The Philosophy and Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy – A Nine-year-old Boy with Wonky teeth- met Richard Douglas DO

Aeroparc Gilze-Rijen Koffie/thee, lunch & syllabus Engels

The Philosophy and Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy (PMPO) is a book just like any other, written and then published in 1902. Interestingly enough the book also claims a copyright dating from 1892.

If this is true, we may ask, when is a book a book? Is a book a book when it is published, or is it when the author starts writing it? Or is a book a book when the author first has the idea of writing it? Then when the author apparently spends 10 years writing it, what is the point of that book anyway?

Surly if we are osteopaths, we should at least study the original philosophy and mechanical principles of our profession that Still himself described. Is that what we are really doing or have we chosen to move on and leave all that old stuff behind us?

This 3-day course takes an in-depth look at the original writings of Still and how we can actually use Still’s own work in our daily practice. We will look at how we can use these centaury old writings by holding them up to the light of modern-day practice.

We look at how a ‘A Nine-Year-old Boy with Wonky Teeth’ helps us to identify and understand the true philosophy and principles that Still himself wrote about.

After many years researching hundreds of words Still wrote by using the dictionary that he referred to , I came to a shocking conclusion, that what we think we are reading is not what is written, why? Simply because the definitions and context of the words he wrote have changed, therefore they have different meanings to us, today in our times.

We know that Dr. Still used the Websters 1828 dictionary throughout most of his formative years.

However, the American English Language went through some drastic changes over a relatively short period. Three major changes took place beginning as early on as 1860 when Websters dictionary had its first major overhaul. In 1879 almost 5000 new words and definition were added and old ones changed. This meant that by the time the 1913 version was released Still’s language was old, and obsolete.

In order to really understand Still’s own work, we must take the time and effort to understand his language. We journey into the new old world giving us the opportunity to start thinking differently.

After all, the way we think, determines what we do.


My name is Richard Douglas D.O
I have been practicing osteopathy since 2008 and graduated from the full-time course at the

I.A.O in Gent. I now live and work in Breda.

Originally from the U.K. I left the U.K. at the age of 22 to go to the Netherlands to follow my dream of becoming a professional cyclist. After realising that it wasn’t meant to be, I remained in cycling by working with the Rabobank cycling team from 1998 to 2008. During my time there it became clear to me there was more to be achieved than just massaging tight muscles and so I went down the path called Osteopathy.

However, Osteopathy didn’t make that much sense to me, admittedly starting a full-time study at 30 years old was a struggle. I tried to be smart by reading Still’s Philosophy and Mechanical Principles before I started my osteopathic training in 2002 to try to get a head start, I quickly realised that I had no clue what this book was about and that it wasn’t going to help me in any way.

The book ended up on the shelf where it remained for many years. In 2011 I met this young boy, his mother, who was a dental assistant asked me if I could do anything to help her son. My only option was to say, I will have a look and see what I can do. I saw something and that gave me an idea, I changed something and something amazing happened.

I was disappointed by the explanations that modern osteopathy was trying to give for these changes that took place between June and November 2011 Changes that were clear to see. It was only by accident in 2016 that I started to reading The Philosophy and Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy again, for some strange reason it started to make sense. I began to realise that we can use Still’s own work every day in our practice and that we don’t realise what we’re missing out on.

Years of research, not into history, but into words and what they actually meant all those years ago, opened up this world of Stills’ osteopathy

3-day seminar: A Nine-year-old Boy with Wonky teeth


During this seminar we will be taking an in-depth look at Dr. Still’s osteopathy and how we can use his work today in our modern-day practice.

       Day 1 The philosophy of Osteopathy.

This will form the foundation of our understanding of Dr. Still’s osteopathy. It will be the most challenging day of the seminar. We will discuss the following issues.

  • Introduction: Is This Osteopathy?
    My journey and how osteopathy made no sense to me. We ask ourselves, is this case osteopathy?
  • Original, Classic and Modern Osteopathic Principles
    The journey from Still’s Osteopathy to our modern-day version.
  • The four modern osteopathic principles.
    We look at these in relation to this case and how they differ from Dr. Still’s Principles
  • Words, definitions, context and meaning:
    understanding how the words that Still’s wrote have changed by definition and context helps us to really get back into his mind and what he tried to get across to us. Without even realising it, the language Still used changed drastically over a short period of time, he was frequently misunderstood.
  • General Agreement:
    In order to understand Dr. Still’s, philosophy we must first have a general agreement on certain issues. We take a critical look at what we say we are and what we say we do.

Day 2 Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy

  • Recap of day one
  • Mechanical Principles;What does it actually mean and how it is relevant in this case.
  • Structure and function;
    Dr Still hardly ever used the word “structure” but modern Osteopathy made it a fundamental principle.
  • Find it.:
    We look at the advice that Dr Still gave us and how we can use it in our daily practice. We apply his thinking and reasoning by using his words in this case to find “it”.

Day 3:

  • Fix it and leave it Leave it Alone
  • Can we answer the question ‘Is this osteopathy?’
    If we understand the philosophy and mechanical principles of osteopathy, then we can do just what Dr. Still asked do, to reason and think, then we can choose to accept or reject what Dr. Still wrote as we may
  • Recap and final remarks

The Philosophy and Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy – A Nine-year-old Boy with Wonky teeth- met Richard Douglas DO
€ 685,00

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11 apr t/m 13 apr 09:00 - 17:00


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