The roots of craniosacral therapy are based on the experiments and experience of an American osteopath from the last century, Dr. William G. Sutherland (1873-1954). His method of working on the bones of the face and skull, as well as on the membranes and fluctuations in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF or liquor) within them, allowed him to successfully treat patients often diagnosed as incurable by other colleagues.

His research led him to realise that, given their structure, the cranial bones were able to move, producing a movement of flexion and extension of the cranium and the whole body.
biodynamics
By starting to palpate the cranial bones, first roughly and then gradually more gently and delicately, he perceived a sort of rhythmical contracting and expanding movement similar to a pulsation with its own frequency, amplitude, symmetry and quality: a force within the cranium generating bone movement.

This force can be seen in the production and reabsorption of the cerebrospinal fluid which creates a movement of expansion and contraction which spreads from the intracranial membrane system to the whole body.

In the last years of his life, Dr Sutherland started teaching his method and his discoveries on the system of fluids: the focus of his research and experience had in fact now gone from the study of cranial bone movement to the more subtle phenomena of the fluctuations of the fluids.

Dr Sutherland’s discovery goes far beyond the description of a mechanical system. He came to the understanding that the movements he was observing were the expression of the basic life force in operation.
In his teachings, Dr Sutherland wanted to recreate his own journey for his students: starting with the anatomical understanding of the various bones of the skull and the study of their movements, then going on to the intracranial membrane system, and then working with the primary forces, those forces that are at the origin of movement including that of the fluids.

In the years that followed, Dr Rollin E. Becker (1910-1996) continued his research furthering the understanding of the system of fluids and the concept of the "Breath of Life" so dear to Dr Sutherland. His research greatly contributed to highlighting the concept of the inherent state of health present within us all.

William G. Sutherland (1873 - 1954)

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