Cranio-sacral therapy


Cranio-sacral osteopathy was developed by Dr. William Garner Sutherland as part of osteopathy in the 1930s and 1940s. He examined the human skull according to its predisposition to movement and developed a concept that makes the rhythmic flow of cerebrospinal fluid palpable. This rhythm is transmitted to the individual bones and their connections from the skull (cranium) to the spine to the sacrum (sacrum).

All these structures have close connections to the nervous system (cranial and spinal nerves), to the hormonal system (pituitary gland and hypothalamus), to the muscular, vascular and organ systems.

The cranio-sacral rhythm

Diagnosis and therapy in cranio-sacral osteopathy are largely based on the cranio-sacral rhythm.

This rhythm, like heartbeat and breath, is an independent body rhythm with a frequency of about 7-14 cycles per minute. It is presumably caused by the swelling and swelling movement of the cerebrospinal fluid.

Through targeted palpation (palpation), the osteopath can perceive the cranio-sacral movements on the skull and the rest of the body and thus localize restrictions on the system’s ability to move. For treatment, with very gentle, but specific techniques, the free flow in the restricted structures is restored.

Cranio-sacral therapy often has a positive influence on diseases and symptoms of the central nervous system. Cranio-sacral therapy causes a general strengthening of vital functions and a balance in states of tension.

General application examples for treatment with craniosacral osteopathy

  • Acute and chronic pain
  • Consequences of accidents (whiplash)
  • Sports injuries
  • Rheumatic diseases
  • Spinal diseases
  • Temporomandibular joint problems
  • Aftercare for dental or orthodontic procedures
  • Migraine, tinnitus
  • Vigor (dizziness)
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Stress and test anxiety
  • Hormonal imbalances, e.g. during menopause
  • Compensation of vegetative imbalances
  • positive influence on high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Nervous system diseases
  • Aftercare for stroke, craniocerebral injuries

Application examples of cranio-sacral osteopathy around birth and of babies/children

  • Birth preparation, and postnatal care
  • Developmental disorders of infants, children and adolescents

For more information about cranio-sacral applications in children, see Therapy spectrum
Paediatric osteopathy