SOTO Europe History

The organisation was originally set up by Dr Jonathan Howat. Dr Howat was working in his native Rhodesia when he attended his first SOT seminar, which prompted him to completely change his way of working overnight and practise only SOT chiropractic from that moment on. He then moved to the UK in August 1984. It didn’t take long before other chiropractors were showing an avid interest in what he was doing and asked him if he would teach them the protocols and technique. He had attended several seminars in the USA produced by SORSI (Sacro Occipital Research Society International), and so recruited the services of two dedicated brothers to help. In the winter of 1985, Dr Nelson DeCamp, who was serving on the SORSI board, came over to the UK, and taught the first SOT seminar at the AECC in Bournemouth, to a group of 18 chiropractors. A few weeks later, his brother Dr Cameron DeCamp, President of SORSI at the time, came over and taught the second SOT seminar at the AECC, to the original group of 18 chiropractors. This was the launch of what was to become SOTO EUROPE.

By 1986, the DeCamp brothers had each returned to teach a second series at the AECC. As enthusiasm grew it became apparent to Dr Howat that they needed to become responsible and proactive about providing their own training programme, and so SOTO EUROPE was formed. The original core members included Dr Brian Gwilliam, Dr Ian Hutchinson, Dr James Rousseau, Dr Giles Courtis, Dr Chris Vickers, Dr Brian Carter, Dr Esther Venn, Dr Henryk Kulyna and Dr Jonathan Howat.

SOTO Europe then saw an exponential growth in both the number of delegates and the size of the educational curriculum. The organisation moved from the AECC to hotels around Gatwick and enjoyed a massive growth in interest in one of the greatest defining techniques in the chiropractic profession. Seminars were then held in Birmingham for over a decade before moving to the current location in Marlow. The technique incorporates all aspects of body function, the CNS, the ANS and the peripheral nervous system, soft tissue orthopaedics, cranio-dental studies, paediatrics, cranial and sutural components and an understanding of structural instabilities.

In the early stages, the modular educational system was concocted and put together by James Rousseau and Jonathan Howat as they travelled to Gatwick on Friday nights, prior to the early seminar start on Saturdays! Eventually the modular system evolved properly, which allowed the presenters to add a personal touch to their lecturing, including their own PowerPoint presentations, and to include some anatomy and physiology, embryology and other research material that was pertinent to the subject material. This modular system was later adapted around the SOT world, and has been accepted as a formal teaching process. SOTO EUROPE currently educates about 150 Doctors of Chiropractic a year in the UK, and about 40 Chiropractic students in France.

The organisation continued to grow and evolve and SOTO Europe is now a registered limited company; its full name is Sacro Occipital Technique Organisation (Europe) Ltd and it was incorporated as a limited company on February 12, 2001. The company is run entirely as a non-profit private company limited by guarantee only, with no share capital. The company is run by the Board of Directors, who are all practising chiropractors and who work for SOTO Europe on a voluntary basis, with no financial compensation apart from the repayment of expenses incurred through travel, producing seminar materials etc.

The original ‘parent’ company of all SOT organisations throughout the world was the Sacro Occipital Research Society, which was established in the United States by Dr DeJarnette himself in 1929. This became the Sacro Occipital Research Society International (SORSI) in 1957 and still holds all rights to the teaching of SOT methods. There are now a number of SOT organisations around the world, with more emerging all the time. Usually only one organisation per country or per continent is recognised and accredited by SORSI.

Most recently, approved and recognised SOT organisations around the world have come together under an international alliance, SOTO International (SOTO-I). This includes SORSI, SOTO Europe (SOTO-E), SOTO Australasia (SOTO-A), SOTO Japan, SOTO Brazil, and SOTO South America (SOTO-SA). In 2010 SOTO International oversaw the establishment of standardised universal texts, presentations and certification for the organisations teaching SOT globally, the only chiropractic training organisation in the world to do this.