William Garner Sutherland, D.O. (1873-1954) discovered and further developed cranial osteopathy in the beginning half of the 1900s. Sutherland found that the 26 cranial bones of the skull have motion that relates with the human body’s level of health. He discovered the concept of a constant rhythmic fluid movement throughout the entire body with the central nervous system having its own involuntary rhythmic motion. Sutherland called the motion of the central nervous system the Primary Respiratory Mechanism.
The Primary Respiratory Mechanism is the inherent intelligence that drives the human machine towards health. It is present in every part of the human body and influences all body function. Osteopathic physicians trained in cranial osteopathy can palpate and initiate a therapeutic response within this system.
Only a physician (D.O./M.D.), dentist (DDS/DMD) or qualified international D.O./M.D. is eligible to receive training in the osteopathic cranial concept and become a member of The Cranial Academy. A simplified form of cranial osteopathy called “Cranio-Sacral Therapy” is taught to other healthcare practitioners such as body workers, massage therapists, physical therapist, and chiropractors. Cranio-Sacral Therapists are not legally qualified to diagnose or treat any medical condition due to not having a medical education or licensure. Cranio-Sacral Therapy is different from Cranial Osteopathy in both principle and practice.