Craniosacral Therapy (CST) Exposed

I expose this in light of the suspicion of a woman that I have been praying for picking up unclean spirits from a woman who practices Craniosacral Therapy. The woman who practiced Craniosacral Therapy even considered herself to be a Christian! The woman I have been praying for allowed the Craniosacral Therapy practitioner to “pray” for her where she gently touched parts of her body as a Craniosacral Therapist would. The woman I have been praying for said she felt something ungodly enter her body from the practitioner, and that is when she came to the realization that she is demonized. That is why one should be very wary about whom to allow to lay hands on you.

Is it a stretch to say Craniosacral Therapy is spiritually dangerous? Well, it is listed in the well-researched book Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs by Christian authors John Ankerberg and John Weldon. In the book, it is listed under the heading “Mystical and Supernaturalistic Health-Methods.”

The founder of Craniosacral Therapy, William G. Sutherland (1873-1954), seemed to have been involved with the occult power of Chi (also known as Ki, Prana, etc.), which is demonic.

The leading proponent of Craniosacral Therapy, John E. Upledger, seemed to have been working with familiar spirits (whether unknowingly or knowingly). For instance, he would ask the patient’s “Inner Physician” questions, which is very much like the practice of divination done on an Ouija Board.

The following are some interesting information [emphasis mine]:

Craniosacral therapy (CST) is one of many terms used to describe a various methods based on fanciful claims that:

  • The human brain makes rhythmic movements at a rate of 10 to 14 cycles per minute, a periodicity unrelated to breathing or heart rate.
  • Small cranial pulsations can be felt with the fingertips.
  • Restriction of movement of the cranial sutures (where the skull bones meet) interfere with the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord) and cause disease.
  • Diseases can be diagnosed by detecting aberrations in this rhythm.
  • Pain (especially of the jaw joint) and many other ailments can be remedied by pressing on the skull bones.

Most practitioners are osteopaths, massage therapists, chiropractors

, dentists, or physical therapists. The other terms used to describe what they do include cranial osteopathy, cranial therapy, bio cranial therapy, and two chiropractic variants called craniopathy and sacro occipital technique (SOT).

Dubious Claims

Osteopaths attribute the origin of CST to osteopath William G. Sutherland (1873-1954), who published his first article on this subject in the early 1930s. From the mid-1970s onward, the leading proponent was John E. Upledger, D.O., who founded the Upledger Institute of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Various Institute publications have claimed:

  • CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, noninvasive manipulative technique. Seldom does the therapist apply pressure that exceeds five grams or the equivalent weight of a nickel. Examination is done by testing for movement in various parts of the system. Often, when movement testing is completed, the restriction has been removed and the system is able to self-correct [1].
  • The rhythm of the craniosacral system can be detected in much the same way as the rhythms of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. But unlike those body systems, both evaluation and correction of the craniosacral system can be accomplished through palpation. CranioSacral Therapy is used for a myriad of health problems, including headaches, neck and back pain, TMJ dysfunction, chronic fatigue, motor-coordination difficulties, eye problems, endogenous depression, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, central nervous system disorders, and many other conditions [2].
  • Practitioners today rely on CranioSacral Therapy to improve the functioning of the central nervous system, eliminate the negative effects of stress, strengthen resistance to disease, and enhance overall health [3].

From 2001 through the present time, the Institute Web site has stated:

Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system. By complementing the body’s natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction, including: migraine headaches; chronic neck and back pain; motor-coordination impairments; colic; autism; central nervous system disorders; orthopedic problems; traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries; scoliosis; infantile disorders; learning disabilities; chronic fatigue; emotional difficulties; stress and tension-related problems; fibromyalgia and other connective-tissue disorders; temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ); neurovascular or immune disorders; post-traumatic stress disorder; post-surgical dysfunction [4].

The Upledger Institute has also advocated and taught “visceral manipulation,” a bizarre treatment system whose practitioners are claimed to detect “rhythmic motions” of the intestines and other internal organs and to manipulate them to “improve the functioning of individual organs, the systems the organs function within, and the structural integrity of the entire body.” [5] Upledger died in October 2012, but the institute will perpetuate his teachings.

