The Functional Face

As W.G.Sutherland said 'The difference between spinal technique and cranial technique is like the difference between an automobile mechanic and a watch maker. We do not force anything into place in the reduction of the lesion. We have something more potent than our own forces working always in the patient towards the direction of normal.' Contributions of Thought p112 1967 edition.

The Functional Face offers the opportunity to experience not only delicacy of palpation, but precision in treatment and trust in the self correcting principle of the body.


You must have attended Module 2: Osteopathy in the Cranial Field.

Course Content

  • Embryology of the face
  • Bony anatomy of the face – you will have the opportunity to learn the bony anatomy by building the bony face in a small group using model disarticulated specimens.
  • Anatomy and function of the speed reducers as a gearing system between neurocranium and face.
  • The eye, orbit and relation to the sphenoid and face, including clinical relevance
  • How does the face adapt to physiological and unphysiological patterns of motion in the neurocranium, and how this influences occlusion.
  • Anatomy and physiology of the nasal sinuses, and their function as a series of pumps that rely on motion for normal health and drainage of sinuses. Includes treatment approaches.
  • The anatomy and function of the mandible and TMJ, relationship of TMJ function and dysfunction to occlusion. Includes treatment approaches.
  • The ear and the relationship of the eustachian tube to temporal and sphenoid bones. Includes treatment approaches to improve drainage and function of the middle ear.
  • The mouth, anatomy and function of the tongue and muscles of mastication, relationship to hyoid and anterior fascias. Sucking, swallowing, speech. The voice, osteopathic considerations and treatment approaches.
  • Common mal occlusion problems will be discussed in an osteopathic context. The interface between osteopathy and dentisty will be covered on another course.

Course Format

The course includes a balance of lectures, workshops and practical sessions and moves at a comfortable pace.

Our experienced tutors will gently guide and help you to develop your palpatory skills. Working with like-minded colleagues in a group of 4 with 1 tutor enables you to discuss and share your learning experiences and to make sense of what you are feeling, and to discuss clinical relevance. Intra-oral approaches to treatment will be included in practical sessions.

Course Details

A 3 day residential course. This course is run approximately once every 2 years in the UK. Please see our Course Schedule page for more details.


All our courses meet the new CPD requirements and include communication, consent and improving your clinical skills and knowledge to help you in osteopathic practice.

Dates & Prices

Hawkwood College
16 - 18 March 2018 £845 (non-residential)
£945 (residential [shared])

Accommodation at Hawkwood is in shared rooms, a limited number of singles are available at a supplement and allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.


Will I need to have done other modules before this?

Yes, you must have attended Module 2: Osteopathy in the Cranial Field.

Will I learn to treat the TMJ and jaw?

Yes this commonly painful area will be addressed on the course with detailed anatomy and useful handholds.

Will my current level of anatomy be sufficient?

We provide a pre-course study pack to help you refresh your knowledge before the course

Will there be support after the course if I want to discuss patients presenting with conditions of the face?

We have a new mentoring scheme that takes place in small friendly groups all over the country so we can support each other and continue to learn together and share our discoveries.

What next?

Join the SCCO Mentoring Scheme: an opportunity to work with and share learning experiences with like minded and experienced colleagues.

Write an assignmentThe SCCO membership pathway requires 3 written case study assignments. Writing this case study is an excellent way of reviewing and consolidating your learning from the course.

Other courses: Choose another modular course to continue your journey on the SCCO membership pathway.

What our students say

The quality of tutoring was excellent, the tuition was very personalised and there was space to tailor each practical session as needed.

High standards of presentation, firmness in correction of bad habits, patience and compassion of tutor faculty.

Faculty are excellent as always - very supportive, helpful and kind. My personal development is greatly improved as always!

I am very content! Such a wonderful learning environment and great people!