The Bugnet method has been applied in the Netherlands since 1948, after being introduced to the Netherlands by Madame Bugnet.
Madame Th. Bugnet-van der Voort was born Dutch and married the Frenchman Bugnet. She obtained her kinetic therapy diploma in France and started building up a system of exercises with so-called 'auto-résistance' in her physiotherapy practice. These were exercises in which the patient provided (increased to maximum) the resistance himself. She got the idea from a book by S. Bennett: “Old age its cause and prevention “(1936). While treating patients in her practice, Madame Bugnet applied muscular manipulation and other resistances during these 'auto-résistance exercises'. And so she arrived at a new method of treatment in an experimental manner.
The success of this method, that she also called neuromyotherapy, was difficult to explain at that time.
During the treatment she also made use of posture and movement patterns and the 'overflow of excitation' (Kabat). A motoric effect is obtained by administering peripheral stimuli. In fact she was building up a facility technique, the same as was used later in the P.N.F. method from Knott and Voss. In this way she was well-known in physiotherapy and by groups of patients.
The Bon Départ method (system of exercises for writing instruction in primary education) was developed by her.
Madame Bugnet, who died in 1951, transferred the development of her work to her Dutch and French assistants. In regard to the Bon Départ this was Mrs. A. Boon in Breda, who was actively giving courses, readings and lessons until she retired in 1971.
The physiotherapy method was continued and developed further by Mrs. W. van Gunsteren-Woltjer, together with a French physiotherapist, Madame O. de Richemont and the Dutch physiotherapist Mrs. L. F. van Wermeskerken - Dutruy van Haeften.
Mrs. van Gunsteren and Mrs. van Wermeskerken have given lessons to Dutch and foreign physiotherapists who were interested in the Bugnet method for many years. The lessons were given in The Hague, Leiden, Amsterdam, Enschede, Groningen and Paris. In 1954 an instruction film about the Bugnet method (intended for physiotherapists) was produced by UNFI-film in Utrecht. In 1970 a demonstration film was made for rehabilitation specialists on video. The intention was always to make the Bugnet method accessible to all physiotherapists so that they could make use of the method as part of the remedial therapy. This target has been reached, in spite of the fact that some people would rather have kept the Bugnet method in a separate and closed educational system, just as Mensendieck and Cesar have done with their systems.
Mrs. van Gunsteren is the inspirational driving force behind the compilation of the practical manual for the Bugnet method for physiotherapists. In 1968 the French publication: “Rééducation Musculaire à base de Réflexes Posturaux” (Masson et Cie – Parijs) appeared.The Dutch edition appeared in 1973: “Bugnet posture resistance therapy” by W. van Gunsteren, O. de Richemont, L. van Wermeskerken.
In the 90's the treatment method took a backseat. It has been decided to once again make the method more widely known because the results of exercising with Bugnet appear to be very favourable for various patients.
An English translation appeared in 2004 thanks to the late Mrs. L.F. van Wermeskerken: “Muscle Training with Postural Resistance” (Eburon academic publishers, Delft).
A Chinese translation, produced at the initiative of Mr.F. van Gunsteren, is available since 2006.