Some chiropractors claim that Nephi Cottam, D.C. introduced “cranial adjusting” (craniopathy) to the chiropractic world in 1929, several months before Sutherland publicly presented his methods. During the 1980s, a brochure distributed by his son Calvin Cottam, D.C., claimed that cranial adjustments had relieved “insanity, insomnia, paralysis . . . spoken aphasia, headache . . . trigeminal neuralgia, pain between the shoulders, pain in the stomach (apparently from ulcers), indurated empyema. . .” [6]

Weird Beliefs

Some of Upledger’s assertions are among the strangest I have ever encountered. Chapter 2 of his book, CranoSacral Therapy: Touchstone of Natural Healing, describes how he discovered and communicates with what he calls the patient’s “Inner Physician”:

By connecting deeply with a patient while doing CranioSacral Therapy, it was possible in most cases to solicit contact with the patient’s Inner Physician. It also became clear that the Inner Physician could take any for m the patient could imagine —an image, a voice or a feeling. Usually once the image of the Inner Physician appeared, it was ready to dialog with me and answer questions about the underlying causes of the patient’s health problems and what can be done to resolve them. It also became clear that when the conversation with the Inner Physician was authentic, the craniosacral system went into a holding pattern [7].

The chapter goes on to describe Upledger’s care of a four-month-old French baby who was “as floppy as a rag doll.” Although the baby had never been exposed to English, Upledger decided to see whether the baby’s “Inner Physician” would communicate with him via the craniosacral system:

I requested aloud in English that the craniosacral rhythm stop if the answer to a question was “yes” and not stop if the answer was “no.” The rhythm stopped for about ten seconds. I took this as an indication that I was being understood. I then asked if it was possible during this session for the rhythm to stop only in response to my question and not for other reasons, such as body position, etc., The rhythm stopped again. I was feeling more confident. I proceeded [7].

Using “yes-no answers,” Upledger says, he pinpointed the problem as “a toxin that was inhaled by the mother . . . over a period of about two-and-a-half hours while cleaning the grease off an antique automobile engine” during the fourth month of pregnancy. After “asking many particulars” about what he should do, Upledger was told to “pump the parietal bones that form a large part of the roof of the skull, and to pass a lot of my energy through the brain from the back of the skull to the front.” As he did this, Upledger frequently checked with the baby’s “Inner Physician.” After about an hour, Upledger says, the baby began to move normally [7].

Two Deaths Reported

Relying on CST instead of effective treatment can be dangerous. Moreover, its practice indicates poor judgement that may harm patients in other ways. At least two deaths associated with craniosacral therapy have been reported:

  • In 2003, a Pennsylvania chiropractor (Joann A. Gallagher) was convicted of insurance fraud in connection with the death of a 30-year-old epileptic woman whom she treated with cranial therapy. Court documents indicated that the patient died of severe seizures after following the chiropractor’s advice to stop taking her anticonvulsive medication. The fraud involved submitting insurance claims falsely describing Upledger’s “meningeal balancing” as spinal manipulation [8].
  • In 2012, a Missouri dentist (Joseph H. Kerwin) had his license revoked for contributing to the death of a 2-day-old infant who had been brought to him because of a high fever. Records in the case indicate that instead of referring the parents to a medical facility, he manipulated the child’s skull and applied a vibrating machine to his sacrum. The boy died 12 hours later, and the autopsy showed that he died from complications of a subdual hematoma (a blood clot that compressed his brain). The medical examiner concluded that the hematoma could have been present at birth but was more likely caused by the skull manipulation. The dental board concluded that Kerwin had acted outside the scope of dentistry [9].

Related Systems

British osteopath Robert Boyd (1933-2014) developed a variant he called Bio Cranial Therapy, which—according to the International Bio Cranial Web site—is “extremely helpful” for “chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS); varicosity and varicose ulcers; tinnitus; bladder prolapse; prostate disorders; Meniere’s syndrome; cardiovascular disturbances including hypertension, angina; skin disorders (psoriasis, eczema, acne etc); female disorders (dysmenorrhoea, PMS (PMT), menorrhagia etc); arthritis and rheumatic disorders; fibromyalgia and heel spurs; gastric disorders (hiatus hernia, ulceration, colitis); asthma and a range of bronchial disorders including bronchiectasis and emphysema.” [10]

Sacro-occiptal technique (SOT) combines theories about spinal fluid pressure with chiropractic theories about spinal “nerve pressure” as a cause of ill health. Chiropractors who advocate SOT claim to detect “blockages” by feeling the skull and spine and measuring leg lengths [11].

