The only solution to this dilemma is one of compromise between a mere verbatim record and a total reconstruction with some omissions and with some alteration in presentation where the meaning is obscure. However, in spite of this daunting prospect every effort has been made to preserve the great truths that are enshrined in the old manuscripts and to restore, to some extent at least, the atmosphere of the earlier years of academic osteopathy, without creating an excess of fatigue for the modern student. Osteopathy is a system of therapeutics based on the theory that many diseases are due to pressure on the vessels, or nerves, by some displaced vertebrae, or some other part of the skeleton, or to a condition of imbalance in the muscles moving around the joint. The treatment is directed to the mechanical correction, by means of manipulation of the osseous displacement, or muscular imbalance, with a consequent repression of abnormal reflexes, and a restoration to normal of the circulation and the nerve impulses. This is the key to our theory because all adjusted structures contribute their quota to general vital force underlying the correlated activities of the body, the constitutional vitality being the sum total of these correlated activities, and it is when this power fails that we are called in to help restore the vital force to its normal position. That is to say, the tendency to the normal is the underlying physiological force of the body.

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In the lean post-war years our schools and associations were slowly recovering from the stasis of war-time with but few students and no clinics outside the metropolis. Lacking premises and money the beginning was inauspicious and it was not until that the clinic was finally housed at No. During those four years much spade-work had been accomplished; a management committee had been formed, a student sponsored for training at the British School of Osteopathy, an almoner engaged and the charity formally registered.

At this stage in our development the Constitution and Rules were prepared and published. These made provision for the treatment of those in need of osteopathy and to further the education and training of students and graduates in osteopathy. The main objective, however, was the foundation of a hospital to be called the Littlejohn Memorial Hospital, in honour of the Founder and Dean of the British School of Osteopathy.

John Wernham was always intent on preserving the original concept of osteopathy, particularly as it was taught by Dr.

John Martin Littlejohn, and in which he himself had been trained. As modern trends began to move away from this original teaching, in he opened the Maidstone College of Osteopathy undergraduate level devoted entirely to Classical Osteopathy. There is always an outside pressure on osteopathy which, if we react to it rightly, is perhaps a good thing.

But there is also an original osteopathic idea which is different from the medical idea, and different specifically from the orthopaedic idea. The Clinic has provided a public service in the county for almost 40 years that is based entirely, and exclusively, upon the teaching of the old protagonists of osteopathic practice, a system, and method of manipulative medicine that is without equal.

We have a tradition of rather more than a hundred years. The Diploma of Osteopathy course became a BSc Hons degree course, the first group of students graduating in The College currently teaches Classical Osteopathy at Postgraduate level.

Littlejohn to study Osteopathy in This was no small problem but many students at that time were people who had been recruited from other jobs and the decision was not long in the making.

From that time onwards, for over 70 years, John Wernham studied, lectured and practised in accordance with Dr. Presenting his case has been a turbulent experience. But there is evidence that Classical Osteopathy is here to stay and that nothing can prevent its progress and a permanent place in this our present time and in the future.

John Wernham was practising, teaching, writing and publishing up to the time of his demise. He was in his th year. Having received treatment from A. Still he enrolled as a student at Kirksville where he lectured in Physiology. Following graduation, he established the Littlejohn College of Osteopathy and Hospital in Chicago from , where he taught and practised until , when he returned to London and established the British School of Osteopathy in Between the two great wars he was the central figure in osteopathic teaching and practice in the United Kingdom until his death on 8th December


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The Osteopathic Technique and Philosophy of John Wernham



The Littlejohn Lectures Volume I


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