Osteopathic Manipulation, OM®

About the Course
The Course is based on the Original Teachings of Dr Andrew Taylor Still, the School Teaches Original Osteopathy also called Classical Osteopathy.
We only Teach what Dr A. T. Still, D.O. Taught which is The Original & Pure Osteopathy.

Students applying to this Course need to have Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology Course.
Students should have already qualified in another Health Discipline.
Students should have a total of at least 2 years of previous study in health care.

Reading Required
All books of Dr Andrew Taylor Still, and recommended Anatomy Books.

Course Material
The School holds the Original Course Materials in respect to the Teachings of Osteopathy, this are given free of charge and are part of the Teaching Materials.

Osteopathic Manipulation

Osteopathic Manipulation: is a treatment employed, to facilitate a patient’s recovery from somatic dysfunction.

Glossary Terminology definition: impaired or altered function of related components of the somatic (body framework) system: skeletal, arthroidal and myofascial structures and related vascular, lymphatic and neuroelements.

The positional and motion aspects of somatic dysfunction are best described using at least one of three parameters:

1. The position of a body part as determined by palpation and reference to its adjacent defined structure,
2. The direction in which motion is freer, and
3. The direction in which motion is restricted.

The diagnosis of somatic dysfunction is made by determining the presence of one or more findings, known as T.A.R.T. (Tenderness, Asymmetry, Restriction of Motion and Tissue Abnormality). Osteopathic manipulative treatment includes thrust (active correction), muscle energy, high velocity-low amplitude, articulation, counterstrain, myofascial release,
and visceral and craniosacral techniques.

The chosen treatment will vary depending on patient’s age and clinical condition. Somatic dysfunction in one region can create compensatory somatic dysfunction in other regions. Osteopathic manipulative treatment can also be used to treat the somatic component of visceral disease and any organ system.

This component can manifest as changes in the skeletal, arthrodial and myofascial tissues. Normalizing musculoskeletal activity (relaxing tense muscles, etc.) can normalize outflows through sympathetic or parasympathetic autonomic nervous systems to visceral systems, resulting in more normal visceral and any organ system function.

Osteopathic Manipulation Treatment when necessary is performed by a qualified professional, in patients whose history and physical examination indicate the presence of somatic dysfunction of one or more regions.


Acute Somatic Dysfunction: Immediate or short-term impairment or altered function of related components of the somatic (body framework) system. Characterized in early stages by vasodilation, edema, tenderness, pain, and tissue contraction. Diagnosed by history and palpatory assessment of tenderness, asymmetry of motion and relative position,
restriction of motion and tissue texture change.

Chronic Somatic Dysfunction: Impairment or altered function of related components of the somatic (body framework) system. It is characterized by tenderness, itching, fibro
sis, paresthesias and tissue contraction.

Linkage: Dysfunctional segmental behaviour where a single vertebra and an adjacent rib respond to the same regional motion tests with identical asymmetric behaviours (rather than opposing behaviours). This suggests visceral reflex inputs.

Primary: The somatic dysfunction that maintains a total pattern of dysfunction. The initial or first somatic dysfunction to appear temporally.

Secondary: Somatic dysfunction arising either from mechanical or neurophysiologic response subsequent to or as a consequence of other etiologies.

Somatic Dysfunction: Impaired or altered function of related components of the somatic (body framework) system: skeletal, arthrodial and myofascial structures, and their related vascular, lymphatic, and neural elements. Somatic dysfunction is treatable using osteopathic manipulative treatment. The positional and motion aspects of somatic dysfunction are best described using at least one of three parameters:
1). The position of a body part as determined by palpation and referenced to its adjacent defined structure,
2). The directions in which motion is freer, and
3). The directions in which motion is restricted.

Somatogenic: That which is produced by activity, reaction and change originating in the musculoskeletal system.

Type I Somatic Dysfunction: A group curve of thoracic and/or lumbar vertebrae in which the freedoms of motion are in neutral with side bending and rotation in opposite directions with maximum rotation at the apex (rotation occurs toward the convexity of the curve).

Type II Somatic Dysfunction: Thoracic or lumbar somatic dysfunction of a single vertebral unit in which the vertebra is significantly flexed or extended with side bending and rotation in the same direction (rotation occurs into the concavity of the curve).

