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David, a third generation osteopath from the very founder of osteopathy Dr A T Still, considers himself very fortunate to have studied with masters representing both the classical and modern traditions of osteopathy.
David studied at the Ecole Européenne d’Ostéopathie (European School of Osteopathy) in Maidstone, England, from 1978 – 1982.
There, he learnt the classical osteopathic techniques from Mr John Wernham, who was a student of Dr Martin Littlejohn who, in turn, was a student of the founder of osteopathy, Dr A T Still. In addition, David learnt much from Mervyn Waldman, who is currently an osteopath practicing in Israel.
David also learnt the minimum adjustment technique (now known as Specific Adjustment Technique or SAT) from the principal of the college, Mr Tom Dummer.
Among the modern techniques was Cranial Osteopathy (Cranial Sacral Therapy) popularized by Dr John Upledger, founder of the Upledger Institute.
This technique was in its infancy during the 1970s and David was among the early groups of students – the second batch, in fact – who studied this technique from Dr Upledger, who was then from Michigan State University, USA.
This period of time can be considered a ‘transition’ between the classical style and more modern techniques that were emerging during the 1970s.
Also being introduced around that time was the Muscle Energy technique, which David learnt from Dr Fred Mitchell Jr, and Strain and Counter strain, which David learnt from the late Dr Lawrence H Jones.
David is also the pioneer of Total Body Modification (TBM) – Learning from the Founder Dr. Victor Frank over 25 Years ago.
David, who was born in 1948, had an interest in sports, natural health and natural healing from an early age. And he seemed destined to be an osteopath.
During his secondary school days at St Joseph’s Institution, he was – for four years – the undefeated Combined Schools champion in the 110 metres hurdles and triple jump.
He took up body building, karate and yoga as a teenager and, in his early 20s, began a career as a medical representative selling medical equipment. He was so successful in his career that, by his mid-20s, he had earned enough money to ‘retire’.
He left his job in 1977 and journeyed to India to study yoga at the country’s most prestigious yoga college, the Kaivalyadhama Institute GS College of Yoga and Cultural Synthesis in Poona, Bombay. While in India, David stayed and studied at the Nature Cure Hospital, learning Nature Cure as advocated by the late Mahatma Gandhi.
After India, David traveled through Central Asia and Europe and finally, England. He knocked on the door of the Osteopathy college and met the college’s principal, Tom Dummer.
While explaining the basis of osteopathy, Mr Dummer said something that struck a chord with David – he pointed out that all the healing arts emphasized the importance of the spine.
David realized that he had discovered the ‘secret’ to perfect health that he had all along been searching for. He realized that diet, environment and other factors affecting health were all external to the human body.
The one internal factor is the autonomic nervous system, which stems from the brain and the spine.
One other incident during his meeting with Mr Dummer sealed David’s fate to become an osteopath.
“At that time I was carrying a Tibetan ‘hippie bag’. It was half full and it contained my entire possessions,” David recalls.
“When Mr Dummer saw it, he pulled out exactly the same bag from below his desk. We both raised the bags and had a good laugh. What a coincidence it was. I felt it was a sign of my destiny. And so I signed on to study osteopathy for the next four years.”
David Tio has been a Clinic Supervisor for Victoria University and RMIT in Melbourne and in European School of Osteopathy. Also he is a Clinical Preceptor for RMIT and The National Center of Naturopathic Medicine, USA.