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  • Phil Steward

The origins of ALBT

I started treating people when I was 21, (close to 30 years now). I started as a massage therapist then kept adding skill sets to my practice. Sports Massage, quickly followed by Sports Injury Treatment (bit more physio like). A couple of years later off to India to learn Ayurvedic Massage. Then I studied an Advanced Diploma of Manipulative Therapy, (a course designed and taught by osteopaths, teaching manipulation and mobilisation techniques over a 2 year duration). Next on the list was a mobilisation technique the Dorn Method, based on the work of a German bodyworker Dieter Dorn. Then procedural Bowen.

With these techniques I was successful and a busy therapist getting good results and having a busy clinic. BUT something was missing, I had learned various different assessment techniques / protocols to use, but they were clumsy and took a lot of treatment time and in hind sight not very precise. My treatments relied on palpation. In the ability to "trace" lines of dysfunction and trust this palpation to release the tightest of areas.

Then I discovered Graham "Penno" Pennington's work and his use of assessment using 'SOT' techniques to assess the dura mater for restrictions, and thus have a clear guide to exactly where the restrictions are and more importantly when you have corrected them. This allied with palpation skills is in my opinion the 'holy grail' of body work.

It gives the therapist the ability to look, feel and analyse the body, to get a clear understanding of where the problem all starts. It removes the need to "treat the area of pain", and gives you the tools to see and look deeper than 95% of other therapists. Who else can have a client on the table with lower back pain and sciatica and with one turn of the head understand that the primary dysfunction effecting the alignment of the pelvis and lower back comes from the neck? Most therapists would spend their session on the lower back, glues and hamstrings working on the wrong place.

From this I wanted to remove the guess work from body work, to teach it from the "ground up" with assessment at the front and centre of all your work. That is the origin of this course. (Only about 20 years of work)

Every day therapists who work this way get results in clinic that other therapists have failed to achieve. We all have nick names like "magic", "wizard" and "genius", but the truth is we just know where to look. There is no magic, just an understanding of the body and you can have it too!

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