History of Manipulative Medicine (OM)

Various forms of manipulative therapy — including massage, spinal adjustments and many others — have been practiced all over the world for over millenia. Certain historical references point to the fact that manipulative therapies aimed at correcting musculoskeletal and spinal abnormalities were used in Europe as far back as the year 400 B.C.

According to a publication in the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy, Hippocrates himself described his own spinal manipulative techniques for treating conditions, including scoliosis, naturally. (History of Manipulative Therapy) (The Female Bone Setter) (Anglesey Bone Setter)

Hippocrates believed that the use of gravity — along with basic tools and equipment like straps, wheels, ladders and axles — could be used to impart enough pressure on the skeletal system to help realign body parts contributing to dysfunction. Hippocrates and other physicians who followed in his footsteps also recommended practicing exercises after adjustment, along with building strength in weak areas, standing and walking more.

Even today many modern massage techniques (such as Swedish, deep tissue or Thai massage) and spinal manipulation manoeuvres draw on knowledge and traditions dating back centuries. Manipulative healers from countries such as Greece, Japan, China, Thailand, India and others have contributed a large body of research and expertise to the entire field of Osteopathic Manipulation.

The Founder Of Osteopathic Manipulation

Dr Andrew Taylor Still, M.D., D.O. - Was the son of a Methodist Pastor and country physician, Andrew become exposed to; diseases such as cholera, smallpox, and meningitis that often wiped out entire families.

At an early age Still became aware of the lack of knowledge of the cause and treatment of these devastating diseases. He recognized the tragic toll of such ignorance, and decided there must be a better way.

Although Still had long been aware of the appalling degree of medical ignorance which existed at that time, it was a tragedy in his own life that propelled him toward a search for answers and the development of osteopathic medicine.

In 1874 Missouri was ravaged by an epidemic, one now identified as viral meningitis. Dr. Still lost three children that spring. Although a physician he had no way to cure them - no way to help them. Still's loss sent him on a personal and professional search for the truth.

He was driven to understand why some people became sick, and others remained healthy.

The doctor grew to reject the prevailing medical practices of frequent amputation and the overuse of drugs. He called his new system of medicine "osteopathy" (osteon is Greek for bone), because it was based on anatomy. Still developed his methods of diagnosis and treatment by relying on the belief that the human being should be treated as a unit.

A person cannot get sick in one area of his body without having other areas affected. All body systems operate in unison. Through experimentation and clinical observation, Still developed the art of osteopathic treatment, applied directly to the musculoskeletal system. In addition, he eliminated many toxic drugs from his practice.

Dr. Still was eager to present his new ideas and methods of treatment to the medical community. He selected Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas as the place for his presentation, a school Still and his family had helped found. The University refused him.

Turned down by his peers, but determined he was right, Dr. Still settled in Kirksville, Missouri and began practicing the osteopathic medicine he had developed. His reputation spread, and soon people from all over the United States were travelling to Kirksville for his treatments. As his fame increased, so did the attacks by his former medical colleagues.

Still was called a "crank," "faker," and a man who had lost all reason. He was scorned by most, but not all. An increasing number of doctors were drawn to Still and his methods.

In 1892 the first formal classes in the teaching of osteopathic medicine met in Kirksville, later to become the American School of Osteopathy. A.T. Still 1828-1917

The Foresight and Vision of Dr Andrew Taylor Still, M.D., D.O.

Was the first to identify the human immune system and develop a system for stimulating it naturally.
Was the first to welcome women and minorities into medical school.
Predicted that western type of medicine would have a major drug addiction problem within the century if physicians did not stop over-prescribing addictive drugs.
Warned that women were far too often the victims of needless surgeries.
Believed that physicians should study prevention as well as cure.
Believed that disease in one body part affects all other parts.

     Core competencies
    • Osteopathic Manipulation professionals share a set of core competencies that guide them in the diagnosis, management and treatment of their patients and form the foundation for the Osteopathic Manipulation approach to health.

      The following are essential competencies for Osteopathic Manipulation practice in all training programmes:

    • a strong foundation in Osteopathic Manipulation history, philosophy, and approach to health;

    • an understanding of the basic sciences within the context of the philosophy of Osteopathy and the five models of structure-function.

