Eligibility: The Circulation 1, or ROA 1
Location: Hawkwood, STROUD
Duration: 3 days (in-person course)
CPD: 30 hours
Frequency: Every 2 years
Leader: Liz Hayden
Total CPD: 30 hours
A – Communication & patient partnership: A2, A3, A4
B – Knowledge, skills & performance: B1, B2, B3, B4, B5
C – Safety & quality in practice: C1, C2, C3, C4, C5
D – Professionalism: D2, D3, D4, D5

In the year 1874 I proclaimed that a disturbed artery marked the beginning to an hour and a minute when disease began to sow its seeds of destruction in the human body
— A. T. Still

This is a followup course to The Circulation 1: Life Blood (previously called The Circulatory System and Health) . It would benefit the osteopath who has already has gained experience in working with the vascular system and who wishes to explore this area of practice in more depth.

This course builds on the principles taught in The Circulation 1: Life Blood, and explores the role of the heart in the circulatory system. The course is orientated to the clinical application and osteopathic support of the heart and circulation and explores approaches to common clinical presentations. These include cardiac conditions, hypertension, the role of the vascular endothelium in chronic disease, the ageing cardiovascular system, and in the management of stress related problems.

Working directly with the circulation encourages an integrated approach to treatment through all systems of the body, and will enable you to apply osteopathic principles and philosophy in supporting health in your patients, including patients with complex clinical presentations.

Course structure:

  • Before the course: 1¾ hours pre-course lectures and study. This must be completed before the course.
  • 3 day face to face course: further theory lectures, clinical application and discussion, as well as plenty of time for practical work.
  • After the course: two post course tutorials to help you integrate the learning into your practice, and post course learning resources.

Course aims:

  • To review your understanding of the principles of the circulatory system taught in The Circulation 1: Life Blood (previously called The Circulatory System and Health) or The Rule of the Artery, discuss how this has influenced your osteopathic thinking, and to help you with any areas of difficulty in applying these principles in your clinical practice.
  • To explore the embryology and anatomy of the heart from a functional perspective, and the relationship the heart to the whole circulatory system. The concept of the heart as a suction pump will be introduced.
  • To explore how osteopathic treatment can help support optimum function in the dysfunctional heart, including some common clinical presentations. Topics included will be the regulation of blood pressure and hypertension, changes in the cardiovascular system with age, arrhythmias and atrial fibrillation.
  • The effect of stress on the heart will be explored, including the role of the autonomics and the vagus, leading to clinical approaches to support calming of the stress response.
  • To develop your understanding of the vascular endothelium and its role in maintaining health, and clinical scenarios where this breaks down leading to chronic diseases such as heart failure, diabetes and vascular dementia.
  • To consider the heart as an emotional and spiritual centre, and its role in treatment.
  • To continue to develop your osteopathic reasoning from the perspective of working directly with the circulation, how this influences your ability to support whole body health with osteopathic treatment.
  • To be able to apply your knowledge and skills to a wide variety of clinical situations, considering the body as a whole in every treatment and how you can support optimum health in every patient.
  • To be able to assess the benefits and risks of working with the circulation in your patients, what treatment reactions might be expected and how to minimise these risks.

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 this course



What our students say about the previous course, The Circulation 1: Life Blood

“It was fantastic in so many ways! Hard, but fantastic!”

“It is so reasuring to be in a course with so experienced tutors! You feel safe ”to explore” because you know that in the tutor will let you know if you reach your limit!”

“I had a profound learning experience.”

“The passion the faculty have for the course The theory – practical balance Clear, useful information that can be integrated into practice.”

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 Assess the health of the heart and circulatory system in your patient from an osteopathic perspective. This includes both local circulation and throughout the whole body.
Recognise and assess dysfunction in the heart and cardiovascular system, and critically assess the contribution that osteopathic treatment may play in supporting optimal function and health in this area.
Assess and describe the unique qualities of arterial and venous blood, capillary exchange and lymphatic flow, in different health states.
Recognise the quality and feel of venous stasis, and demonstrate approaches to improve venous return back to the heart from the whole body
Assess the health and function of the heart from an osteopathic perspective, and how this relates to the health of the whole circulatory system.
Describe and discuss your palpatory findings in a dysfunctional heart or vascular system, and how you would approach treatment to support health
Use the blood and vasculature to initiate therapeutic change in a wide variety of areas of the body
2 Make a reasoned osteopathic evaluation and diagnosis of how disturbances to the heart and circulatory system may be contributing to the health state of your patient. Communicate your evaluation and diagnosis of the heart and circulatory system clearly to your patient, including how it contributes to their general health state, so that they are able to make informed decisions about their care
3 Use your palpation, experience and initiative to select, integrate and apply appropriate osteopathic approaches to treatment of the heart and circulation from a comprehensive range, in order to meet the patient’s treatment needs. Select from a range of osteopathic approaches relating to the heart and circulatory system in order to construct and implement a coherent treatment plan that responds to the patient’s specific needs; Critically defend your decisions, backed by research-based evidence as appropriate.
4 Assess the risks and benefits of osteopathic treatment to support health in both straightforwad and complex heart and circulatory disorders, and to be able to manage any treatment reactions Communicate these risks and benefits to your patient. Recognise the body wide effects and complications of heart and circulatory conditions body wide, and check that the whole circulatory system is in balance.
5 Manage patients and monitor outcomes in a manner that is responsive to the complex and dynamic needs of the patient over time and ensures best care. Construct, implement and monitor osteopathic management plans for your patients and adapt them in response to clinical evidence and patient needs over time.
6 Study independently and use self-reflection to develop and manage a strategy for continuing professional development that identifies and addresses your ongoing learning needs. Reflect on your practice and plan your future professional development in both general and specialist settings, drawing on your clinic portfolio and relevant literature.
Type of Learning Learning Activity NLH*
Scheduled Learning Hours Lectures 5.5
Practical sessions (incl. group feedback/critical discussion) 11.5
Group discussion (small/large group) 9
Case presentation/discussion 0.5
Guided Learning
Independent Learning Pre-course lectures and study 1.75
Autonomous Learning Reflection on clinical experience (post-course tutorials) 2

* 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