The Osteopathic Institute of Applied Technique was established in 1956 by the late John Wernham and T.E. Hall.   Its purpose was to bring together in one body, those members of the osteopathic profession who were prepared to interpret and apply osteopathy as it was laid down by early pioneering osteopaths in the US and the UK, most notably A.T. Still and John Martin Littlejohn. John Wernham and T.E. Hall were both students of Littlejohn, who was one of the early students of Still’s and become the Dean of the original American School of Osteopathy, as well as establishing his own schools in Chicago and then in the UK.

Under its Constitution the Institute was designed:

  • To promote research into the skeletal structure and mechanics of the physiological movements of the spine, and the techniques based thereon.
  • To preserve the fundamentals of the osteopathic concept and to create a nomenclature by which the mechanics of the osteopathic techniques may best be described.
  • To publish books and pamphlets of a technical nature, to build up a library and by these means to gradually establish a centre to which the profession may look for assistance in the technical problems.

The Institute was renamed the Institute of Classical Osteopathy (ICO) in 1990. True to the original philosophy and principles, the Institute continues to run Workshops, Conferences and post-graduate courses in the UK and throughout the world in order to help osteopaths develop their understanding of the physiological basis of osteopathy and the role of body mechanics in health and disease. Practical experience is provided for osteopaths who have completed the Foundation course via a unique clinical training program at the community based London Clinic of Classical Osteopathy (LCCO) in North London.

Over the years, the Institute has published a series of academic books, Yearbooks and DVDs. The next publication is planned for release in 2017 – this being a historically significant year for osteopathy in that it will be 100 years since John Martin Littlejohn founded the British School of Osteopathy and 70 years since his death in 1947, as well as a decade since John Wernham passed away.

The Institute continues to bring together and support like-minded members of the osteopathic profession and has affiliations with educational groups throughout Europe, Canada and Japan.

Watch this video with a brief description of the ICO history John Wernham and the ICO


The Institute of Classical Osteopathy is working in a new Diploma Course that will run over the course of nearly two years. It will cover from the Foundation to the more Advanced Level, including online mentoring for clinical application. 



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