Cover image for Robert Fulford, D.O. and the Philosopher Physician
206 pages, 6" x 9"
ISBN: 0-939616-36-X

Robert Fulford, D.O. and the Philosopher Physician

Price: $29.95


Robert Fulford, D.O. (1905-1997) was an important, if enigmatic, figure in late twentieth-century osteopathy. Trained at the Kansas City School of Osteopathy and Surgery (class of 1941), he was a strong believer in the "triune" nature of man---physical, mental, and spiritual---and the importance of diagnosing and treating the whole person, not just the physical symptoms. 

Dr. Fulford's career was a testament to this ideal, what A.T. Still called the philosopher physician. In the mid-1940s he studied cranial osteopathy with William Garner Sutherland and became a lifelong member (and one-time president) of The Cranial Academy. During the course of a practice that spanned six decades he explored a wide spectrum of scientific and philosophical ideas about the basis and mechanics of life. Nothing was off limits---field theory, Aryuvedic medicine, biomagnetics, psychological and subtle energy medicine, crystals. Always he followed Sutherland's advice to "dig on," integrating whatever was useful into the practice of what he termed "twenty-first century medicine."

Robert Fulford, D.O. and the Philosopher Physician is both an intellectual biography and a practical introduction to Dr. Fulford's methods of diagnosis and treatment. In addition to tracing the principal figures and ideas that influenced his thought, there are sample protocols of Fulford's history-taking, physical examination and general treatments, and exercises for learning to discern the human energy field ("etheric body") and treating with "intention."

Read an excerpt (PDF)


  • Foreword by Anthony Chila, D.O., F.A.A.O. 
  • Introduction 
  • Ch. 1: Impact on the Profession 
  • Ch. 2: The Materialist-Vitalist Dilemma: What is Life? 
  • Ch 3: This Doesn’t Look Like Osteopathy! A Life’s Journey 
  • Ch. 4: From Philosophy to Methodology: The Constitution of Man 
  • Ch. 5: Scientific Validation of the Human Energy Field: Fulford’s Contemporaries 
  • Ch. 6: The Significance of Respiration, Including the First Breath
  • Ch. 7: Diagnosing with Dr. Fulford 
  • Ch. 8: Treating in the Style of Dr. Fulford 
  • Ch. 9: Adjunctive Modalities 
  • Ch. 10: An Expanded Osteopathic Concept: Keeping Up with Progressive Medicine and Science 
  • App. A: Core Statement 
  • App. B: Fulford’s Last Presentation to the Profession: Day One 
  • App. C: Fulford’s Last Presentation to the Profession: Day Two 
  • App. D: Selections from Dr. Fulford’s Case Files 
  • App. E: Daily Supplemental Exercises 
  • App. F: Bibliography


"This book is a scholarly but readable treatise designed to advise and inform. It rings true. I recognize much in the book of the gentle but enquiring man that I knew. There is no attempt to mystify or deify Fulford. On the contrary, Zach Comeaux has concentrated on the philosophy rather than the personality. He explains the concepts clearly, picks up loose ends and appears genuinely to want to pass on to us everything he knows. True to the example of Dr. Fulford himself, this is a faithful attempt to share with his colleagues the osteopathic insights that Zach Comeaux derived from the privilege of working so closely with this unique and enigmatic master of osteopathy."
—Nicholas Handoll, The Osteopath

"An interesting read for fans of osteopathy, its history, and its leading lights. It is a worthy tribute to the spirit of a man whose inquiring mind led him down wildly diverging paths in his endeavor to understand and treat the whole person."
—Structural Integration