dreamstime_s_23315755History of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy originated back in the early 1900’s with the discoveries of an Osteopath, Dr William Garner Sutherland. He was fascinated by the bones of the skull and realized that although he was taught that the joints of the skull were fused together at adolescence, that this was not so. They in fact were designed to accommodate movement and he designed a helmet, which was capable of restricting individual cranial bones, and experimented on himself to prove his theory. He found that the restriction of different areas of the skull affected his body and health in different ways. He then focused on Primary Respiration (the breathing and movement of body tissues, as opposed to secondary or lung breathing) and on what he called inhalation and exhalation. He wrote about an approach where no force from outside was used, but the potency or life force is trusted to initiate and carry out healing processes. He referred to this as the Intelligence of the body and the ordering system behind this, The Breath of Life. The cranial approach was carried on through a lineage of Osteopaths, the most prominent being Rollin Becker and James jealous.

In the 1970’s an American osteopath, Dr John Upledger DO started to teach what he called CranioSacral Therapy to non-osteopaths. His work continues to be taught worldwide by the Upledger Institute.

Dr Franklin Sills DO further developed cranial work and created the Karuna Institute in Devon England in 1982. He began to teach cranial work to non-osteopaths, along with his wife Maura Sills and Dr Claire Dolby DO. Franklyn and the teachers at the Karuna Institute started to apply Biodynamic principles to the way they taught, working with the Breath of Life and the inherent treatment plan, and it started to become clear that the practitioner was more of a facilitator, offering a way of listening to the client’s body that encouraged the right environment for the healing process to occur. This differed from Bio-mechanical Craniosacral therapy, which tended to be practitioner led with a series of protocols to be followed. Dr Franklyn Sills also coined the term Craniosacral Biodynamics.

From there Franklyn and his colleagues began to branch out and taught BCST throughout Europe and America. Today trainings and practices continue to grow throughout the world. Consequently, practitioner organizations have been developed around the world. In Europe the Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association (BCSTA) is the main accrediting body. The UK is covered by The Craniosacral Therapy Educational Trust (CTET), and America has the International Affiliation of Biodynamic Trainings (IABT). The Pacific Association of Craniosacral Therapists (PACT) covers Asia and the South Pacific.

These organizations encourage the development of Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy, ensure their schools’ professional standards are maintained, and therefore the graduate therapists are fully qualified.