The History of Cranial Adjusting

by Caroline von Fluegge-Chen

The History of Cranial Adjusting

The concept that the bones in the skull fuse in early childhood originated in a paper written in 1873 referred to as the “Munro-Kellie Doctrine.” The research that supported this theory is 136 years old and apparently, the paper was not very well done (even for the standards of that time).

Phrenology was the first system to pioneer the idea that mental functions are related to different parts of the brain. The Austrian physician Joseph Gall established the first theory of brain localization in 1896, one year after the introduction of Chiropractic.

Gall’s premise was that: “The skull takes its shape from the brain; the surface of the skull can be read as an accurate index of physiological aptitudes and tendencies. Employers would use his techniques for character references and an index of talents and abilities.

In 1939 William Sutherland hypothesized that the cranial bones actually articulate against one another. He was a student at the American School of Osteopathy in Kirksville, Missouri. He established that the cranium was capable of Primary Respiratory Mechanism and that the C.F.S. plays a vital “nutritive role” in all the tissues of the body. The meninges cover the brain and house the C.F.S. The dura mater is the outermost layer of the meninges and attaches to the foramen magnum, the upper cervical vertebrae and to the second sacral segment. He rationalized that when the head is traumatized the dura may become twisted and compressed producing dysfunctions and ill health.

Bones of the skull proven to move

In the mid-’70s John Upledger proved that the bones of the skull sutures moved 100th of an inch and contained blood vessels, nerve fibers and connective tissues. Upledger and his research team from Michigan State University studied fresh cadavers using electron microscopes, radio waves and cinematographic X-rays to prove that the cranial bones moved.

When fusion occurs in the skull it is a pathological condition resulting from a trauma that has interfered with normal joint mobility and function. Arthritis will occur in any joint in the body that has been damaged from trauma and remains subluxated and/or fixated.

Upledger developed a technique called Cranial Sacral Therapy (C.S.T.). This is an extremely light touch technique taught mostly to massage therapists.

Leon Chaitow in his book Cranial Manipulation Theory and Practice examines the research on cranial suture movement and refers to the research of Zanaski et al. 1996 on suture respiration. Zanaski measured the range of cranial movement between the sutures at 1/100 of an inch or 1/4 of a millimeter.

In 1930 Major B. DeJarnette (Chiropractor and Osteopath) developed a technique involving the movement of the cranial sutures and he called it Sacro Occipital Technique (S.O.T.). He taught it until 1984. The Sacro Occipital Research Society International continues it today. We were taught the three categories and their testing procedures in Chiropractic College in the early ’70s.

Directional Non-Force Technique (D.N.F.T.) was developed by a Chiropractor, Richard Van Rumpt. This technique consists of gentle challenging and a unique leg length check. The adjustment is a gentle, but directionally specific thumb impulse.

Breakthrough protocols for learning disabilities

In 1979 Carl Ferreri, D.C. developed a technique called Neural Organisation Technique. He integrated several other Chiropractic techniques along with his own method of testing and treating and came up with his own protocols. Dr. Ferreri developed a breakthrough treatment protocol for dyslexia and learning disabilities. This was my first introduction to the concept of moving the bones in the skull after adolescence.

In 2001 John Blye developed a similar technique to Van Rumpt and called it the Blye Cranial Technique. He utilizes D.N.F.T. testing principles and treats them with a special Activator gun.

Any age can benefit from cranial adjusting.

Initially, we only used 5 different cranial adjustments. Today, the technique, which is called Cranial Adjusting Turner Style (C.A.T.S.), has developed exponentially to include 86 different adjusting procedures in the first-level workshop.

Our technique expanded to include: head injuries, chronic headaches (that were not responding to cervical adjustments), autism, A.D.D., A.D.H.D., O.D.D., P.D.D., O.C.D., epilepsy, even Downs Syndrome and a wide variety of behavioral and learning difficulties.

Post-concussion syndrome and subluxations above the atlas

Subluxations do not stop at the atlas; trauma is not limited to the spine and extremities. Much attention is paid to the protection of the head with the insistence that helmets be used for various sports. Some of them are very effective; such as the football helmet, others are less effective, the hockey helmet for example and others are almost totally ineffective like the bicycle helmet. The bicycle helmet is only effective if a brick falls straight down, directly on the top of the helmet; otherwise, the helmet actually causes more problems and subluxations to the skull when hit from the side, front and behind.

Chiropractors have all seen patients whose problems have originated from a head injury. The first head injury can occur during childbirth, then falls in infancy from the head hitting the edge of a coffee table or if the child tumbles down the stairs. The incidence of head injuries from hits from baseball bats, swings, balls, pucks, fists, sports injuries, car, and industrial accidents are extremely common. Unfortunately, most of these patients do not receive adequate care for these injuries and their conditions deteriorate and result in chronic debilitating health problems.

Post-concussion syndrome is an excellent example of what happens when a head injury is not corrected. The injury to the head is sufficient enough to cause temporary unconsciousness in some cases. The patient survives but has many acute symptoms such as: headaches, blurred vision, speech difficulties, memory lapses, brain fog, emotional irregularities, decreased reflexes, altered coordination, and behavior changes.

If the cranial subluxations that resulted from the head injury are not corrected these symptoms persist and become chronic, causing a lifetime of pain, emotional roller coaster, cognitive disorders and cognitive difficulties resulting in a sub-standard level of life and health.

Dr. Roger Turner has practiced since 1985 as a chiropractor. In addition, he has practiced his own technique for treating head injuries, cranial adjusting Turner Style (C.A.T.S.), for 23 years. Dr. Turner developed C.A.T.S. in response to his son’s head injury in a cycling accident, which affected his sight and hearing. Through correcting the misaligned bones in his son’s skull, the boy made a full and rapid recovery.

The C.A.T.S. method has helped people of all ages suffering from headaches and head injuries. He has also seen thousands of special needs children with learning disorders and brain injuries and helped them using his cranial adjustment technique.

Dr. Turner has trained more than 1,000 chiropractors in his C.A.T.S. technique in North America and beyond. He is also the author of more than 70 articles and books on chiropractic, cranial adjusting and wellness.

Dr. Turner attracts an international clientele to his clinics with a variety of conditions such as: Autism, ADD, ADHD, Learning Difficulties, Incurable Headaches, Cognitive Disorders, Memory Problems, Severe Head Injuries, Deformed Babies Heads, and Failure to Thrive (PDD). Other conditions that his technique has had favorable results with are CP, MS, MD and Epilepsy. He has also developed a non-surgical Cosmetic Correction Technique for facial distortions.