The Scientific Viewpoint

I do not believe that CST has any therapeutic value. Its underlying theory is false because the bones of the skull fuse by the end of adolescence and no research has ever demonstrated that manual manipulation can move the individual cranial bones [12]. Nor do I believe that “the rhythms of the craniosacral system can be felt as clearly as the rhythms of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems,” as is claimed by another Upledger Institute brochure [13]. The brain does pulsate, but this is exclusively related to the cardiovascular system [14], and no relationship between brain pulsation and general health has been demonstrated.

Many years ago, three physical therapists who examined the same 12 patients diagnosed significantly different “craniosacral rates,” which is the expected outcome of measuring a nonexistent phenomenon [15]. Another study compared the “craniosacral rate” measured at the head and feet of 28 adults by two examiners and found that the results were highly inconsistent [16].

In 1999, after doing a comprehensive review of published studies, the British Columbia Office of Health Technology Assessment (BCOHTA) concluded that the theory is invalid and that practitioners cannot reliably measure what they claim to be modifying. The 68-page report concludes that “there is insufficient evidence to recommend craniosacral therapy to patients, practitioners, or third party payers.” [17]

In 2011, the Archives of Disease in Childhood published the results of a well-designed randomized, controlled study of 142 children ages 5-12 with cerebral palsy. About half received cranial therapy (up to six sessions) and the others were placed on a “waiting list.” After six months, the researers found no difference between the treatment and no-treatment groups in gross motor function or the child’s quality of life [18].

In 2002, two basic science professors at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine concluded:

Our own and previously published findings suggest that the proposed mechanism for cranial osteopathy is invalid and that interexaminer (and, therefore, diagnostic) reliability is approximately zero. Since no properly randomized, blinded, and placebo-controlled outcome studies have been published, we conclude that cranial osteopathy should be removed from curricula of colleges of osteopathic medicine and from osteopathic licensing examinations [12].

In 2005, one of the professors reported that despite their persistent effort, craniosacral therapy and its “imaginary biology” were still taught in all of the DO schools in the United States and questions about it remained on DO licensing exams [19].

In 2016, a French research team that a comprehensive review of the scientific literature concluded: “Our results demonstrate, consistently with those of previous reviews, that methodologically strong evidence on the reliability of diagnostic procedures and the efficacy of techniques and therapeutic strategies in cranial osteopathy is almost non-existent.” [20] I certainly agree! In fact, I believe that most practitioners of craniosacral therapy have such poor judgment that they should be delicensed.


In the following article it reads, Dr. Sutherland sensed a “power” in a person he called the “Breath of Life” that had an intelligence. This seems to be a spirit. The question is what spirit? The Bible reads, “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

[Emphasis mine]


Craniosacral therapy is another body—mind—spirit therapy quite like Reiki in its application, using a very soft touch to the head and neck area. Reiki is said to initiate a flow of cosmic energy through the therapist to the patient; however, therapists of craniosacral therapy tell us that they are correcting the clogged, sluggish, unbalanced flow of cerebrospinal fluid about the brain and spinal nerves. The disturbance of cerebrospinal fluid flow is proclaimed by those practicing craniosacral therapy to be the source of most disease and disorders of the human body. Such a concept is not recognized by medical science; indeed there is no evidence to support such a hypothesis.

At the time of the origin of this craniosacral hypothesis and resulting therapy, phrenology was popular. Phrenology was established upon the hypothesis that pressure to areas of the skull would alter the function of the brain and personality. Diagnosis was done by feeling the skull’s shape and in turn therapy for the mind, personality, and character was performed by applying pressure to specific areas of the skull. Large hoods were used to cover the head and contained adjustable protrusions (which could be screwed in or out to different lengths) and when worn, applied pressure to selected points on the head for “mind-cure” treatment.

Craniosacral therapy had its origin in the United States through William Sutherland (1873-1954), an osteopathic physician. Sutherland would have been well acquainted with phrenology which may explain what motivated him to do some strange testing. Around 1901, he experimented on himself by placing belts around his head and then tightening those belts in certain positions about the head. He experienced headaches, disorientation and gastro intestinal distress from these tests. At times when he tightened belts in other positions on the head, he might feel relief and well being. From this experimentation Sutherland developed the hypothesis that the cranial bones have motion one upon another and by pressure they can be moved, this, in turn, alters the flow of cerebrospinal fluid flow surrounding the brain, spinal cord, and spinal nerves, thus restoring health. He did not limit his description of disorders caused by improperly flowing cerebrospinal fluid to physical, but also included mental and emotional health.

