Osteopathy in the Cranial Field: the Concept of Primary Respiration

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William Garner Sutherland D.O. was a Student of Dr. Still. He was intrigued by the complexity of how the bones of the skull were joined together. Throughout his years of practice with diligent research and study he gradually developed a revolutionary expansion of the osteopathic concept. He called his discovery “Osteopathy in the Cranial Field.” At the core of this discovery is the concept of Primary Respiration. He determined that there is a palpable movement within the body that occurs in conjunction with the motion of the bones of the head. This rhythmic alternating expansion and contraction of all tissues that exists in every cell of the body can be felt and utilized by trained physicians. Almost imperceptible alterations of the skulls natural configuration or movement could lead to disorders such as colic, or delayed development in children. Trauma affecting this mechanism may later cause low back problems, headaches, breathing problems, fatigue, digestive disorders, joint pains, menstrual dysfunction, and repetitive strain injuries such as tendinitis.

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