Saturday, June 10, 2017

Cranial Osteopathy vs Craniosacral Therapy

These are similar yet a bit different systems. Both techniques originated from the works of Dr. William Garner Sutherland, DO, who introduced his cranial concept in 1929. It was originally called osteopathy in the cranial field which later was known as cranial osteopathy.

Craniosacral therapy was formed by Dr John Upledger, an osteopath from Michigan.

The main difference between the two techniques are that cranial osteopathy is taught only to osteopaths & manual osteopaths, while craniosacral therapy is taught to everyone else.

Dr Sutherland had been struck by an idea as a student that the bones of the head were beveled as if to indicate motion. He spent the next 20 years or so trying to prove himself wrong. Through a detailed examination of the anatomy of the skull, followed by a series of experiments on his own head and on his patients, he became convinced that there was a subtle motion of the head which could be palpated with experience; and that distortions of the joints between the bones of the skull would create problems in the machine of the body just as distortions of the joints of the body create problems. His treatments were gentle, almost imperceptible movements aimed at restoring free motion of the skull.

Dr. John Upledger was a practicing Osteopath in Michigan when he attended his first cranial osteopathy course. He began practicing, and researching, the motion of the cranial bones. He later decided to rename his technique Craniosacral therapy and begin to teach it in 1983. 
Cranial osteopathy is taught by four teachers at the National Academy of Osteopathy. 

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