Dr. Sutherland eventually sensed a power, which he called the “The Breath of Life,” that arose from within the patient without his touch as the therapist. He believed that this Breath of Life carried a basic Intelligence (he capitalized the word “Intelligence”) which the therapist could employ for delivering health. Sutherland and his associates considered the Breath of Life to carry a subtle yet powerful “potency” or force, which produces subtle rhythms which are transmitted around the body. He believed that this power—Breath of Life—came from the body’s inherent life-force itself (chi’, prana, universal energy). He theorized that the cerebrospinal fluid distributed the Breath of Life throughout the body. Dr. Sutherland took his hypothesis to osteopathic schools in the 1940’s. This new teaching was labeled “Osteopathy in the Cranial Field.15

The concept of cerebrospinal fluid flow being related to all diseases has never been verified by science, nor has a soft touch to the head been shown to alter the flow of spinal fluid. It is one man’s hypothesis which a few others accepted without verification. This treatment modality does not fit the scientific explanation of the physiology of the nervous system, so how does it fit into spiritualism? How do we explain “The Breath of Life” that has Intelligence and arises from within the patient? Let us explore further.

In the mid 1970’s another osteopathic physician, John Upledger, who had accepted Dr. Sutherland’s hypothesis, began to teach the technique to non-osteopaths. Upledger is actually the one who coined the term “craniosacral therapy,” as he was not allowed to use the term “cranial osteopath” for those who were not osteopaths. Dr. Upledger became the mover behind craniosacral therapy as we know it today.

Dr. Upledger added some techniques to Dr. Sutherland’s original method. One contribution is referred to as Therapeutic Imagery and Dialogue. By use of this contribution Dr. Upledger may see a response he calls Somato Emotional Release, whereby the patient and therapist can engage together directly with the patients “inner wisdom” (Breath of Life) to receive knowledge about the patient that is unknown to either patient or therapist.16

Part of the hypothesis of craniosacral therapy is that the body develops what Upledger calls “energy cysts,” which are said to be located at various locations of the body, especially in the connective tissue, such as ligaments, joints, and muscle. These so-called energy cysts are said to be the result of some unresolved physical or psychological trauma of the past, which then allow a variety of clinical symptoms to form. By use of therapeutic imagery and dialogue these cysts can be resolved, along with whatever clinical symptoms are present. Present day science has not found any of the above hypotheses to be true.17


If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can receive Him into your heart, and He can deliver you from darkness and sin and have your name written in His Book of Life.

If you are sincere, you can say this simple prayer to the Father (it doesn’t have to be word for word):

“God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself and that is wrong. Please forgive me of all of my sins just as I forgive others. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross, I believe in my heart Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my king, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I ask this in the Lord and GOD Jesus’ precious and holy name. Amen.”

7 thoughts on “Craniosacral Therapy (CST) Exposed

  1. Speaking to the “inner doctor” or the “inner healer” is also a very common practice in hypnotherapy and I had very good results with this technique when I was a hypnotherapist. Results and remedies were found by this every time and they worked!

    Another method I got trained in is called “systemic constellations”.
    The client chooses a person out of the group for each member of their family, they all “stand” for someone within the client’s “system” and then they interact together and answer questions… and it is very surprising how accurately they know things about the client or the other family members and how they even use the exact same words or expressions the real person would use – and what is even more surprising is that shortly after the “subsitute characters” within the therapy group setting have solved the issue, it is resolved outside in the real world as well – sometimes even simultaneously – the person who invented this method was a “pastor” from Germany and he also spent many years in Africa, his name is Bert Hellinger, he is born in 1925 and has millions of “followers” all over the world. The information which becomes available for the persons “standing” in “the field” or the fact that they know these things as if they were the real family members is called “phenomenon”.
    This stuff works!
    I have personally witnessed it for many years!
    You don’t have to be stupid to fall into these traps, there are some true and real results happening and that’s why so few people actually find out that the devil is behind this.
    I believe many people who are involved in these “healing” techniques do want to help and I, too, had the genuine desire to heal and to help – only that I didn’t know that we were all using and talking to demons, there was nothing good about it and the “healings” we produced were all produced by the devil – and he CAN produce them, he does have power!
    Even in the bible we are warned that in the end times, he will deceive many, even the elect, and that’s exactly what is happening now.
    What we were all practicing and what ALL alternative healing methods are stemming from is witchcraft, divination at least and most of them also idolatry, either hidden or openly!

