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Viola Muriel Frymann was born in the UK on 18th July, 1921 and spent her childhood in Nottingham.

“I wanted to become a ballet dancer” she often said. But her dream was shattered one day by a serious accident occurred to her ankle. “When I recovered from my disappointment because I could no longer dance, osteopathy became my only thought. I had known the potential of this profession since I was a child ..” Her family would turn to an osteopathic physician for all health problems, in particular her father’s, but also her own since she was – she said “a fragile child”.

So she took up scientific studies and, as her father advised her, she completed the University of London Medical school in 1945. It was then wartime, and the London osteopathy School was closed down. She worked in a medical practice for a few years, then – determined in her choice – she decided to leave for California to study osteopathy and enrolled in the Osteopathic College for Physicians and Surgeons in Los Angeles

At the beginning she was disappointed because she couldn’t find what she was looking for, so she concentrated on personal studying and on reading the old texts of osteopathy in the College Library.

When she ended her study, at the beginning of the ‘50s, she was ready to go back home but a new reason held her in the United States: she met the man who later became her husband and she moved to San Diego, in the La Jolla  suburb.  Their family grew there and she started her practice in a building near the ocean: the Yellow House.

In 1952, a meaningful meeting caused her professional pathway to change direction. She took part in a cranial osteopathy course in Denver with Dr. William G. Sutherland. “A distinguished man, tall and white haired, with a kind and cheerful manner”.

This meeting took place at a particularly painful time in her life, marked by thee loss of her son. The following years were characterized by intensive research, enriched by the interaction with colleagues such as Rollin Becker, Harold Magoun, Irvin Korr, Amorita Treganza.

She committed herself with determination to the defence of Traditional Osteopathy, which is true to the founder’s teachings. “We conceive osteopathy in synchronicity with Dr. Still and Dr. Sutherland” she said during a lesson.

In 1978, the “College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific” was founded in California and she became an osteopathy teacher there upon the Principal’s invitation.

In the meantime, the work in the “yellow house” proceeded and the number of paediatric patients turning to her increased until she ended up working mainly with children.

During a conference she described her vision of the future “I imagine a center for the osteopathic treatment of children where delivery problems can be recognized and corrected and where prevention, a fundamental aspect of the osteopathic practice, allows children to express their potential in the best way …this is the promise of osteopathy to children”.

This dream became true and in 1982 the ”Osteopathic Center for Children” was founded in San Diego, 54th Place.

A special place. A simple and friendly structure surrounded by a garden with bouganvilleas, pine and lemon trees.  The clinics are dedicated to families with children coming from all over the world, especially children afflicted by neurological problems. A  part of the structure hosts the school of Osteopathy, where international courses are held. 

With her daily work, carried out with commitment and great professionalism, Dr. Frymann became an international reference point for paediatric osteopathy.

Her pathway was also characterized by intense research activity, with the publication of a range of scientific papers, among which:

  • The relation of disturbances of the craniosacral mechanisms to symptomatology of the newborn: study of 1250 infants.
  • Study of the cranial rhythmic movements in living being. This study was subsequently deepened in collaboration with Dr. Moskalenko (Russia)
  • Effects of osteopathic medical management on neurological development in children (in collaboration with the neurologist, Dr. Springall).
  • Learning difficulties of children viewed in the light of the osteopathic concept.


Her teachings spread in countries all over the world. She was invited several time to France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, Denmark, Japan, China, Soviet Union, Canada, Australia.

Among her precious collaborators, Anna Marshall and Sharon Lee Master have been close to her especially in the last years. They supported her in the organization of work, teaching activities and dissemination of osteopathy.

Dr. Viola M. Frymann ascended to the heavens on 23rd January. The memorial service was celebrated on 27 February 2016 at “St. James by the Sea” Church in La Jolla.

Those who have known her will remember her as an example of Great Osteopath and Luminous Guide, a humble woman with a strong personality and very deep humanity, not told with words but testified with her Presence.


Dott.ssa Viola Frymann

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