Course Descriptions:


The Forgotten Technique of William Garner Sutherland After the great pandemic, before the PRM

Learn how WGS managed patients following the Great Pandemic of 1918.

During William Garner Sutherland’s first 30 years in practice, he employed a variety of direct techniques. Some were developed based on his personal observations of patients experiencing lingering symptoms of the 1918 Influenza pandemic. He theorized that their symptoms were caused by a tissue tension problem, which he dubbed “anterior tensity.” He reasoned that increased tension impeded fluid flow. His mechanically-based approach—the subject of this workshop—was aimed at restoring optimal fluid.

This workshop brings William Garner Sutherland and his pre-cranial ideas to life. Following the presentation of a colourful biographical sketch of Sutherland, an explanation of the physiological consequences of influenza and pneumonia is offered. Then, Sutherland’s observation of “anterior tensity” is explained. Thirty of Sutherland’s rarely taught techniques for remedying this abnormal tension and its far-reaching effects are demonstrated and practiced. Among the regions of his focus are the thorax (spine, ribs, and diaphragm); pelvis (bony and visceral); neck (bony and visceral); lumbar area (mainly muscular); and shoulder girdle (scapula and clavicle). Of great importance will be an explanation of how Sutherland traced anterior tensity into the cranium.
Once the bodily anterior tensity was lessened, Sutherland turned his attention to the cranium. In this area, his brilliance as an osteopath is evident. In his view, cranial inertia (not caused by trauma) resulted from the cranium’s excessive expansion. This expansion caused tension of the membranes, ultimately leading to fluid stasis. The reason for this association will be explained in the workshop.
Sutherland’s techniques are simple in application yet powerful in results. Ideas on how to employ his approach in current-day practice will be the shared.


Go with the Flow - Fluidic Approach to Fascia

Learn how to address the patient's fascia through a layered (rather than chain-like) approach

This workshop challenges several of the commonly held paradigms regarding the understanding and treatment of fascial tissue. In particular, it focuses on the often overlooked, yet critically important role of loose connective tissue, not only in giving and maintaining the fascia’s fibrous form, but more so in the regulation of the health of the body. A mix of theory and practice, this workshop offers participants the visual advantage of viewing slides of freshly (non-preserved) dissected connective tissue in conjunction with the kinesthetic application of their hands on their workshop partners.

Using a comprehensive theoretical approach, her practical familiarity with dissection of fresh tissue, and years of clinical experience as an osteopathic manual practitioner and certified athletic therapist, Jane explains, demonstrates, and supervises the practice of a variety of therapeutic treatment applications on connective tissue using a fluidic, rather than a fibrous, approach. A fluidic approach on fascial restrictions allows the individual’s tissues to release quite effortlessly with no discomfort. In addition to attaining a new set of immediately applicable therapeutic tools, participants will notice how a fluidic approach puts less strain on their own bodies and results in more permanent results. 


Understanding and Treating Acute Discogenic Injuries: From the Patient's Perspective

Learn easy ways to help your patient recover from acute disc injuries of lumbar spine.

It is estimated that fifty percent of patients seeking the help of manual practitioners, including osteopaths, do so for low back pain. In many cases that pain is assumed to be caused by annual tears and/or discal protrusions causing pressure on the local nerve root. Jane will refute this commonly accepted assumption by offering an alternative explanation. Frequently, it is not discal pressure on a nerve root but rather the protrusion that causes a vascular compromise of the nerve root or an abnormal traction force on the nerve which cause the patient’s symptoms.

Postural balance plays a key role in reducing the pressure and preventing future occurrences. In the practical sessions, assessment and treatment strategies will be offered from a global and local perspective including approaches originating with William Garner Sutherland. Concepts from WGS will include; the cranial base, the diaphragm, psoas, and the ilio-sacral joints. In order to offer a complete treatment, very specific home care exercises for L5/S1 and L4/L5 will also be demonstrated and practiced. These exercises were designed with the theoretical intention of diminishing the intra-discal pressure so that the discal material may begin (at the very least) to stop extruding and in the best case scenario be drawn back within the disc.

The reason for these types of debilitating injuries are oftentimes baffling to the patient who may have simply reached for their keys, sneezed, or stepped out of their automobile. This workshop examines the disc injury from the patient’s point of view, answering their common questions like, how did I get injured, why does it hurt so much, when and will it go away, and what can I do to help myself get better and stay better, or will I need surgery? Participants will learn how to explain to their patients the mechanism of disc injuries, how to recognize easing and aggravating factors, how to avoid future episodes, and most importantly, (in non-surgical cases) how to take care of themselves in the acute and recovery stage with the aid of (non-Mackenzie-based) exercises.


