Events and Courses
British Institute of Osteopathy Foundation Course and Practical Course
Outline detail of courses, dates and how to book can be found on this link
What is the BIO Practical Course based upon?
There is a modern confusion that osteopathy is a subset of naturopathy and this common mistake can
lead to all sorts of muddles. The BIO Practical Course is a logical extension of the tenets of 'Natural
Traditional osteopathic practice is not Naturopathy
What is naturopathy and why does it not fit in with traditional
We are often asked this, especially by osteopaths keen to learn more about traditional osteopathic
practice, because like osteopathy the word 'naturopathy' has to some extent lost its way in the modern
Natural hygiene was the source
The word 'naturopathy' is derived from a combination of the ideas and concepts of 'natural hygiene'
and 'pathology.' The original meaning of pathology from Hippocrate's time actually meant the opposite
of the modern medical idea of the study of disease symptoms.
See What is traditional osteopathy? on this website.
Much of the confusion about what osteopathy and naturopathy may or may not be is due to a mixture
of politics, poor definitions and muddled thinking, the root of the word pathology is only part of
the mess. A big failing of naturopathy is that it tends to list protocols/modalities for treating various
conditions and this tends to borrow a medical vocabulary. Osteopathy is much more than that.
It all started with Hippocrates
If we take the first well known natural hygienist - Hippocrates, we find that he did not believe in
the idea of disease as a separate entity, nor did he believe in 'treating diseases' as such. The body
is naturally or 'naturely' free of disease if it is able to keep itself clean and well nourished, natural
hygiene was the normal state of the body. He also didn't like the idea of 'doctors' who palliated natures'
attempts to clean. In his time it was the Egyptians who profilated the idea of the healing doctor guru
and sold potions or medicines for cures. Hippocrates saw this as a falsehood as it mystified diseases
instead of educating the public into staying well.
Hippocrates myth - not the father of modern medicine it's Ronald Mac.
It is a bad joke that Hippocrates was the father of modern medicine, especially now the Hippocratic
oath is optional for medical doctors. The modern medical approach has more in common with the
Egyptians regarding potions and pills for all ills. Same thing happened to Kellogg, the cornflake has
nothing to do with him, same as Green and Blacks which has been bought out and now has milk in
its formally dairy free chocolate. Osteopathy is now taught as 'osteolite', but we are digressing from the
brilliance of Hippocrates insights.....
Disease is not an isolated event
The state of disease was to be explained and learned from, it was not a mystery, it was the natural
consequence of enervations, this spawned many ideas like Still's natural immunity is an extension of
structural integrity - one of the first osteopathic principles.
If, however, we 'go off the rails' with the diet, lifestyle and abuse, the body will go into various
compensations to try to maintain the most hygienic state it can. For example an overburdened lung
will develop a cough, overburdened kidneys will throw the load into the skin and make us smell of
What happens to a good idea if you redefine it and add politics?
More modern writers like Tilden from the 1920's inspired by this went on to form the basis of the
more modern natural hygiene movement involving Shelton, Lindlahr, Ghandi, Sidwha and others.
However, as with all good ideas the politics started to interfere and to some extent the words 'nature
cure' and 'naturopathy' started to dilute the original concepts.
Mixing medical terms i.e. naming diseases and coming up with treatment protocols, overlooked the
point that medical disease pathology was an artificial construct and the real idea of natural hygiene
was not a treatment for disease, it was about a way of living. If however through ignorance you
became ill following the natural hygiene method was the best way to regain health.
Is general treatment a common philosophy?
As part of the practical course we look at Gerson Therapy which has long been associated with various
chronic disease states. One interesting point about its approach is that the same diet is applied in
virtually all cases. The only difference is whether or not the patient can cope with the full regime or
The general osteopathic routine that I teach also uses the same framework to approach palpation,
diagnosis and treatment because the same kinds of obstructions are present in all cases.
If we use a medical approach, all disease states are distinct and different and employ different experts
and methods to 'treat' them with different techniques.
Your first duty to the patient is to "treat the toxic state". This reminds me of a lovely quote from
Hildreth DO - "Break into the circle of causes. Remove all that are removable. Leave the rest to
nature. Thus assisted, she is usually able to come back. Such is the philosophy of treatment."
Critical feedback from a BIO practical course delegate
The BIO course run by Howard, even though just past half way through, has brought the traditional
approach to osteopathy totally within my grasp of understanding and applying. After over ten years
of trying to get to grips with learning what I understand to be "traditional" or true osteopathy as Still,
Littlejohn or John Wernham would apply, I only now finally feel I am getting it.
You are taught what is required succinctly, illustrated with case studies; there can be discussion, Q
& A, and very good handouts. No time is wasted. Howard is to the point, clear language, no baffling
antiquated terminology, and a reference library to help you on your way. Howard's approach is to
make this learning truly accessible and easy to understand. He walks the talk (and boy can he talk!).
One day of the weekend, once a month is just enough for mature qualified osteopaths to spare time to
come, listen, learn, discuss and practice. This is true osteopathy.
In the class
Course delegates enjoying organic lunch on the lawn
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