Location: Hawkwood, STROUD
Duration: 4¼ days
Leader: Susan Turner
Frequency: Yearly
Eligibility: Open to any qualified osteopath
Total CPD hours: 36 hours
A – Communication & patient partnership: A4
B – Knowledge, skills & performance: B1, B2, B3, B5
C – Safety & quality in practice: C1, C2, C3, C4, C5
D – Professionalism: D2, D4
Hawkwood College accommodation

Please be aware that accommodation at Hawkwood will be in shared rooms (single sex). Some single rooms are available on a first-come-first-served basis and will carry a supplement. Requesting a single room is not a guarantee that one will be provided.

This course is the perfect bridge between so-called ‘structural’ and ‘cranial’ osteopathy and offers a unique opportunity to fine-tune your palpatory and therapeutic skills in a supportive environment.

The diagnostic and treatment principle explored here was learned by William Sutherland under the hands of AT Still when he was a student. In his words “Dr Still has taken my hand into his and allowed me to feel the lesion as it exaggerated and then as the ligaments pulled the bones back into place”. WG Sutherland, in turn, taught Anne Wales DO who passed it on to members of our faculty.

We will explore, often with astonishment, what WG Sutherland meant by “Using the powers within the patient’s body”, applying the therapeutic principle of balanced tension in every part of the body.  We will explore how we may use the skeleton as a ‘handle’ to enhance the spatial and circulatory environment of the vital organs, and how the lymphatics may be enlivened through moving the fascia.

Many osteopaths have found that their cranial palpation improves after taking this course as does their confidence, effectiveness and enjoyment in practice. It was working in this way with the joints of the body that led WG Sutherland develop and apply the same principle on a much finer scale working with the membranous articular mechanism of the cranium.

This approach is rooted in the origins of osteopathy, and may provide a foundation for the participant to extend the boundaries of what he or she believed was possible through osteopathy.

SCCO Course Providers: All SCCO courses are run by a resident Course Director, who is an Osteopath and a member of the SCCO Faculty. Pathway courses are delivered by SCCO Faculty and may be supported by guest speakers. Short courses are usually delivered by a visiting guest lecturer.  SCCO Faculty members all hold recognised osteopathic qualifications but may not be GOSC registered osteopaths.

Book Your Course

Book Your Course

Forthcoming opportunities to take Module 4: Balanced Ligamentous Tension



What our students say about Module 4: Balanced Ligamentous Tension

Due to Covid, Module 4 in May 2020 was unfortunately cancelled.

“Went above and beyond my expectations. Very well delivered thank you.”
– Module 4, May 2021

“My tutor was absolutely amazing and inspiring.”
– Module 4, May 2021

“The location is stunning. Just the pause from the outside world I needed. The tutors were excellent. No time wasted, really quality lectures and practicals with brilliant hands on guidance. Their rapport with one another gave added benefit of a level of good confidence and relaxed total trust.”
– Module 4, May 2021

“The delivery/ lecturers etc were excellent, but not too long to become overwhelming.”
– Module 4, May 2021

“It exceeded my expectations. If I’d known it was going to be that good, I’d have done it years ago!!”
– Module 4, May 2019

“The course was truly amazing, informative and such quality of teaching.”
– Module 4, May 2019

“Ankle and foot lecture was beyond excellent!”
– Module 4, May 2019

“An amazing faculty – truly a special group of people and feel very blessed to have been part of this year’s learning. Didnt want to say goodbye to such spectacular osteopaths. All very humble but truly gifted people The course was amazing. Truly amazing. I have enjoyed every second, even the more difficult revealing parts. It has opened and extended my palpation and deepened and strengthened my understanding of philosophies and principles – bravo.”
– Module 4, May 2019

“The wealth of knowledge and skill, and the considerateness of the tutors – I felt supported and my attention was held throughout the course The beauty and tranquillity of the environment – this was important to provided the necessary space and conditions for deeper insight into the principles and technique of BLT The high energy of the tutors and the other participants on the course.”
– Module 4, May 2019

“The safety, and support and amazing knowledge of the tutors, the quality of information and techniques… a big thank you to everyone, best course ever.”
– Module 4, May 2019

CPD Scheme

CPD Scheme

How this course maps to the GOsC CPD Scheme

On completion of this course you should be able to:
To achieve the learning outcome you must demonstrate the ability to:
1 The student shall demonstrate a good knowledge of the ligamentous , fascial and lymphatic anatomy of the whole body in relation to the particular architecture of each structure engaged with. Articulate, analyse and interpret examination findings with reference to the ligamentous , fascial and lymphatic anatomy in a practical setting and show that they can offer an informed explanation of the functional significance of their findings.
2 The student shall demonstrate therapeutic effectiveness and understanding in the application of the principle of Balanced Ligamentous Tension. This includes an awareness of the sequential stages of the BLT process, ie:
i) Motion testing to discern the manner in which the tissues are strained.
ii) “Exaggeration” of the strain to the approximate point of balance ie the point where all opposing forces within the strained joint balance each other out and are therefore in a ‘neutral’ field within which the potency for spontaneous resolution of the strain is poised for action.
iii) Engagement/ matching of the tissue pattern and tone to the degree where the involuntary action of the ligaments begins to actively explore for the refinement of the point of balanced ligamentous tension.
iv) Staying present and supportive to the poised stillness of the potency of the balance point.
v) Noting the moment when the fulcrum shifts and the resolution phase begins wherein the ligaments ’take over’ and guide the joint towards its ideal positional relationship.
vi) Noting the completion of the process, positionally and qualitatively as a return of alignment, three-dimensionality and improved fluid interchange and vitality. Motion testing if necessary.
3 The student shall demonstrate the inner discipline of remaining physically and energetically well-grounded to provide a stable fulcrum around which the patient’s involuntary mechanism feels supported enough to activate and complete a BLT therapeutic cycle by its inherent action. This sometimes includes the principle of steadily ‘holding the bolt while the patient turns the nut’, eg as in application to the hip joint , ribs and clavicle. The student should be able to express an understanding of the concept of Reciprocal Tension and make the case for its application to multiple systems in both a theoretical and practical setting.
4 The student shall demonstrate the ability to give clear and unambiguous instructions to the patient, especially when patient postural cooperation is required. This should include an awareness of the need for patient consent.
5 The student shall demonstrate an understanding of osteopathic principles especially the interrelationship of anatomy and physiology, including the reciprocal effect of ‘container’ and ‘contents’. It also includes the ability to discern the physiological importance of each structure addressed within the context of the body as a whole. Construct, implement and monitor osteopathic management plans for your patients and adapt them in response to clinical evidence and patient needs over time.
Type of Learning Learning Activity NLH*
Scheduled Learning Hours Lectures 13
Practical classes 13
Scheduled online activities
Guided Learning Directed reading & research
Reflective portfolio development
Peer assisted learning 4
Independent Learning Unguided reading from defined reading list
Assessment preparation
Tutor defined project / Dissertation activity
Autonomous Learning Reading from non-specific sources
Reflection on clinical experiences 4
Placement Clinical observations

* Notional Learning Hours

OPS Theme OPS Mapping
1 2 3 4 5
Communication & Patient Partnership
Knowledge, Skill & Performance
Safety & Quality in Practice
CPD Standards
CPD activities are relevant to the full range of osteopathic practice See above mapping exercise
Objective activities have contributed to practice Peer review/Observation
Case-based discussion activity
Seek to ensure that CPD activities benefit patients Communication/Consent activity
Maintain CPD documentation Certificate of attendance/Overview document provided to student