Brian R. Mulligan

Brian 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”

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 around 50 Mulligan Concept Teachers Assn (MCTA) from 25 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 60 years. They have a son, two daughters, a grandson,  five granddaughters and 4 great grandchildren. 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.


  • 1993 – Honorary Life Membership of the NZ Manipulative Therapists Association

    1996 – Honorary Fellowship of the NZ Society of Physiotherapists

    1996 – Honorary Life Membership of the NZ Society of Physiotherapists

    1997 – Ball Dynamics Award for Excellence in a Published Case Study

    1998 – Honorary Membership of the NZ College of Physiotherapy

  • 2007 – Award of Excellence of the World Confederation of Physical Therapists

    2016 – Honorary Membership of the Col·legi de Fisioterapeutes de Catalunya

    2016 – IFOMPT Maitland Award in Glasgow

    2022 – Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM)

    Honorary Teaching Fellowship at the University of Otago, New Zealand.