Craniosacral Therapy - The History of Craniosacral Therapy

extracts from 'Wisdom In The Body - The Craniosacral Approach To Essential Health'
by Michael Kern, published by Thorsons/HarperCollins

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"Worms will not eat living wood where the vital sap is flowing; rust will not hinder the opening of a gate when the hinges are used each day.
Movement gives health and life. Stagnation brings disease and death."
- proverb in traditional Chinese Medicine.


"My belief is in the blood and flesh as being wiser than the intellect. The body-unconscious is where life bubbles up in us. It is how we know that we are alive, alive to the depths of our souls and in touch somewhere with the vivid reaches of the cosmos."
D. H. Lawrence.

Around the start of the 20th century, a final-year student of osteopathy, William Garner Sutherland, was examining a set of disarticulated bones of a human skull in his college laboratory. Like other students of his time, Sutherland had been taught that adult cranial bones do not move because their sutures (joints) become fused. However, he noted that he was holding in his hands adult bones which had become easily separated from each other.

Like the gills of a fish.

While examining the bevel-shaped sutures of a sphenoid and temporal bone, Sutherland had an insight which changed the course of his life. He described how a remarkable thought had struck him like a blinding flash of light. He realized that the sutures of the bones he was holding resembled the gills of a fish and were designed for a respiratory motion. He didn’t understand where this idea came from, nor its true significance, but it echoed through his mind.

William Sutherland set out to try prove to himself that cranial bones do not move, just as he had been taught. As a true experimental scientist, he reasoned that if cranial bones did move and that if this movement could be prevented, it should be possible to experience the effect. So he designed a kind of helmet made of linen bandages and leather straps which could be tightened in various positions, thus preventing any potential cranial motion from occurring.

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