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In 35 chapters written by the editors and a team of internationally renowned contributors the book covers the underlying principles of osteopathic palpation from a biodynamic and ‘morphodynamic’ perspective, and their application in the cranial field and the spinal cord.

It emphasises the importance of considering not just the patient’s physical self, but also the inner consciousness. It teaches how to assess tissue-energy characteristics, and to use this understanding in managing the whole patient.

The work discusses biophysical, neurobiological and psychological interactions as well as the interplay of developmental dynamics and further epigenetic influences on the organism.

As well as the primary respiratory mechanism, various biological rhythms play an important role within osteopathic treatment; the book explores new insights that flow from chronobiology and rhythm research.

All osteopathic practice develops on conceptual foundations. Acknowledging the importance in the practice of osteopathy of such theoretical underpinning, the book discusses osteopathy with regard to the development of paradigms within the healing arts as well as from various philosophical viewpoints – such as postmodern, system-theoretical, Goethian and phenomenological. It examines thoroughly the multi-layered dynamics of development of human beings interacting with their environment.

The resulting implications for therapeutic interaction as well as principles of diagnosis and treatment form the core of the book. These fundamental principles are then specifically applied to the cranial sphere. This section focuses primarily on the treatment of the brain, as well as the developmental dynamics of the relations of the midline, cranial bones, dural structures, vessels and cranial nerves.




1            Paradigms of healing

            Torsten Liem

2            The osteopathic object – reloaded                                                                                   

            Peter Sommerfeld

3            Biological rhythms and their significance in osteopathy

            Torsten Liem, Maximilian Moser

4            Physical  principles

             Lorenz Fischer

5            Neurobiological  principles

             Lorenz Fischer

6            The effect of formative and regulatory forces on living organisms           

            Torsten Liem

7            Regulatory forces in embryology

            Torsten Liem

8            The role of mechanical stresses in embryonic development

            Lev V. Beloussov

 9            Developmental patterns and adaptive organization of body functioning

            Patrick van den Heede and Anne Jäkel

10            The incarnating embryo – the embryo in us

            Jaap van der Wal, Guus van der Bie

 11            Prenatal and perinatal worlds of experience

            Ludwig Janus

 12            Evolution of the mind-body-spirit unit

            James McGovern and Rene J. McGovern

 13            Touch as a therapeutic intervention

            Tsafi Lederman with contributions from Eyal Lederman

14       What is health? What is disease? Thoughts on a complex issue

             Torsten Liem, Matthias Flatscher

 15            Somatic dysfunction and compensation

             Torsten Liem, Michael M. Patterson, Jochen Frühwein

 16            Thoughts on the significance of systems theory for osteopathic diagnosis and therapy

            Peter Sommerfeld

17            The osteopathic experience of fulcrums and the emergence of stillness

            Stephen Paulus

18            Principles of diagnosis

            Torsten Liem

 19            The practitioner and the therapeutic interaction

            Torsten Liem and Michael Habecker

20            Treatment principles

            Torsten Liem

 21            Total rhythmic balanced interchange according to Becker

            Torsten Liem

 22            Midline – Development and introduction

            Torsten Liem

 23       Hyoid bone and anterior midline

           Patrick van den Heede and Anne Jäkel

 24            The fluid body

            Torsten Liem

 25            Energy bodies

            Torsten Liem

 26            Chakra system related to pre- and perinatal dynamics

            Terence Dowling

27            Development of the cranium and an outline of the growth dynamics of the  cranial bones

            Torsten Liem with the contributions by Marie-Odile Fessenmayer

28           Intraosseous techniques

            Torsten Liem

29            Developmental dynamic approaches to treating the head, dura, diaphragm, neck and pharyngeal arches

            Torsten Liem

 30       Development of the senses

           Brian Freeman

 31            The brain as a morphogenetic field                                                                                        

            Patrick van den Heede, Rüdiger Goldstein and Torsten Liem

 32         Osteopathic brain and spinal cord assessments

            Bruno Chikly, Torsten Liem

 33            Treating the brain

            Bruno Chikly, Torsten Liem

 34            Treating the spinal cord

            Bruno Chikly, Torsten Liem

 35            Treating the autonomic and peripheral nervous systems

            Torsten Liem, Bruno Chikly

36            Developmental patterns and influence upon body organisation

            Patrick van den Heede and Torsten Liem,

37            Polyvagal theory

            Stephen Porges

38           An osteopathic approach to the treatment of trauma and emotional integration

            Torsten Liem


Additional information

Format Hardback, eBook
ISBN 978-1-909141-24-7
Edition no 1
Pages 720
Illustrations 180 line illustrations, 165 photographs and 50 tables
Dimensions 246 x 189 mm
Status Published
Publication Date 2 March 2017

Author biography

Torsten Liem MSc DO is Joint Principal of the German School of Osteopathy, a practising osteopath, lecturer in cranial osteopathy and head of several osteopathic MSc-programmes in Germany and Europe. He is the author and editor of several books and has written numerous articles. Torsten Liem is organiser of the international osteopathy symposia in Berlin; founder of an osteopathic teaching clinic and of the charitably financed centre for paediatric osteopathy in Hamburg. A board member of the German and European Societies of Pediatric Osteopathy, Torsten Liem is also co-founder and coeditor of the journal Osteopathische Medizin (Elsevier), member of the Advisory Board of the International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, and co-founder of Breathe Yoga. His core vision is the implementation of osteopathic principles in practice, and connecting them with the principles of classical Chinese medicine and yoga, and with psychological and energetic aspects.

Patrick Van Den Heede DO, MSc trained in manual therapy at the University of Antwerp and in clinical child psychology (‘psychomotricity’) at the University of Louvain. A practising osteopath since 1977, he has taught at several different European colleges. Together with Torsten Liem he founded the Integrative Institute of Morphology in 2009. Dr van den Heede has written several books including most recently Osteopathic Medicine – Holonomic keys for treatment (Elsevier, 2015)

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