As an osteopath, I have learned to think and act according to the philosophy of Dr. Still, the founder of osteopathy.
Therefore, when I was requested to teach therapists who are not osteopaths craniosacral therapy, I could not separate the system from osteopathic theory and techniques. They are interwoven and affect each other. In this course I have chosen to combine the key strength of osteopathy – an orderly diagnostic method that allows for choosing of the most suitable therapy technique and then assess its effect on the rest of the body. Because the cranial system is connected to the fascia system of the body and serves as a kind of central axis for the body, any change that will be made in the cranial system will affect other places through fascia.
The guiding principle of the Integrative Cranio method is based on Sutherland’s understanding that craniosacral therapy originates from osteopathy and is not a standalone therapeutic method. This understanding and the shortage that I have felt in diagnostic and therapeutic tools for the cranial method led me to seek solutions that will allow me to treat patients in a structured, effective manner. Within the search process, I tried to combine the various treatment methods that I learned (cranial, visceral and structural) to form a single method, which would allow the therapist to trace the source of problems in the cranial system to the tissue level, in the spirit of osteopathy.
Following in-depth learning of the philosophy of osteopathy, studying at many prominent osteopaths in the world and based on clinical experience and profound clinical thinking, during which I examined the cranial systems and the various contexts that it maintains, through anatomic, physiological and mechanical lenses, I started to form the integrative craniosacral approach. The guideline of the approach, which is based on the osteopathic principle whereby the structure dictates that character of therapy, holds that cranial therapy is the starting point for diagnosing and treating all kinds of physical disorders – whether they originate from the cranial system or other systems that affect it. However, in order to treat using it, the contexts that it maintains with the other parts of the body must be understood and therapy tools from the visceral and mechanical world, which directly affect cranial dysfunctions, must also be acquired.
Because cranial therapy is, as mentioned, very delicate, most therapists whom I met until then tended to press each area for examination in the same manner, and therefore effectively worked on the same tissue all the time. In the spirit of osteopathy, I looked for a way that would allow for the assessment of the cranial system with great precision. After a long process of trial and error, I adopted in my therapy process the principle of the four kinds of contact, according to the four layers constituting the cranial system. This manner of contact allowed me to distinguish the different layers, identify the source of disorders (whether in the cranial system or another system that affects it) and decide in which way to treat them.
Over time, I have also developed tools that allow for immediate feedback to be obtained (tissue indicator) and showing of evidence of change that occurs in the body, in order to confirm the choice of the type of treatment and its success. For this purpose, I combined in therapy techniques from the osteopathy world in the process and formed a range of exact tests. The integration of osteopathic theories and techniques, the cranial approach and the set of new diagnosis and treatment tools has allowed me to relate to each treatment as a kind of exploration. Equipped with a full understanding of the body and of the various contexts that occur in it, I have been able to assess and treat the cranial system with maximum precision while getting an immediate response to every procedure that I have performed.
Today I train therapists for treatment using the Integrative Cranio method. In the spirit of osteopathy, studies encourage participants to think independently and act based on a combination of comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the body, alongside true attention to the statements and needs of therapists. The purpose of the training process is to allow therapists to work creatively, like artists, and develop additional techniques and contexts, according to the therapeutic tradition to which they belong.
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Articles by Oren Dotan
The second principle of osteopathy is the interrelation of structure and function within the body. This principle indicates that when the structure is changing (ie: is out of alignment), the physiological function of that specific area will also change. How...read more
William Sutherland, D.O. developed Cranial-Sacral while studying under the founder of osteopathy, Andrew Taylor Still. Dr. Still encouraged his students to thoroughly understand the anatomy, physiology and philosophical principles of osteopathy. He also expected his...read more
Many practitioners from other cranial approaches, as well as other professionals, often ask me what the difference is between the Integrative Cranio Method (which I teach and practice) and Cranial-Sacral Therapy. In the following article, I will elaborate on the...read more
About Oren Dotan D.O
Oren Dotan D.O is a licensed osteopath. For over a decade he has learned with the world’s best osteopaths and intensively studied the fields of osteopathy and craniosacral therapy.
Integrative Cranio is the method of treatment Oren applies for his patients all over the world. He shares his knowledge and know-how from 15-years of experience in courses and trains therapists worldwide. Also, Oren teaches craniosacral at the Israeli Institute for Applied Osteopathy.