Competitive sports and osteopathy - recognition and useful technique ideas for acute injuries in competitive athletes 

Learn all about working with athletes and their injuries from taping to treating.

As more and more individuals come to rely on osteopathic care, our clinics are being flooded with patients requiring care for acute sports- and performance-related injuries. The low back, ankles, knees, wrists, and shoulders are among the most common areas for acute musculoskeletal injuries. For osteopaths working with sport teams or with individual athletes and performers, the immediate recognition of such injuries and the application of appropriate short- and long-term care are indispensable skills to acquire.

Jane Eliza Stark, a certified athletic therapist with 30 years of on-site and clinical experience, brings her expertise in the area of sports- and performance-related injury to the osteopathic profession. Jane has worked with recreational and elite athletes across the globe, including a decade at the world-renowned David L. MacIntosh Sports Injury Clinic at the University of Toronto. While working with the university sports teams both on and off the field, Jane began her osteopathic education, enabling her to incorporate an osteopathic approach to her regular orthopedic-based treatment of acute and chronic sports injuries.

This seminar focuses on the common forms of performance- and sports-related injuries, including ankle sprains, knee ligament and meniscal injuries, wrist sprains, and such shoulder problems as dislocations, rotator cuff tears, and acromioclavicular separations. Other topics covered include mechanisms of injury, injury recognition and on-sight assessment, decisions to return to play, immediate care, and follow-up care. Also to be discussed are overuse sport and occupational injuries, such as planter fasciitis, shin splints, jumper’s knee, tennis and golfer’s elbow, and swimmer’s shoulder (shoulder tendonitis, impingement syndrome). 

The History of Osteopathy: Its Discovery, Early Contributors, Division, and Philosophical Evolution

Learn about your osteopathic roots and the contributors that shaped the profession of osteopathy and osteopathic medicine. 

Becoming a proficient osteopathic practitioner will be a lifelong process. Although many components will contribute to one’s development, a key element in becoming a capable and respected practitioner is the ability to think for yourself and to do so in a critical manner. The ability think critically emanates from the assimilation of information into knowledge. The incorporation of information is derived not only from the biological and physical sciences, but also comes the humanities—including history and philosophy. Reasoning critically, as it relates to osteopathic practice, helps to develop hands on-skills, inform clinical decision making, and enrich the patient-practitioner rapport. Critical thinking is derived from ownership of that knowledge and is applied using common sense.

Practicing osteopathy without an understanding of osteopathic history and philosophy would be similar to becoming a religious leader having never read that faith’s supporting literature or nor having studied the history of religion. History gives perspective and context to one’s field of endeavour. Philosophy helps to develop the ownership of one’s thoughts. A preacher who hasn’t read the Bible is neither inspiring nor believable.


In a colourful and informative manner, this course will provide the most pertinent details of osteopathic history and the foundations of its philosophy, enhancing the process of mastering Osteopathy versus the too common scenario of practitioners imitating misunderstood techniques, and frequent use of often distorted phrases without the ownership of the original intended meaning. My attending this seminar you’ll find out why you were afforded the opportunity to become an osteopath and how you can maximize that prospect.


About the Instructor

Jane Eliza Stark, MS, CAT(c), R.Kin, D.O.M.P., DScO

Jane has had an active clinical practice since 1991, first as a certified athletic therapist since 1991, and beginning in 2003 as an osteopathic manual practitioner. She is also registered kinesiologist. Jane continually engages in continuing education courses, most notably an extensive study of Blechschmidt’s embryology with European instructors. (

On the academic side, Jane contributes regularly to the therapeutic literature and is most notably the author of Still’s Fascia (Jolandos 2007) and a contributor to the newly released book Fascia in the Osteopathic Field (Handspring Publishing 2017). Her work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals.

Over the last 15 years, Jane has taught a fluidic approach to connective tissue on four continents and in 10 European countries. Jane also teaches complexity theory, histology, human embryology, techniques of the early osteopaths, spirituality in Osteopathy, and the history of osteopathy. Coupled with dissection of fresh tissue, this extensive background gives Jane the advantage of understanding connective tissue on multiple levels.


Jane Eliza Stark holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Guelph in Biology (1980) and a Master’s degree from Walden University in Clinical Research Administration (2014).

She also holds diplomas from Sheridan College in Sports Injury Management (1990), the College D’études Superior in Somatotheraphy (2001), and the Canadian College of Osteopathy, in Osteopathy (2003).

She has been the director of student research at the Canadian College of Osteopathy in Toronto since 2005.