In the early 1900’s William Sutherland theorized that the bones of the head (cranium) moved at their junctions or sutures. This was contrary to anatomical teaching of the time which presented a solid skull that moved only at the temporo-mandibular joints and the tiny bones of the ear. Research at Michigan State University in the 1970’s confirmed Sutherland’s theory. Optical and electron microscopy as well as radio wave broadcasts between antennae placed on cranial bones of living subjects measured both the frequency and the amount of the cranial movement.
This movement, the cranial rhythmic impulse follows a rhythm, in humans 10-14 times per minute, 8-12 in horses. It is independent of the respiratory rhythm and is present four months after conception and continues a short time after death. This rhythm can be palpated throughout the whole body and consists of two phases, the flexion phase which presents an external rotation and widening of the body and an extension phase producing internal rotation and narrowing. The rate, amplitude, symmetry, and quality of the craniosacral motion is observed for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
What does this mean for our pets? Restoring the norma lamplitude and symmetry can reduce inflammation and infection, reduce edema, mitigate stress, lower fever, aid digestion and treat problems of the eyes. Cranial-sacral osteopathy is a gentle non-forceful treatment of great benefit to our four legged friends.
Compliments of Maureen B. McIntyre, D.V.M. Holistic Veterinary Health 703-449-9144