The History of Chiropractic 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 was
100 years old at that time and apparently the paper was not very well done (even for the
standards of the time). This view was still espoused as late as 1931 by the British autonomist,
Sperino. We were even taught this conceptJ in Chiropractic College in the 70's.
1796 - Phrenologywas 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 1796, one hundred year before 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 as an index of talents and abilities. Phrenology is not
practiced or acknowledged today, as there is only one of the localizations has anything close to
today's cranial mapping.
1920 - Craniopathy.The first person to develop a technique for adjusting the bones in the skull
was a Chiropractor named Dr. Calvin Cottam (1883 - 1996). His technique was called
"Craniopathy". He started teaching his technique in the late 20's. He reasoned "...that if the
Chiropractic principle of pressure off the nerves in the spine was true, that the same should be
true of the head."
1930 - Sacro Occipital Technique (S.O.T.).Major B. DeJarnette (Chiropractor and Osteopath)
developed a technique involving the movement of the cranial sutures. He taught it until 1984.
The Sacro Occipital Research Society International continues to this day. All Chiropractors have
been taught the three categories and their testing procedures in Chiropractic College. He
developed a technique involving the movement of the cranial sutures.
1939 - Osteopathy in the Cranial field.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 a "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 matter 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 in the Skull Move
Mid 70's - Cranial Sacral Therapy (C.S.T.)John Upledger proved that the bones of the skull
moved and that the sutures had a space of 100th of an inch and they contained blood vessels,
nerve fibers and connective tissues. Upledger and his research team from the Michigan State
University studied fresh cadavers using electron microscopes, radio waves and cinematographic
X-rays to prove that the cranial bones moved. C.S.T. is an extremely light touch technique taught
mostly to massage therapists.
Directional Non-Force Technique (D.N.F.T.)was developed by a Chiropractor, Dr. Richard
VanRumpt. This technique consists of gentle challenging and a unique leg length check. The
adjustment is a gentle, but directionally specific thumb impulse.
1979 - Neuro Organization Techniquewas developed Carl Ferrari D.C. He integrated several
other Chiropractic techniques along with his own method of testing and treating and came up
with his own protocols. Dr. Ferrari 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.
1996 - Leon Chaitow in his book Cranial Manipulation Theory and Practice, examines the
research on cranial suture movement and refers to the research of Zanaskis 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.
2001 - Blye Cranial Techniquewas developed Dr. John Blye D .C. It is similar in technique to
VanRumpt. He utilizes D.N.F.T. testing principles and treats them with a special Activator gun.
Bio Cranialis taught by Dr. Boyd. It is an excellent one adjustment approach to cranial.
2003 Koren Specificby Dr. Ted Koren D.C. also developed a cranial technique.
1986 - Cranial Adjusting Turner Style (C.A.T.S.).My brother, Dr. Allen Turner D.C. and I
first took N.O.T from Dr. Ferrari in 1986 and started the journey of correcting cranial
subluxations and misalignments. Initially, we mainly used sphenoid cranial adjustments. Today,
the technique has developed exponentially to include all of the bones in the skull.
We first started using Ferrari's protocols to treat learning difficulties and both of us achieved
phenomenal successes using this method. From 1986 to 2003 we were virtually the only two
using his technique in Canada. 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 Down's syndrome and a wide variety of behavioral and
learning difficulties. A new section of C.A.T.S. teaches how to do cosmetic adjusting of the
2003 - C.A.T.S. has been taught to over 750 Chiropractors worldwide.It is unlike any of
these other techniques; it is a very specific touch, its approach is unique and its results are
amazing. Dr. Roger Turner D.C. has also discovered a way to correct indents and protrusions in
the hard parts of the cranial bones. No other technique addresses this.
Cranial Misalignments.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.
A hit to the head can be serious and can cause cognitive and
functional difficulties that can last a life time.
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 when 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 Syndromeis 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-coastering, cognitive disorders and cognitive difficulties resulting in a substandard
level of life and health.
"All Chiropractors should master the art of Cranial Adjusting to correct all those "above the atlas
subluxations" coming into their offices."
Subluxations do not stop at the atlas.
C.A.T.S. Chiropractors are adjusting the subluxations above the atlas.