1978 I was told my 3 day old son Doran was incurably brain injured
and would do nothing.
had no examples of recovery to encourage me. My only guide was
reasoned thought. I reasoned that medicine was a limited science
which had not successfully explained the guiding principles behind
the early development of the infant’s physical structure.
therapies offered management; “reversibility” was
a forbidden word. Desperate as I was, I explored every avenue
that seemed hopeful.
time I wrote 2 books recording these adventures. The trouble
was that existing therapies relied on making a child use alternative
muscles not restoring the full use of the right muscles. I saw
that as the children grew this poor foundation slowly collapsed
under them. The years of accumulating evidence that brain had
recovery potential was not borne out by the long-term results
of any therapy I knew of. It seemed that if there was another
explanation it must have a guiding first principal that also
applied to normal development, and I had to find it myself. I
knew that every brain-injured child I’d met had a problem
breathing. Professor Patrick Wall Head of Cerebral Studies at
London University encouraged me to take qualifying exams at University
College London and begin my own PhD research in the Psychology
Department. Becoming a scientist was a kind of homecoming.
Wall had become well known for his work on the Gate Theory of
Pain but his focus was now on brain plasticity. He was an ideal
mentor and it was he who also encouraged me to use the term “restoratory” in
the approach I was developing to help brain injured children.
I began to show that often superficially hidden respiratory weaknesses
reduced the quality of the cerebral metabolism and created abnormalities
in the structure and function of the muscular skeletal system.
Moreover, it became clear to me that without normal respiratory
mechanics, metabolic recovery in the brain was impossible.
1993 I developed a separate research project which led me to
found the Hyperbaric Oxygen Trust for children with cerebral
palsy. Through the work of the Charity hyperbaric oxygen for
children with C.P. became internationally recognised. While this
was going on I was trying to establish a sound theoretical basis
for the creation of an exercise technique that would restore
rather than retrain weak respiratory muscles. As I was increasingly
able to develop a respiratory strategy developing weak respiratory
muscles we changed our name to “Advance”.
evidence showed that it was the breathing movement itself that
created muscular and skeletal structure. It was now possible
to systematically begin the restoration of the weak respiratory
muscles of a child with cerebral palsy using an exercise based
on the breath itself. By restoring the respiratory muscles we
began to see children of all ages develop increasingly more normally
for the first time.
was now possible to show a range of deep-seated respiratory weaknesses
in every brain injured child we saw. On analysis it was evident
that these weaknesses had: (1) Altered the electrical feed-forward
from the muscle tissue to the brain; (2) reduced critically important
respiratory pressures within the muscle tissue to the brain;
(3) created the steady onset of muscular deformities; (4) reduced
the efficiency of the cerebral metabolism; (5) frustrated the
inherent restorative capacities of the brain.
saw the therapy began to steadily improve the deformed shape
of the shoulders, rib cage and pelvis of the brain injured child,
gradually reducing curvature of the spine. It began to restore
the structural mechanism required for speech and swallowing.
It began to restore normal digestion; it gradually reduced seizures;
it improved the connection between the trunk and the limbs steadily
allowing an improved capacity for arm and leg movement to develop.
It also began to improve the cerebral metabolism and to improve
intellectual ability. To everyone’s delight this carefully
measured progress was predictable and applied to all our children.
November 2005 Bradford University completed a 3-year PhD study of
my work. This I hope will help to move the therapy further forward
to mainstream recognition and government funding.
Scotson Technique and the evidence in its support is at last gradually
explaining the complex abnormalities of brain injury and introducing
a potential for its reversibility that has not previously been considered
possible. Families from all over the world now visit us. We set
out to make our parents completely competent therapists. Eventually
they can act with the minimum guidance from the centre, thereby
reducing their costs while still ensuring the high quality of the
best wishes and God bless,