Concept Published on Jun 13, 2021

Mechanical Link (LMO) is a practical science that must be learned properly.

Each LMO test aims at finding whether an osteopathic lesion is present or absent in a given tissue structure.  Knowing that the treatment of this lesion uses the corresponding test as a starting point, this could be viewed as one more simple technique.  However, the richness of LMO goes well beyond knowing how to do certain tests or how to perform a recoil.  Beyond the technical aspect, LMO is a complete osteopathic method where theory and practice require proper training.


Four unique aspects of LMO teaching

First, the application of each test requires having learned the cutaneous depression technique[1] in order to precisely locate the key points to assess.  It is not always obvious knowing how to simply and quickly come in contact with certain structures such as the filum terminale, the sural nerve, the ovary, the obturator foramen of the coxal bone, the coronary arteries, etc.  LMO allows all practitioners, including those with experience, to rediscover palpated anatomy in completely innovative ways.

Secondly, once the structure has been correctly located, we must know how to execute the tension test and how to find the minimal amount of force necessary but sufficient to « provoke » the structure without mobilising it.  This requires a degree of finesse that may only be acquired under the supervision of an expert eye and hand.

Thirdly, the results obtained are obviously directly related to finding the primary lesion[2] in a given patient.  This lesion may potentially be located away from the symptomatic area or from areas apparently related to the symptoms.  Since the method reveals all the lesions present in the patient and underlines those that truly need to be adjusted, it would be odd to treat the different lesions as we find them[3]. The efficacy of the treatment is related more to the diagnostic strategy than to the knowledge of a list of tests.  Proper learning of inhibitory balance tests to correctly prioritize the lesions is an essential element in acquiring the method.

Fourthly, the recoil is a very particular correction technique with different possible variations.  All of this requires explanations, demonstrations and repetition in order to be mastered perfectly.

For all these reasons, theoretical and practical teaching of the method can only be properly delivered through postgraduate courses given by extremely well qualified teachers[4].


[1] The therapist’s perception of a relief (groove or bump) when the hand quickly and superficially scans the skin.   This surface anatomy is directly related to underlying structures.  The aim of the cutaneous depression technique is to locate and contact the structure to be tested.

[2] As well as the associated lesions to be treated.

[3] There is a fundamental difference between the treatment of the prioritized total lesion as we teach it and the systematic treatment of all the lesions.  In the first instance, treatment is minimal (the minimum that is necessary and sufficient) in the second instance the treatment is maximal (the maximum that is possible and tolerable).

[4] Our teachers are osteopaths DO who are all exclusive LMO practitioners and have several years of experience.



Basic course series

For the above reasons, the LMO methodology is taught over 6 courses so as to gradually cover all the units of the body.  This basic course series allows the therapist to progressively educate his hand and acquire the necessary know-how for a complete treatment of the patient[1].

LMO 1 introduces the fundamental principles of the method over two functional units:  the vertebral axis and the thorax.  The method is already applicable at that level.

LMO 2 completes the skeletal system, using the same principles, with two additional units: the extremities and the intraosseous lines of force (including the articular diastasis).

LMO 3 addresses the cranial sphere with the lines of force of the bony head and the key points of the cranium.

LMO 4 approaches the visceral system with the digestive tract, the urogenital sphere and the organs of the abdomen.

LMO 5 concludes the visceral system with the organs of the thorax and then considers the entire arterial system and the autonomic nervous system that accompanies it.

LMO 6 completes the series with the key points of the peripheral nervous system, including their correlation with the major points of acupuncture.

Although learning LMO requires progressive training over several courses, what is acquired in each course is immediately applicable in clinic.


[1] The diagnosis of the total lesion and the primary lesion being, in each consultation, the essential step to achieving a truly global and etiological osteopathic treatment.


Advanced courses

As with any discipline, basic LMO training calls for advanced courses for practitioners who wish to take it further.  There is a multitude of "optional" tests that are taught in Master level courses.  Despite the obvious advantage of knowing these complementary tests, they are presented to practitioners who meet the necessary prerequisites[1] as they require palpatory experience[2] and proper mastery of the basic tests.  We often present the advanced courses as « the cherry on the cake[3]» of LMO.

