Meet the Craniosacral Rhythm

Craniosacral Rhythm or Primary Respiratory Mechanism (PRM) in the osteopathy universe is the witness of the individual’s vitality. It assesses the state of health of the individual (P.Druell D.O). William Garner Sutherland D.O. discovered the PRM in the early 1900s. In these times, they considered that the skull was immobile because of the ossified sutures. Already as a student, Sutherland studied the skull with the cranial sutures and got the idea of the mobility inside the cranium. After over twenty years of study, experiments and a lot of palpation, Sutherland perceived a rhythmic and slow motion at the cranium. In this rhythmic pumping motion, he recognized similarities to the breathing system and called it the PRM.

The unwinding of PRM will show us the sequential movements of the mechanisms and structures that constitute this mechanism. “Primary” it means that this rhythmic motion is essential in regulating and controlling all physiological mechanisms in the body. “Respiratory” refers to a rhythmic process. “Mechanism” because it contains six different structures that they collaborate to express itself.


The methods to work with this mechanism are two.
The biodynamic method applies with mild handling and weight between 5 and 10 g. The second method is the most manipulative method with direct induction toward the correction or to the exaggeration of the lesion (Osteopathic approach). The intention of both methods is to open the way to the biochemical soup, cerebrospinal fluid, to bring back vitality within the body and guide the individual toward the Autoregulation (Homeostasis). When we talk about Homeostasis, it automatically means that the body mechanisms work properly to bring the body to the absolute equilibrium
between the systems (hematological, hormonal, nervous, lymphatic, digestive, respiratory).

The indications and benefits in comparison with the contraindications of this approach are overwhelmingly more, render the Craniosacral approach an all-around way to treat even, in a difficult patient’s cases, like chronic disease, after traumas, etc.

Craniosacral techniques are mainly applied to the massage bed but can be applied with the proper adaptation on the massage mat. In our case us massage therapists we use those techniques with the same intention. Apart from direct correction of any anomalies that you determine to do after your evaluation, you also have the opportunity to integrate, after thorough work at a certain point of the body during the session, but also at the end as a general integration of the session.

An article from Vangelis Varis.

If you wish to learn more about it, join his course from the 7th until the 11th of January 2023 at Sunshine House: Craniosacral Applications for Thai Massage Practitioners with Vangelis.