Remembering Leon Chaitow and a donation of his first book on Osteopathy

It was wonderful to welcome Nick Chaitow and his daughter Laura and son Max to BCOM today.

Nick Chaitow’s father, Leon Chaitow, graduated from BCOM in 1960. He was the first Osteopath appointed as a consultant by the UK Government to a medical practice. For 11 years he was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster.

He was the author/editor of over 70 books and founding Editor-in-Chief of peer-reviewed & Medline indexed Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies (Elsevier).

He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the University in November 2005 for “Services to Complementary and Osteopathic Medicine”.

Until the end of 2017 he continued to teach and practice part-time in London, when not in Corfu, Greece where he focused on his writing until he passed away in September 2018.

Leon’s son Nick kindly donated a signed copy of Leon’s first book on Osteopathy today. He had the chance to meet with tutors and staff.

Leon Chaitow was a cousin of Stanley Lief, who founded BCOM in 1936.


A tribute to Leon Chaitow: 7th December 1937 – 20th September 2018

Leon Chaitow was a highly respected figure within the osteopathic community and an alumnus of the college.  Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies (JBMT) since 1996, Leon wrote numerous major textbooks on manual medicine.

Mr Chaitow had a long history with BCOM and came to study at the college in 1956 when it was the British College of Naturopathy & Osteopathy (BCNO). At that time Stanley Lief, BCOM’s founder, was still Dean. He graduated in 1960 and went on to train in Acupuncture and Cranial Osteopathy. Leon served as Chief External Examiner at the Israeli College of Natural Health Sciences, Tel Aviv, Israel and External Examiner at the College of Osteopaths in London.

Leon was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the University of Westminster for ‘services to osteopathy and complementary medicine’ in 2005, and also by the British Naturopathic Association in 2007. Over the years Leon was invited to speak at international osteopathic, chiropractic, physiotherapy and naturopathic conferences in North America, Australia and Europe, including presenting a keynote speech at the International Conference on Advances in Osteopathic Research (ICAOR).

Mr Chaitow continued to be actively involved with BCOM and became President of the BCOM Alumni Association in 2013. He saw the role of alumni relations as an important factor in advancing the profession and delivered guest lectures to our students and alumni. He was a keynote speaker at ICAOR in 2012 and 2017 and was an honoured guest at BCOM’s graduation ceremonies over the years.

In early 2018 he found himself in failing health. Nevertheless, in that time, he was able to complete his last book, Fascial Dysfunction 2e, released by Handspring Publishers in November 2018, and made arrangements for editorial succession of JBMT.