VI (1934–35)
    • The Osteopathic Approach (1938)
  • Osteopathic Technique
    • Osteopathic Studies (1931–32)
      • I.  The Biological Unit
      • II.  The Osteopathic Lesion
      • III.  Types of Lesions of the Spine
      • IV.  Adjustment of Lesions
      • V.  The Cervical Spine and Ribs
      • VI.  Soft Tissue Technic Integration
  • Technique of Treatment (1904)
  • The Basis of Technic (1933)
  • Four Essentials of Technique (1920)
  • The Standardization of Technique (1915)
  • The Ventral Side
    • The Diaphragm (1928)
    • Diaphragm Doming (1923)
    • The Bronchial Tubes and Lungs (1920)
    • Osteopathic Lesions of the Heart (1919)
    • Non-spinal Osteopathic Lesions, I–VII (1934–35)
    • Treatment of the Liver (1920)
    • Manipulative Treatment of the Kidney (1929)
    • Prolapsed Organs (1905)
    • Direct Treatment of the Abdomen (1923)
  • Miscellaneous Topics
    • Certain Factors in the Treatment of Children (1934)
    • Fundamental Fragments (1939–40)
      • I.  Circulation
      • II.  Relatedness
      • III.  Emergence
      • IV.  Fascia
      • V.  Concepts
  • Appendices
    • Appendix A: Early History of the American School of Osteopathy (1904)
    • Appendix B:  Case Reports (1904–09)
    • Appendix C:  Tributes

Additional information

Weight1200 g
Dimensions297 × 210 × 15 mm