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Self Help Groups/Useful Contacts
- The Regulatory Body for osteopaths
- The British Osteopath Association – BOA – the professional association for osteopaths.
- Sutherland Cranial College – For people wanting a cranial osteopath
- Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence – CHRE – healthcare professionals’ regulators
- General Social Care Council – GSCC- regulates social care workers
- Arthritic Association
- Arthritis Care
- Arthritis Research Campaign
- British Sjogren’s Syndrome Association (BSSA)
- Brittle Bone Society
- Children’s Chronic Arthritis Association
- Dermatomyositis and Polymyositis Support Group
- Dyspraxia Foundation
- Dystonia Society
- Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Support Group
- Fibromyalgia Association UK
- Huntington’s Disease Association
- Lady Hoare Trust (for children with arthritis and limb disabilities)
- Lupus Patients Understanding & Support (LUPUS)
- Marfan Association UK
- Muscular Dystrophy Group of Great Britain & Northern Ireland
- National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society
- National Osteoporosis Society
- Neurofibromatosis Association
- Perthes Association
- Psoriasis Arthropathy Alliance
- Repetitive Strain Injury Association
- Scoliosis Association UK
- Spinal Injuries Association
Useful information about animal behaviour
For those experiencing behavioural problems with their animals
Foundation of Osteopathy in 1874
It was in order to help those people suffering with these types of problems, that Dr Andrew Taylor Still founded Osteopathy in 1874. Dr Still based his newfound approach upon the keen observations of structural anatomy, and the ‘functional’ anatomy and physiology outlined above. He developed pioneering hands-on treatment approaches to deal with these health and mobility problems found in his patients. He utilised his skills in the successful treatment of many serious complaints in his patients, as well as the more general aches and pains suffered by most, at one time or another in life.
Still’s theories centred round the vital importance of removing any strains or sprains in the body that were interfering with nerve and blood flow, – and hence tissue repair, the natural alignment of body structures, the smooth movement of joints muscles and organs, and the proper function of the immune system.
Development of the Cranial sacral approach in 1920’s
In the 1920’s, Dr William Garner Sutherland, a student of Still, took these concepts a stage further and developed his Cranial sacral approach to treatment . In addition to the strict observance of Dr Still’s existing principles of treatment, he also noted that there was a rhythmic micro- movement in the connective tissues and central nervous system, which in healthy subjects, was continuous and even, but became altered or restricted in times following a trauma, stress or during infection or inflammation. This he was able to palpate manually by using a soft but firm contact on his patients skull, body and limbs. He noted that along with this alteration in the body tissues micro-motion, there developed many health and mobility problems, giving a state of ‘dis-ease’ to the individual.
These problems of restricted micro-motion furthermore, were not always associated just with the presence of pronounced biomechanical strains to the large joints of the body, but rather to the least mobile and naturally tightest bony unions i.e. the ‘sutures’ of the human skull. Dr Sutherland made his observations concerning the ‘sutures’ associated with his experimental dissection of the bony plates of the skull, which he managed to prize apart quite easily. [Controversially, some medical texts state that the sutures are fused in the skulls of adults, this however is not so. The junctions between the bony plates are very close, but the bones remain separate.]
The ‘sutures’ are the joints between the bones of the skull, their structure is different from other joints in the body, and allows only very small but precise increments of ‘give’ between the bones. This ‘give’ is very important in allowing the correct functioning of the Central Nervous system and the nerves, including their protective sheaths, and associated blood vessels. Plus the general dynamic balance of the body through its connective tissue, and hence the individuals’ entire structural integrity. Jamming, or congestion of these suture,s could cause problems with the function of specific nerves, or more general symptoms relating to congestion of circulation through the brain, or even more general symptoms resulting from the disturbed connective tissue balance affecting the proper support of musculo-skeletal and organ systems.
Sutherland discovered that these restrictions of the sutures, and alterations to the micro-motion of the body, were not responsive to the existing Osteopathic manipulative approaches already developed by Still.
With the encouragement of A.T, Still, and following much experimentation, some of it on himself, and after 20yrs of work on the concept, he developed a number of techniques to remedy the problems that arose as a result of this jamming and disturbance of normal sutural and deep body tissue micro-motion.
The term involuntary motion was coined, to describe the normal tissue micro-motion, as it was not something that the individual patient was consciously in control of, but occurred naturally in their body, subtly and behind the scenes, doing its job unnoticed, unless and until it became disrupted by trauma, toxins, scarring, stress or infection.
Sutherland felt that this involuntary motion was responsible for supplying the body in a coordinated way, through the connective tissue and the nerve pathways, with extra levels of nutrition, oxygen, lubrication and hormone circulation at the deeper levels of tissue function.
Today we still feel that this assumption was sound, the more recent scientific work on the ‘trophic’, or nutritive function of nerves and the micro-tubular structure of connective tissue etc, would tend to support Sutherland’s original theories.
The consequences of the skilled use of Dr Sutherland’s newly developed techniques, was amazing. Many patients who found that standard Osteopathic treatment had not provided an acceptable resolution for them, remarked that they were helped beyond belief, by this new Cranial sacral approach to therapy.
Many of these problems had caused them pain, restriction and debilitation for some time, often several years. In Sutherlands’ skilful hands, over a period of time, following his treatment program, even these long-term chronic debilitating problems responded!
Sutherland’s work gained a small but dedicated following of physicians, it is thanks to these people that we received our training in Sutherland’s approach, which started in 1974. Whilst attending the ‘BSO’ and part way through our training we became exposed to the Cranial approach and started to study Sutherland’s work. It is something we have continued to do ever since. It is as a result of the invaluable help of Sutherland’s original students, that we are able to put his methods to work in our practice, and in our teaching of other practitioners following on.