resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
October, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 10
CranioSacral Therapy vs. Cranial Osteopathy: Differences Divide
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
CranioSacral Therapy, which I developed in the 1970s, is compared frequently to cranial osteopathy, developed by Dr. William Sutherland. Although Dr. Sutherland's discovery regarding the flexibility of skull sutures led to the early research behind CranioSacral Therapy - and both approaches affect the cranium, sacrum and coccyx - the similarities end there.
What was to become cranial osteopathy began as the idea of an osteopathic student in Kirksville, Missouri, in the early 1900s.Dr. William Sutherland saw that the bones of the skull were designed to allow for movement in relationship to one another. It was a radical idea that flew in the face of American and British anatomy textbooks, which taught that skull bones fuse together before adulthood.
To test his theory, Dr. Sutherland filled a skull with dry beans and added water. This caused the skull bones to move along the suture lines, and ultimately to disarticulate. He also performed makeshift experiments on himself with helmet-like devices that imposed variable controlled and sustained pressures on different parts of his head. His wife recorded personality changes, head pain and coordination problems he displayed in response to different pressure applications.
Based on his experiments, Dr. Sutherland developed a system of examination and treatment for the bones of the skull that became known as cranial osteopathy. Because so little was known about how it worked - and patient results seemed miraculous at times - Sutherland's system acquired an esoteric reputation.
Conversely, the origin of CranioSacral Therapy can be traced to the accidental discovery of the craniosacral system during a seemingly routine surgery in 1970. At the time, I had a unique view of the dura mater, the outer layer of the meningeal membrane in the neck. Ordinarily compromised as part of surgical procedure, the dura mater was deliberately left intact during this surgery to prevent any risk of meningeal infection.
My task as a surgical assistant was to hold the dura mater still while the surgeon scraped a calcium plaque off its surface. No matter how I tried, I was unable to do it. The membrane continued to move rhythmically at a rate of about 10 cycles per minute. Neither my colleagues nor any medical text I consulted could explanation this phenomenon.
Still curious about what I had seen, I enrolled two years later in a seminar that explained Dr. Sutherland's ideas and taught some of his evaluation and treatment techniques. Coupling my scientific background with tactile sensitivity, I surmised that the rhythmical motion I had seen during surgery could have been caused by a hydraulic-type system functioning inside a membranous sac encased within the skull and canal of the spinal column. After further study and research, I refined Dr. Sutherland's techniques and successfully incorporated them into my private medical practice.
In 1975, I was invited by Michigan State University to lead the world's first task force to study and verify the mobility of cranial sutures and bones. For the next five years, I led a team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists and bioengineers, and together we researched the basics and potential for performing therapy on the craniosacral system.
Through an extensive series of studies and experiments, we demonstrated how the craniosacral system could be used to assess and improve numerous health problems involving the brain and spinal cord. Yet this was a very different approach than that used in cranial osteopathy. Here we were focusing not on the bones of the skull, but on the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
We verified that the craniosacral system does indeed operate like a semi-closed hydraulic system. Pressures build as the amount of cerebrospinal fluid increases in the system, forcing the fluid to move up and down the spinal cord. When the fluid moves, the membranes containing it also move, normally at a rate of 6-12 cycles per minute.
CranioSacral Therapy practitioners are trained to gently monitor this rhythm to detect and release imbalances and restrictions in the membranes that could potentially cause sensory, motor or neurological dysfunctions. As such, CranioSacral Therapy is never intended to cure disease, but simply to facilitate the body's ability to self-correct. It offers a comprehensive, whole-body structural and functional evaluation protocol.
Even today, the focus of cranial osteopathy remains on manipulating the sutures of the skull. With CranioSacral Therapy, the bones of the skull are involved in that they serve as "handles" for the practitioner to use to access and affect the membrane system that attaches to those bones.
Another major difference between the two approaches is in the quality of touch. In general, the manipulations used in cranial osteopathy are often heavy and directive. Practitioners of CranioSacral Therapy usually use a light touch, scientifically measured to be between 5 and 10 grams. That's about the weight of a U.S. nickel resting in the palm of your hand. This gentle quality often belies the effectiveness of the therapy. Most patients report feeling nothing more than subtle sensations during a typical session.
Yes, CranioSacral Therapy and cranial osteopathy are quite different. Yet they remain linked in history by two osteopaths who trusted their observations and continued undaunted in their quests to prove their theories.
Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.