Allan Kaplan, Certified Advanced Rolfer™

Cranial Manipulation

Cranial Manipulation is based on the discoveries of William Sutherland DO. Sutherland observed that the cranial (skull) bones and the sacrum (tailbone) were all joined together by a fibrous membrane called the dura. The dura lines the cranium, reaches down the length of the spine to connect with the sacrum, and contains the brain and spinal cord. It also serves as an envelope for the cerebrospinal fluid which surrounds and cushions its delicate contents. In addition, the dura acts as a mechanical link for motion, like a pulley system, between the cranium and sacrum at its two ends. Sutherland further noticed that there were membranes traversing the inner cranium which also joined the cranial bones. Through experimentation, he found that the cranial bones and sacrum normally moved synchronously with a natural, rhythmic pulsation. Furthermore, disruption of their rhythmic relationship through tensions in the membranous network could result in impingement of the nervous, vascular, and myofascial systems, creating a great range of far-reaching effects. Sutherland developed a method that uses subtle manipulation of the dural membranes to balance the relationships between the cranial bones and sacrum, and in turn balance the cranial system with the greater fascial network of the body.

Cranial manipulation complements Rolfing by addressing the strains within this deep, important aspect of the fascial network, further enhancing Rolfing's goal of ordering the body.