Craniosacral osteopathy By Torsten Liem
Osteopathy, developed at the end of the last century by A.T. Still. With its claim to being a holistically oriented healing system, is classified by the use of hands to heal diseases.
All principles of osteopathy are based on the unity of the organism, its self-regulatory and healing forces, the reciprocal influence of the body structure, or tissue, and their function, or physiology, the importance of circulation, as well as putting these insights into practice.
The concept of craniosacral osteopathy was developed at the beginning of the 1930s by William Garner Sutherland. It consists of the application of osteopathic principles on the skull. In addition to the heart rate and the respiratory rhythm, craniosacral osteopathy integrates another rhythmic phenomenon with homeostatic effects called the Primary Respiratory Mechanism. It also refined the skills to release tight body structures with very fine impulses.
Osteopathy does not primarily deal with special techniques. That is why the founder, A.T. Still, has rarely described any techniques in his various publications. Each osteopath will have the capability of developing his own techniques in his practice, which adapt to the individual needs of the patient.
Osteopathy is a specific view point, which enables certain therapeutic procedures to release restricted motion, to enable unrestricted circulation, nerve and energy supply and to release resources which allow healing in the best possible way. Therefore, the art of practicing Osteopathy, which means the consciously done palpation, is based on a philosophic and scientific foundation.
Through palpatory perception of normality or of homeostatic forces, the Craniosacral osteopathy tries to get close to the wholeness of the patient. Above all, the first and most important foundation for the osteopath is the sensory experience of normality, meaning the health in the tissue. That is not a mechanical or technocratical palpation, but a deep, subjective experience, which, according to Sutherland can be experienced most clearly in a state of stillness.
The following part shows the bones of the skull and important anatomical structures.
Lower part of the occipital bone including the supra-occiput develoaps from cartilaginous tissue.
The inter-parietal occiput develops from membranous tissue.
Petrous portion is the evolution from cartilage.
The squamous portion and the tympanic portion develop from membran.
The petrous portion is the part of the skull which ossifies first. In the 22nd foetal week the ossification of the auditory system is already completed. At birth the squamous portion and the tympanic portion are already partly connected, forming the tympano-squamous fissure, which can be a possible location for intraosseous dysfunctions.
The squamous portion, the petrous portion and the styloid process melt together during the first year.
The mastoid process doesn’t develop until after the second year and can not be palpated on a newborn.
The ethmoid bone and the vomer develop from cartilage.
The frontal bone develops from membranous tissue. Only the nasal spine develops from cartilaginous tissue.
In 85 to 90% of the cases, the metopic suture ossifies by the 7th year.
The parietal bone ossifies from membrane. There is one ossification centre located in each parietal eminence.
Maxilla and pre-maxilla are formed from membrane between the 7th and 8th foetal week.
The other bones also develop from membranous tissue.
1. Gnathion is a median point on the tip of the chin of the lower jaw
11. Basion is a median point at the anterior rim of the foramen magnum