      Specifically, this should include the role of vascular, neurological, lymphatic and biomechanical factors in the maintenance of normal and adaptive biochemical, cellular and gross anatomical functions in states of health and disease;

    • ability to form an appropriate differential diagnosis and treatment plan;

    • an understanding of the mechanisms of action of manual therapeutic interventions and the biochemical, cellular and gross anatomical response to therapy;

    • ability to appraise medical and scientific literature critically and incorporate relevant information into clinical practice;

    • competency in the palpatory and clinical skills necessary to diagnose dysfunction in the aforementioned systems and tissues of the body, with an emphasis on osteopathic diagnosis;

    • competency in a broad range of skills of Osteopathic Manipulation;

    • proficiency in physical examination and the interpretation of relevant tests and data, including diagnostic imaging and laboratory results;

    • an understanding of the biomechanics of the human body including, but not limited to, the articular, fascial, muscular and fluid systems of the extremities, spine, head, pelvis, abdomen and torso;

    • expertise in the diagnosis and Osteopathic Manipulation of neuromusculoskeletal disorders;

    • thorough knowledge of the indications for, and contraindications to, osteopathic treatment.

      Osteopathic Practice Standards: Safety and quality in practice

  1.     Training Curriculum for Osteopathic Manipulation Techniques
    1. Basic science

          • History and philosophy of Health and its natural progression and understanding upon the Osteopathic concept and practice; Gross and functional anatomy, including basic embryology, neuroanatomy and visceral anatomy; Fundamental bacteriology - Microbiome, fundamental biochemistry, fundamental cellular physiology; Materia Medica

      • Physiology with special emphasis on the neuroendocrine immune network, the autonomic nervous system, the arterial, lymphatic and venous systems and the musculoskeletal system;

      • biomechanics and kinetics. Understanding of other Therapeutic Methods and application within the scope of practice such as Hydropathy and how come same complement Osteopathy and vice versa.

Clinical science

      • models of health and disease; safety and ethics; basic pathology and pathophysiology of the nervous, musculoskeletal, psychiatric, cardiovascular, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, reproductive, genitor-urinary, immunological, endocrine and otolaryngology systems; basic orthopaedic diagnosis; basic radiology; Nutrition; basic emergency care.

Osteopathic science

      • philosophy and history of Osteopathy; Osteopathic models for structure/function interrelationships; clinical biomechanics, joint physiology and kinetics; mechanisms of action for osteopathic techniques.

Practical skills

      • physical and clinical examination; osteopathic diagnosis and differential diagnosis of the nervous, musculoskeletal, psychiatric, cardiovascular, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, endocrine, genitor-urinary, immunological, reproductive and otolaryngology systems; general synthesis of basic laboratory and imaging data; clinical problem-solving and reasoning; understanding of relevant research and its integration into practice; communication and interviewing; clinical documentation; basic life-support and first-aid care.

Osteopathic skills

      • osteopathic diagnosis;

      • osteopathic techniques, including direct techniques such as thrust, articulatory, muscle energy and general osteopathic techniques; indirect techniques, including functional techniques and counterstrain; balancing techniques, such as balanced ligamentous tension and ligamentous articulatory strain; combined techniques, including myofascial/fascial release, Still technique, osteopathy in the cranial field, involuntary mechanism and visceral techniques; reflex-based techniques, such as Chapman’s reflexes, trigger points and neuromuscular techniques;

      • fluid-based techniques, such as lymphatic pump techniques.

      • Practical supervised clinical experience Osteopathic manipulative treatment is a distinctive component of osteopathy.

        It requires both cognitive and sensory motor skills, and knowledge, and the development of these clinical and manual skills requires time and practice. Supervised clinical practice is an essential component of the training of osteopathic practitioners and should take place in an appropriate osteopathic clinical environment so that high-quality clinical support and teaching can be provided. This will include a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice.

        Osteopathic Manipulation Course Programme

Scientific and professional underpinning studies

No. of contact hours

History of Health

Principles and philosophy of osteopathy




Palpatory skills and diagnosis







Clinical/professional studies


Applied clinical osteopathy

Radiological diagnosis and clinical imaging

Orthopaedics and trauma

Case-analysis studies

Professional practice management

Obstetrics and gynaecology

Paediatrics and osteopathic care of children

Osteopathic technique









Scientific and professional underpinning studies


Health-care studies and other health-care systems, Therapeutics


Peripheral and spinal biomechanics

Methods and procedures Palpatory skills and diagnosis






Clinical/professional studies


Case-history taking and patient communication

Applied clinical osteopathy

Differential and clinical diagnosis and clinical problem solving Radiological

Osteopathic evaluation and patient management

Osteopathic technique







Clinical/Professional Studies




  Research Studies


Research methodology (quantitative and qualitative) including critical statistics