    Everybody, not only our Christian brothers and sisters, needs to learn that none of this, including “therapy” and all classic and widespread forms of it is from GOD.
    And that anyone who will practice them or let someone practice them will be entered by demons.
    No exception.

    If anyone had been as deeply and as long involved into the therapy scene and also been astrally attacked and almost killed by a guru/ therapist / healer / teacher, who studied psychology by the way and truly IS a male witch – as I have, you would stay sooooooooooo far away from anything which had even the slightest touch as if it could be related to therapy in any way – as I do.
    Folks, friends, practitioners, seekers, PLEASE do your homework and read your bible:
    there is only ONE healer, ONE deliverer and ONE that can decide if and when your symptoms will improve or not and HIS name is:
    When you have an issue, especially a mental one, you go to JESUS!
    HE promises us a sound mind and HE is the only place and the only person where we can get it.
    Only HE can deliver us from whatever is wrong in our mind.
    No one and nothing else.

    GOD bless you for spreading the truth and for praying for people who have been deceived and are now suffering from the consequences.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Me

    This is a terrible ASSUMPTION to declare that so many hands on treatments are ‘spiritually unclean.’ I am a Christian and the Holy Spirit is there guiding me every step of the treatment. I have many people that come to me because I am Christian and not new age. Shame on anyone who tries to lump treatments into one pot. Remember when rock and roll was a sin? Remember how scary motorcycle bikers were because they were all up to no good. Just because something is developing doesn’t mean it’s always bad. With anything, follow with prayer. Stop tainting with your fear.


    1. controversialchristian1

      You’re missing the point, with all respect. When Christians are brought to healing, or indeed brought to be spiritual healers, there is no particular guidebook or college course to do this. It will come through prayer, Bible study, understanding the nature of God, being in fellowship with other Christians, and of course having a personal relationship with God. These things take time, investment and diligence and obedience to God’s laws.

      Any gift from God is not given lightly nor must be taken lightly. I’m not criticising or judging you of course, I’m just making a statement. Great gifts from God will come with responsibility and accountability.


    2. Connie Chauvel-Gomez

      I have been seen by a lady who is VERY much a born-again Christian! That C.S. is new age is news to me…am investigating!!!! How about Muscle-Testing???


  3. Diana

    I am practitioner. It is possible to use new age in this treatment modality, but it is also possible to rely on the Holy Spirit. Mostly, I rely on tension patterns in the body – that is my training. Most of what I have learned after 20+ classes, is anatomy and physiology at a very deep level. I don’t “ask their inner physician” to tell me what to do, though I know some practitioners might. I feel into the tension patterns and work for releases. (Some would say that I am asking their inner physician by doing this. The point of that attitude is that you go into treatment from a listening perspective, not a “I am going to fix and force your body to do something.) For example, I have clients who have tongue thrust issues. My anatomy training tells me that there are fascial lines from the tongue down to the big toe. If I simply isolate the tongue and work on it, the client may never see results. If, however, I feel into (listen to) the tension patterns, I might find a restriction at the L5-S1 junction, in the client’s calf, or even in their foot that is causing this tug and pull to cause the tongue to thrust. This work is profound. What I find interesting, is that people like this author can write with such passion, but when I read the article, it is clear that she doesn’t really understand the very therapy she is criticizing. Some practitioners like Viola Frymann (devout Christian), have conducted studies that show the difference in craniosacral treatment that includes prayer and the Holy Spirit vs treatment that do not. The study finds that there is an 8.4 percent positive difference when praying with the Holy Spirit.

    I have been to many doctors who practice with the god of science – who do not include prayer or God at all. The human body is so complex. Any medical treatment that occurs without the guidance of God…what would you say about that? My son was profoundly disabled – this therapy has helped him tremendously – working with fascial strains, releasing membranes that obstructed his eyes so that he can focus and see.

    All the doctors he has ever seen, with the exception of 1 have relied on their egos and pride. The language of this treatment modality may offend you, but approaching each client with the attitude of I don’t know what is causing this. I need to listen to your body, is profound.


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