The difference between Cranial Osteopathy and Cranial Chiropractic

Craniopathy, or the study of dysfunction related to the skull was pioneered early in the 20th century by the Chiropractor and developer of Sacro-Occipital Technique, Major Bertrand de Jarnette.

W. Sutherland DO was developing cranial osteopathy around the same era. Cranial Osteopathy developed to become increasingly gentle pressure, applied only to the external skull, in its method of analysis and correction.

De Jarnette however realised that the connection of the dural membranes (part of the meninges - membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.) to the sacrum bone in the pelvis was of crucial importance. He discovered that by stabilising the function of the pelvis first, more extensive cranial work could be applied successfully.

The eminent neurosurgeon, Alf Brieg MD, who systematically studied the biomechanical (movement and positional), influences affecting the nervous system, further verified the importance of the relationship between skeletal structure and the dural membranes in his work.

The majority of cranial work within chiropractic was developed within de Jarnette’s SOT organisation.

The SOT organisations, SORSI (Sacro-Occipital Research Society International) in the USA, and SOTO Europe (Sacro-Occipital Technique Organisation) teach and examine the study of cranial work leading to a certification in Craniopathy, hence a Craniopath is a practitioner who has gained this certification.


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