Notes on Dr J.M.Littlejohn’s Principles of Osteopathy


Author: John Wernham
Pages: 47
ISBN: 978-1-909052-18-5
Languages: English




The Notes on the Principles of Osteopathy have been extracted from the major work on this subject by J. M. Littlejohn.  Widely read in physiology he based his teaching in Osteopathy on physiological law and, from his earliest association with the new science, laid down the basic principles upon which the technique and practice were constructed.  The emphasis here is on the physiological nature of the osteopathic lesion rather than on the purely physical approach which was the accepted view in America, at one time, and is still current in other disciplines, at the present time.

It is doubtful if osteopathic principles receive the attention they deserve and many practitioners are content to employ the techniques without much reference to the functional activities of the body, with the result that our practice has slowly declined and the true potential of physical medicine, as it was taught by J. M. Littlejohn, is seldom explored.

In its difficult and, at times, stormy career during the years from 1874 there have been many imitative contenders in the field of osteopathic practice, and there is no lack of evidence to suggest that a restatement of our particular concept and approach to the problems of medicine have become essential in this centenary year.

Conflicting views and contrasting ideologies have served to confuse the student and this brief review of the basis of osteopathic teaching is intended to restore the scientific foundation of Osteopathy and to provide the busy student with an authoritative statement as to the real nature of osteopathic work and practice.

There can be no pretence of any literary merit within the limits of the short version and the student is reminded that the Notes represent only the first principles of the great art of Osteopathy, and there remains much yet to be learned and discovered.  It is important to understand that no science can survive without a sure foundation and Osteopathy is no exception to this fundamental truth.

January 1974    
John Wernham


  • Introduction
  • The Principles of Osteopathy
  • Sensory Centres
  • The Constitution of the Nervous System
  • Segmentation
  • The Functional Importance of Segmentation
  • Diagnostic Bearing
  • The Principles of Treatment
  • The Heart and Circulation
  • Circulation
  • Respiration
  • Nutrition
  • Cisterna Chyli
  • Specific Points
  • The Dorsal Region
  • Sacral Region

Additional information

Weight100 g
Dimensions210 × 150 × 7.5 mm