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Including Cranial Osteopathy, Bio Cranial Therapy, and two chiropractic variants called Craniopathy and Sacro–Occipital Technique (SOT).
Samuel Homola, D.C., takes a critical look at Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT) in Chapter 11 of his book 'Bonesetting, Chiropractic and Cultism'. (Chirobase)
A review of H. H. King and E. M. Lay in Foundations for Osteopathic Medicine, 2nd Ed. Concludes that advocates of cranial osteopathy still proffer: (1) the same biologically untenable mechanism proposed by Sutherland 65 years ago, (2) no indication of diagnostic reliability, and (3) no properly controlled research showing efficacy. Analysis by Steve E. Hartman, PhD, and James M. Norton, PhD, The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, Vol. 8, No.2 (Fall/Winter 2004-05) [pdf]
Research conclusions of James M. Norton, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Physiology, College of Osteopathic Medicine, University of New England (Cranial Links website)
"A formerly healthy, three-month-old girl died after manipulation of the neck and the vertebral column by a so called "craniosacral therapist." During continued and deep bending of the neck, the patient developed incontinence of faeces, atonia and respiratory arrest followed by aystolia. Based on findings at the physical examination of the body, an additional MRI examination and the autopsy, it is likely that the cause of death was a local neurovascular or a mechanic respiratory-induced problem. This is the second report of infant death after forced manipulation of the neck. As long as there is no scientific evidence for the efficacy and safety of forced manipulation of the neck and the vertebral column, we advise against this treatment for newborns and infants." English translation of a report in the Dutch Medical Journal (May 2009) [Micha Holla, Marloes M. IJland et al. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd, 2009]
What you need to know. Article by Ben Goldacare, Bad Science (23rd September 2004)
The results of this study did not support the hypotheses behind the Primary Respiratory Mechanism. The PRM-rates could not be palpated reliably and under certain conditions were influenced by the examiners' respiratory rates. Manual Therapy (February 2004) [pdf]
"I recently heard of craniosacral therapy. It is a method some osteopathic physicians use to restore health by adjusting the bones of the skull and sacrum. Anatomists can demonstrate that the skull bones are fused together in adulthood and cannot move. Other fallacies inherent in the therapy are too numerous to list: craniosacral therapy is totally implausible and has been thoroughly debunked elsewhere. So how could anyone in his right mind believe in it?" Four-page article by Harriet Hall, MD, Skeptical Inquirer (May-June 2003)
Letter written by Steve E. Hartman, PhD, and James M. Norton PhD, College of Osteopathic Medicine, University of New England. Published in Physical Therapy (November 2002) [pdf]
"Despite the dearth of evidence for the efficacy of CST (craniosacral therapy), CS therapists continue to promote its use for people of all ages and babies in particular. This is disingenuous. Patients are being taken for a ride by people who, while being scornful of scientific medicine, seduce patients into believing they need to have sessions of a worthless therapy for their wellbeing……It is time that health professionals, and the public, took a long, hard look at CST and exposed it for what it really is — medieval mysticism dressed up in quasi-scientific garb." Views of Brid Hehir, a Camden NHS Primary Care Trust user involvement manager. Spiked Online (12th February 2002)
Concludes that the results fail to support the construct validity of the "core-link" hypothesis as it is traditionally held by proponents of craniosacral therapy and osteopathy in the cranial field. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (March/April 2001)
"Dental claims and uses of CS (Craniosacral Therapy) defy science and logic." This article also questions the use of other CAM therapies in dentistry. Journal of the Canadian Dental Association (November 2000) [pdf]
This systematic review and critical appraisal found insufficient evidence to support craniosacral therapy. British Columbia Office of Health Technology Assessment, University of British Columbia (December 1999) [pdf]
Results did not support the theories that underlie craniosacral therapy or claims that craniosacral motion can be palpated reliably. Physical Therapy (1998)
Concludes that it appears unlikely that SOT tests can be reproduced to a sufficiently high degree to constitute useful clinical procedures. C. Leboeuf, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (Nov-Dec 1991)