Master courses are therefore designed for experienced LMO therapists who wish to further their practice with additional tests so as to refine their diagnostic ability and their therapeutic results in complex clinical cases.

Advanced courses also propose new treatment perspectives such as the regulation of systems or combined adjustment of osteopathic lesions.

Furthermore, while the same methodology applies, the LMO is in constant evolution.  A number of developments resulting from the experience of the entire LMO teaching team[4] are regularly presented in these courses.  Master courses are the reflection of LMO’s permanent spirit of innovation.

Master 1 completes the osteoarticular system (LMO 1 and LMO 2) with the epiphyseal lines, the muscular system and the ligamentous system of the spine, the thorax and the extremities.

Master 2 completes the visceral system and the vascular system (LMO 4 and LMO 5) by integrating new tests of the diaphragm, the perineum, the cerebral arteries and return circulation (venous and lymphatic) in the general examination.

Master 3 completes the nervous system (LMO 6) with the encephalon, the cranial nerves and additional key points of the peripheral nerves.

Master 4 completes the cranium (LMO 3) with the vestibular system, new tests of the bony head and the craniocervical junction as well as a recapitulation of the LMO approach applied to the cranium of the neonate.



[1] See All the courses on lmosteo.com for the basic courses that are prerequisites for each Master course.

[2] For example, the encephalon that requires particular palpation, the venous system that demands proper prior knowledge of the arterial system, the tests of the epiphyseal lines that complete the peripheral articular examination or the vestibular system that may only be correctly integrated once all the basic tests of the cranium are known.

[3] Which presupposes there already is a cake (basic training).

[4] As well as all the LMO practitioners whose feedback from their experience have greatly contributed to the development of the method.  We wish to thank them here for the many ideas they bring and the richness of the discussions they elicit.



Thematic courses

In parallel to the LMO course series, certain clinical themes where LMO brings original solutions are the topic of specific courses.

These courses present all the LMO possibilities with regards to different clinical themes such as osteopathic emergency treatment of athletic injuries, the perineum, the shoulder or scoliosis.

These thematic courses are presented over 2 days and are available to LMO practitioners who wish to know more about a particular field as well as osteopaths from different backgrounds who would like to introduce LMO to their regular practice without necessarily embarking on the complete curriculum (basic course series).


Animal Mechanical Link

For several years, Paul Chauffour has worked on applying the method to horses.  As a result of this experience, a postgraduate Animal LMO (LMOA) course was recently developed, in which animal osteopathy schools have shown interest.  The method gives a truly global understanding of the history of the animal through direct reading of the body even though the complaint is “non verbalizable[1]”.  LMOA brings a true added value to animal osteopathy as the results of the method on the horse or the dog are often rapid and spectacular[2].

The LMOA training is given over 4 postgraduate courses (3 days each) to provide complete care of the animal, from head to toes (or to hoofs).

LMOA 1 presents the Mechanical Link methodology and its practical application on animals with the dermatomes and the occipitovertebropelvic axis.

LMOA 2 covers the articular peripheral skeleton, the intraosseous lines of force and the cranium.

LMOA 3 covers the visceral system and the vascular system of the thorax and the pelvis.

LMOA 4 completes the training by integrating the peripheral vascular system and nervous system.


[1] In animals as in people, the diagnosis relies more on the examination than the interrogation.

[2] Although the method applies chiefly to horses and dogs, it is also transposable to cats, bovine animals, etc.



Access to LMO courses

In countries where osteopathy is officially recognized, LMO courses are exclusively offered to professionals with a degree in osteopathy (or its equivalent: chiropractor, etiopath, etc.) and to students of osteopathy at the end of their curriculum in a recognized institution.

In countries where osteopathy is not yet recognized, LMO courses are available to healthcare professionals with a qualification in manual therapy and a license to practice in their country.

The Animal LMO training applies to professionals with a degree in animal osteopathy and to veterinarians.

Every establishment organizing and hosting LMO courses may have their own set of prerequisites.

The teaching of LMO is in perpetual evolution, so for more information regarding the courses, we refer you to the course calendar.



Eric Prat DO