Osteopathic self-treatment               body balance

 In 1990 I compiled a book of self-treatment approaches deriving from osteopathy…and with very little originality, called it “Osteopathic Self-Treatment(Thorsons, Wellingborough)

The idea was to explain simple manual self-treatment methods,  to be used in combination with a therapist, who would help to select and demonstrate the various methods.

In this way, patients/clients as well as their health-care advisers would have an investment in using the book safely  …I thought!

The content list offers a sense of what was on offer:

  • Different forms of Muscle Energy Technique (MET)
  • Explanations and summaries of MET methods
  • Muscles: types and tests
  • MET in action
  • Trigger points and their importance
  • Self-mobilization methods
  • Strain and counterstrain techniques

What happened?

The book sold moderately well….but NOT to patients  …it was largely purchased my therapists who found the ‘idiot-proof’ guidelines for use of soft-tissue manipulation and exercise methods, helpful in their work.

Unfortunately however, over the next few years sales dipped, and the book was discontinued – with copyright reverting to me.

Despite this I was convinced of its intrinsic value – as on a regular basis, practitioners/therapists would contact me to say what a boon it was in their work, and why could they not get copies any more as the one they had was ragged and falling apart?

The years went by, and I changed publisher, and at some point suggested that we revive the book, by updating it and giving it a new title.

As a result “Maintaining Body Balance etc etc” emerged (ChurchillLivingstone 2004) – with a subtitle: “A practical guide to the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction”.

The book was enlarged, expanded and improved (see content list below)

….now surely (I thought), it would find a market?

  • The different forms of MET
  • Testing for shortness in muscles
  • MET: Treatment and Self-treatment methods
  • Trigger points and their importance in pain control
  • self-mobilization methods
  • Strength plus endurance equals stability
  • Balance, agility and breathing
  • Introducing positional release techniques and strain and counterstrain
  • A selection of ‘Exercise cards’ [free of copyright for photocopying] was created in a flap, inside the back cover

This excellent book, easily accessible explanations and well illustrated, was ideal for collaborative work between therapist and patient….. Nevertheless – book only had modest sales, and limped along until 2012…when for the second time in its career, it went out of print…. and rights once again reverted to me.

I quick look at Amazon.com, today – May 31st 2013 – shows that new copies of the book are now  available at around $450, with second hand copies going for $70+

…… In Europe Amazon.co.uk displays (today) eye-watering prices of  £1146 (new) and £98 second hand.

The Foreword (by Doug Lewis ND, of Bastyr University), and Chapter 1 (Different forms of MET) – as well as  the copyright-free cards, are freely downloadable at no charge.

The book as a whole is downloadable from my website     ($15.00 / £10.00)


 I’d really like to have feedback from anyone who has used either book in the past…or who finds the present version useful….!

Third time lucky?????