Dissertation/research paper



  Clinical/Professional Studies


Professional ethics


Scientific and professional underpinning studies


The Dangers of Pharmacology


Clinical/Professional studies


Referrals (When to refer - out of scope of practice)

Applied clinical osteopathic technique

Osteopathic evaluation and patient management




Osteopathic Clinical Practice


Closely supervised osteopathic clinical practice in suitable clinical environment(s)




Manipulation: the act, process, or an instance of manipulating especially a body part by manual examination and treatment; especially: adjustment of faulty structural relationships by manual means (as in the reduction of fractures or dislocations or the breaking down of adhesions) in "Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary".

Manipulation is the cornerstone of Osteopathy and Chiropractic.

Osteopathic Manipulation is the treatment of the body using hands-on manoeuvrers that move, stretch, drain, realign or massage any problematic or dysfunctional areas of the body.

Osteopathic Manipulation Techniques include Osteopathic and Chiropractic adjustments, active release technique, myofascial release, visceral techniques and lymphatic pumping.

Osteopathic Manipulation is used to treat and prevent illness or injury affecting the skeleton muscle which may have an impact in the normal functioning of the circulation system or affecting the nervous system.

Removing any impediment to circulation, removing any impediments to the normal functioning of the Emunctories by releasing and correcting the normal physiology, working with the body, not against the body, thus aiding the natural recovery of the body.


The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA) has published findings regarding the benefits of Osteopathic Manipulation for different conditions and injuries. Manipulative therapies are most commonly used to treat some of the following:

The early, accurate application of Osteopathic Manipulation can aid the damaged tissues and structures of the joints by:

Promote healthy cellular homeostasis,

Encourage faster tissue repair & recovery,

Reduce musculoskeletal pain & discomfort,

Increasing joint movement by stretching fibrous tissue and affecting the stretch reflex excitability,

Increasing the vascular circulation in and out of the joint,

Improve structural stability and integrity of the intervertebral disc,

Preventing degenerative changes to the articular surfaces,

Inhibiting the build-up of fluid and distension forces upon the tissues and joint,

Aiding the removal of metabolic waste products,

Influencing the sympathetic nervous system activity, thus affecting blood flow, blood pressure, heart rate or respiratory rate.

Breathing & Respiratory Functions

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Visualized Experiments found that osteopathic manipulative treatment could be used as an effective adjunctive tool for patients with respiratory conditions, inflammation of the lungs or airways, or illnesses including pneumonia. (Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment as a Useful Adjunctive Tool for Pneumonia)

Specific techniques that are used to address respiratory problems through means like lymph drainage and rib cage mobility include: Rib Raising, Thoracic Pumping, Doming of the Thoracic Diaphragm, and Muscle Energy work. Some of the ways that these osteopathic manoeuvres can help manage these illnesses include increasing lymphatic flow, improving overall respiratory function by lowering inflammation, and boosting immunological defences by targeting anatomical structures involved in the respiratory and immune systems.


Joint articulation techniques that involve considerable movements should be avoided, as they may:

Exceed the natural motion barrier

Stress the tissues excessively

Force the tissues to undergo the plastic deformation

Who is this course suitable for?

Osteopaths & Student of Osteopathy

Chiropractors & Student of Chiropractic

Physiotherapists & Student Physiotherapy

Physical Therapists & Students of Physical Therapy

Sports Therapists & Student Sports Therapy

Sports & Remedial Massage Therapists

Other Health Care Providers


The course qualifies you as a Osteopathic Manipulation Practitioner.

Please Note

The Osteopathic Manipulation Course, does not, nor it is intended or qualify you as a Doctor in Osteopathy.

In England Under Section 32(1) of the Osteopaths Act 1993 it is an offence to infer or imply that you are an Osteopath if you have not carried out the relevant training, and the following designations or titles are prohibited to use: "Osteopath, Osteopathic Practitioner, Osteopathic Physician, Osteopathist, Osteotherapist, or any other kind of Osteopath".

Successful Qualified Students after the completion of the program course in Osteopathic Manipulation, when describing themselves, either in written or verbal form, must state that they are trained, certified or qualified in Osteopathic Manipulation Techniques.


Paul Health, LMT, OM
Lymphatic Manipulation Therapy
Osteopathic Manipulation


Copyright Mark Turnbull

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