The ‘Douglas-Mort’ practice

CORONAVIRUS: As the country gradually eases from lockdown we are following government advice with strict hygiene and safety protocols and are gradually extending our special clinic sessions. For patients who are in pain, or suffering an exacerbation of their symptoms which are worsening, or are likely to become acute and might without treatment become more serious, Rowan is offering weekly special clinic sessions with appointments available if you are in need of treatment. We shall also in time be reviewing the situation about regular scheduled appointments, so please phone the practice number for more up to date information. Meanwhile if you feel you need treatment sooner rather then later, please contact us by phone where we can discuss the situation and arrange an appointment. Telephone:- 01297 639191

If you have just arrived here by redirection from our old website at ‘’ we wish to inform you that we have retired as osteopaths and are now in practice as Craniosacral therapists, however our practice ethos and high standards of patient treatment and care remain unchanged . Please
 go to our latest ‘NEWS UPDATE’ where we give more information on our new practice name, status, and the changes to our website.

Here at ‘ THE DOUGLAS-MORT PRACTICE’ we are the longest established practice in Devon and the West Country with specialists in a particularly gentle and useful approach derived from the osteopathic studies and developed by WG Sutherland, this is sometimes called the cranial approach or cranio-sacral therapy.

As Sutherland Practitioners who follow the work of WG Sutherland and his forbear AT Still, principals DAVID and ROWAN DOUGLAS-MORT each have over 44yrs of clinical experience in these skills, and currently lecture and tutor on post-graduate courses in colleges of osteopathy both in the the UK and in Europe.

Our special approach to treatment here at the Douglas-Mort Practice as Sutherland Cranial Practitioners is where we utilise the cranio-sacral approach. As we do NOT use any heavy or forceful manipulative techniques, this greatly enhances the safety, benefit, and the relaxing qualities of treatment for patients.
Feedback from patients tells us that our approach is effective and well tolerated by everyone, even the most sensitive individual.  Our gentle approach is very safe and helpful for people of all ages and all stages of life, from tiny babies to senior citizens.

For those of you who appreciate our Sutherland Cranial Practitioner approach to patient care here at the Douglas-Mort practice, we are also occasionally able to provide treatment for your pets and companion animals, but these services are not currently available due to the coronavirus situation.

Stop Press  [A.S.A. regulations]

Currently due to unfortunate recent antagonism towards complementary medicine in some quarters, the Advertising Standards Authority [ASA] now requires that our website information only lists us as being able to help patients suffering from the complaints for which there is existing high level research or gold standard proof, [i.e double blind trials] that manual therapy is efficacious.

This poses a problem for cranio-sacral therapy, as double blind research trials usually require in the order of £800,000. and usually considerably more  to fund each individual trial, and the requirements of double blind trials are frequently unsuited technically and ethically to a ‘patient centred’ individually tailored approach. Another concern arises from the recent doubts voiced in the scientific world about the reproducibility, and hence ultimate strength of validity of ‘double blind’ trials within the field of drug therapy, medicine and biology.

Biological systems are sensitive, and human beings even more so; as an example, drug reactions and interactions between drugs can be very variable and not always predictable from one person to another. Placebo and other effects which confound research, are also recently becoming recognised as an inherent difficulty found even in double-blind trials… hands on treatment is essentially a ‘drug free’ therapy and does not rely on the use of prescription drugs in the treatment of patients. As Sutherland practitioners we work alongside other health professionals and other treatment modalities where necessary. Emphatically our focus is ALWAYS to support a very high quality of patient care.

[As a side note: All practitioners in this practice are fully compliant with state regulations, continuing professional development/updating, and carry full insurance for treating both people and animals.] Regarding funding for suitable research into manual therapies, this is a problem. As there is currently no government funding for such research, and sadly the drug companies would not be interested in funding research into drug free treatments, we currently have no outside financing for our research.This means that funding has of necessity to come from the professionals themselves, so costs have to be kept to reasonable levels.  

However, whilst we do not have ‘double blind’ research evidence regarding many conditions that our patients say that we have successfully helped them with, we as responsible practitioners are gathering a growing body of case studies, qualitative research studies, practice audits, testimonials, and affirmations that cranio-sacral approach to treatment has been highly beneficial in many other conditions that we may not mention here. Practitioners are doing their very best to progress responsibly with research despite an environment that is not helpful to these endeavours. 

Historically osteopathy and Sutherland’s cranial sacral approach which was derived from osteopathy, has been in existence as a treatment able to help many conditions and has been well respected for this by growing numbers of people since 1874. By the time physiotherapy came into being in 1895 the osteopathic colleges were already producing graduate osteopaths by the hundreds.   

Due to our endeavours to comply with ASA regulations we are very limited as to the information that we may provide via our website. If you have a query about SUTHERLANDS cranial sacral approach that we are unable to cover in these web pages, or need advice regarding a problem please phone us on 01297 639191 [leave your name and phone number so that we can call you back] and we shall be happy to help. 

We are currently permitted by the ASA to inform you that we are able to treat the following conditions. In line with ASA regulations we will update this list regularly as changes occur.

Hands on therapy can be safely used to complement standard medical treatment thereby giving additional patient support.

  • Arthritic pain- joint aches often accompanied by stiffness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Neck ache
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Rheumatic pain
  • Backache
  • Circulatory problems
  • Digestion problems
  • some Joint pains
  • Lumbago- back ache
  • Neuralgia- shooting pains
  • Sciatica
  • Inability to relax and tension
  • some minor injuries
  • Generalised Aches and pains
  • Back pain, general acute and chronic
  • Cramps
  • Muscle spasms
  • Headaches