The founding of the Practice

The original Honiton Osteopathic Centre, 

‘The Douglas-Mort Practice’ was founded in 1982 by David and Rowan Douglas-Mort; it was to our knowledge the very first Osteopathic practice to bring the benefits of Cranial Osteopathy to Devon and the West Country. For at least 28 years the centre was situated in the High St premises the ‘Manor House’, a grade 2 listed building which amongst other uses, was formally an old coaching inn on the route to London.

Prior to opening the original Honiton Osteopathic Centre  ‘The Douglas-Mort Practice’ functioned in South West Wales for several years before moving to Devon. The West Country is an area that we both like and have strong family connections with.
The original Honiton Osteopathic Centre is now closed but was an important part of our history in the West country

Over the last 46 years years we have continued to develop the Douglas-Mort Practice – now based in Axminster having moved from Honiton in 2021. We have continued to develop our skills and after deciding to deregister as osteopaths in 2020, we are now continuing in practice as Sutherland Practitioners. We are pleased to be able to offer a very gentle Cranio-sacral therapy approach for people of all ages.  

Practice ethos

Our practice ethos here at ‘The Douglas-Mort Practice’ has grown and matured in its individual flavour over our 46years as practitioners, as our skills and understanding of the ‘healing arts’ has developed. We always as ever strive to extend the very best standard of clinical care, comfort, courtesy and honesty to all our patients. We undertake research, upgrade our skill and knowledge base regularly, and have standards which are high and unapologetically old fashioned. We always strive to prioritise the needs of our ongoing patients, but we are pleased to take on new patients as and when we are able in order to offer those in need the benefits of our approach to treatment.

In this section

Who are we?

Find out a little more about us and who we are.


Read the latest news from The Douglas-Mort Practice.

Contact Us

We can be contacted on 01297 639191 and we would be delighted to talk to you.

See our contact details

In 2005 the old Honiton Osteopathic centre took part in some interesting externally supervised research including a practice audit, an experiment on palpation, research into animal treatment, and several formalised case studies. We hope to publish these at some point and continue to develop further projects in this area subject to financial constraints.

Funding within the field of hands on research is very hard to obtain as by it’s very nature the cranio-sacral approach is independent of the drug industry and therefore does not attract large development grants from government or industry. Consequently such research has to be independently funded with almost all of it financed by practitioners themselves, however resources are desperately lacking. Without the additional funding for research needed to analyse scientifically that the wide range of ailments that our patients have told us that Sutherland therapy has helped them with is proven, we will not be able to keep abreast of the increasing demands for ‘evidence based’ medicine.

Currently in progress

As part of our professional development we extend our study of psychology and the behavioural sciences, and continually update our own clinical knowledge and skills. We are currently involved in teaching all aspects of Cranial Osteopathy including paediatrics, and in post-graduate course development within the profession. In 2009 we  started to teach postgraduate students Equine Cranial Osteopathy, the first module was held in the spring, and more will be scheduled for future years we hope. Currently we are planning a text book on this subject.

The emphasis in our work is always on making treatment as effective, comfortable and acceptable for the patient as possible, and we are prepared to investigate as many angles as necessary to help our patients.

Cranio-sacral treatment today in our practice

We aim to make your treatment as effective, comfortable and relaxing as possible. To do we so use the most gentle and least traumatic treatment approaches possible, concentrating on ‘release’ type techniques, and ‘cranial’ techniques to assist your body. Indeed many patients feel so relaxed that they often doze off during treatment!

All of the approaches and techniques originally developed by Sutherland are in use today by us here in our practice. We believe that it is vitally important to enhance the natural re-establishment of the underlying deep tissue function or ‘involuntary motion’ in a persons body as a prerequisite of good health. Once the integrity of deep tissue function is restored, and coordinated with this process we believe this assists the return of normal function to the joints, muscles, nerves and organs of the body. Working through the connective tissues, we use the advanced and gentle techniques of Dr Sutherland, particularly the ‘Balanced Membranous Tension’ techniques, which are designed to release abnormal restrictions, compressions and stresses, and guide the structures of the body back to a more comfortable functional relationship.

The use of these gentle, sustained, focused and guiding readjustment techniques, we believe allows the body to make and retain the corrective processes more comfortably. We do not use any techniques which have a potential to add additional increments of trauma to the already traumatised body structure, this is against our ethos. Our approach to treatment is that our patients feel very safe, comfortable and relaxed.