Spark in the Motor

We shall study Sutherland's fluid management approaches in detail and increase our knowledge and understanding of two of his five phenomena: the motility of the CNS and the fluctuation of the CSF.

The focus will be on refining our understanding of the integrated role of the CNS and CSF with the bodywide fluid function of the IVM and its relationship to health. We shall improve our factual knowledge, develop enhanced 'centreing' skills, and clarify our understanding of 'stillness' and 'potency' both in relation to the practitioner and the living processes within our patients. This will improve our palpatory, diagnostic and treatment skills, not only relating to these areas but to whole body function.

What can you do for your patient when the expression of involuntary motion is poor, or the tissue vitality so low that general health issues, systemic, traumatic and neurological problems, as well as ordinary musculo-skeletal dysfunctions do not respond easily?

Rollin Becker said that 'sick tissues don't make good corrections'. For these patients the use of cooperative fluid management approaches such as 'fluid drives', CV4, EV4, or lateral fluctuation to improve tissue vitality can be a very effective treatment approach.

What did Sutherland mean when he used descriptive language to describe his palpatory experiences, such as 'directing the tide', 'spark in the motor', 'liquid light', or 'the fluid within the fluid'? This course will balance the study of Sutherland's teachings on CNS and CSF with exciting modern research that develops our understanding of the structure and physiology in these areas, and informs clinical osteopathic practice.


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

Core subjects in this course are:

  • Stillness and potency
  • Neuro-anatomy, neural development and neuro-endocrine-immune connections, autonomic NS
  • Directing the potency of the tide, CV4, EV4, and lateral fluctuation
  • The dynamics of the fluid compartments in cranium
  • Clinical considerations in the osteopathic diagnosis and treatment of the CNS, PNS and CSF

As it is such an immense topic we cannot cover everything in just 3 days, therefore a variable selection of additional subjects will also be included where possible.

Examples of some possible additional subjects viewed from the osteopathic perspective:

  • Blood vessels of the brain
  • The role of the cerebellum beyond motor function
  • Left brain Right brain
  • Dynamic brain changes throughout life stages
  • Pituitary hypothalamic axis
  • Sleep and wakefulness
  • CNS and PNS disorders
  • The aging nervous system
  • Relevant new research in bioscience

Course Format

Our small 1:4 tutor groups enable you to benefit directly from the considerable clinical expertise of your tutor, and to discuss with colleagues. There will be time and space to explore thoroughly and to experience in stillness the concept of potency, and working with the fluids in different ways. In the practicals, our experienced tutors who are experts at meeting individual needs and gently opening up awareness to new concepts and experiences will support and guide your learning.

Excellent files of comprehensive course notes are provided.

Course Details

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

Dates & Prices

The Beeches
7 - 9 July 2017
£805 (non-residential)
£945 (residential)
12 - 14 July 2019 £895 (non-residential)
£995 (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.


Do I need previous experience to attend this course?

You must have attended the SCCO 40 hour course Osteopathy in the Cranial Field. 

How will this course benefit my practice?

All clinical problems including musculo-skeletal, respond poorly to osteopathic treatment when the vitality of the fluid fluctuation is diminished and therefore the health of the connective tissues is poor. This course by developing your understanding of the application of Sutherland’s fluid approaches will better enable you to ‘work with the health’ and improve the body’s response to treatment.

What next?

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

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

Refresher Day Bring your questions and experiences or difficulties to share with your colleagues and experienced tutors on a refresher day. An excellent way of 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 1-4 tutor student ratio was excellent. Every tutor picked me up from where I was and brought me to another place.
Lectures were delivered to a very high standard. Practical sessions were well-interspersed and relevant. The teaching faculty had vast knowledge and experience, and created a supportive learning environment.

This course far surpassed my expections. The materials, lectures, small-group work and input from fellow students were all excellent. The serene course direction ensured that participating in the course felt effortless. I learned so much of clinical relevance and, as ever after these courses, felt utterly transformed by participating.

I found the the structure of the theory practical and breaks really beneficial to the learning process. And I liked the intensity of the supervision. It is one of the reasons why SCCO courses are outstanding!

The lectures were outstanding - full of material and I thought there was an exceptional standard of presentation combining personal experience, real thinking with historical and scientific knowledge -inspirational and thoroughly enjoyable. The tutoring was superb in my experience - relaxed, non judgemental and highly attentive.

I enjoyed the overall design and coherence of the curriculum, the complementing lecture styles from amazing and inspiring lecturers and generous and supportive table tutors.

Very supportive and knowledgeable tutors and content you don't necessarily hear about in other courses.