Both therapies have their origins in the work of Dr William Garner Sutherland, an American Osteopath who lived in the first half of the last century. Discovering that the bones of the skull were not fused together post birth as previously thought, he developed a system of examination and treatment that became known as cranial osteopathy. This method tends to be practitioner led, and more prescriptive, where manipulative techniques may introduce force into the body to bring about a resolution.

During the 1970’s, another osteopath called John Upledger developed his own approach to Sutherland’s work, focusing on rhythmic movement of the craniosacral system. He termed this Craniosacral Therapy. Practitioners working with this model, tend to follow an inherent treatment plan as organised by the body, which allows for the processing of deep-seated emotional, psychological and traumatic material as well as physical realignment.


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