Brian Mulligan trained as a physiotherapist at the NZ School of Physiotherapy and qualified in 1954. Two years later he commenced in private practice in Wellington where he remained until 2000 when he finally retired from active clinical practice.
Brian’s special interest has always been manual therapy since being introduced to the field by Stanley Paris in the early 1960s. He acknowledges as his mentor, Freddy Kaltenborn, but has also found invaluable the contributions of James Cyriax, Geoff Maitland, Robin McKenzie and Robert Elvey.
Brian was one of small group of physiotherapists who formed the NZ Manipulative Therapists Association in 1968. He and his colleague, Robin McKenzie, were the principle teachers on the newly formed Post graduate program for the Diploma of Manipulative Therapy. Brian joined the international lecturing circuit in 1972. Currently he has taught in 91 cities in the United States of America and 20 countries of the world.
In 1983 Brian relinquished his teaching role on the Diploma programme and began teaching his newly-founded techniques. One of his initial students, Barbara Hetherington, took over his Diploma programme teaching role. She later became one of his original teachers when the Mulligan Concept Teachers Association was formed in 1996.
Brian’s favorite quote has always been Louis Pasteur’s;
In the field of discovery chance only favours the prepared mind
Manual therapists worldwide are fortunate that, by chance and his prepared mind, Brian discovered and developed a new field within manual therapy called “Mobilisations with Movement” (MWMs). This was in 1983 and two years later under similar circumstances he discovered and developed the “Pain Release Phenomenon” techniques (PRPs).
Brian Mulligan wrote his first textbook on his techniques in 1989, and it is now in its 6th edition (Januray 11, 2010). It is now available in multiple languages. He wrote another book in 2003 titled “Self Treatments for the Back, Neck and Limbs.” This was written for the general public and is now in its 3rd edition.
Well over 100 articles supporting Brian’s MWM techniques have been published in scientific journals from around the world. A regularly updated reference section is available on this web site.
Brian has been the recipient of many awards: Honorary Fellowship of the NZ Society of Physiotherapists (1996), Honorary Life Membership of the NZ Society of Physiotherapists (1996), Honorary Life Membership of the NZ Manipulative Therapists Association (1993), Honorary Membership of the NZ College of Physiotherapy (1998), Ball Dynamics Award for Excellence in a Published Case Study (1997), and an Award of Excellence of the World Confederation of Physical Therapists (2007). He also holds an Honorary Teaching Fellowship at the University of Otago, New Zealand.
To meet the huge demand from therapists wishing to learn his techniques and ensure high teaching standards, he set up an international organisation in 1995 to accredit teachers. Currently there are 48 Mulligan Concept Teachers Assn (MCTA) from 18 nations.
Since retiring from active practice he has continued to teach internationally at seminars in many countries, drawing large crowds of physiotherapists and medical practitioners.
Brian Mulligan has been married to his devoted wife, Dawn, for over 50 years. They have a son, two daughters, a grandson and five granddaughters. As a typical New Zealander, he loves the outdoors. He enjoys playing golf and his piano. He had a private pilot’s licence and enjoyed flying, but had to give it up due to his multifaceted professional life. He keeps excellent health and has unbridled energy, which is spent frequently on the golf course.