Craniosacral therapy for dogs

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Dog osteopathy: Craniosacral therapy for dogs - an alternative support for the treatment of epilepsy and seizures in dogs

The craniosacral or craniosacral osteopathy was primarily developed by the American osteopath William Garner Sutherland (1873-1954). He was a direct student of the founder of osteopathy, the American doctor Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917). Sutherland found that the skull is not a rigid, bony shell, but a complex membrane system that has residual elasticity. In this way, rhythmic pulsations of the cerebrospinal fluid, the so-called cerebrospinal fluid, on all external tissues and the cranial bones should continue and be diagnosed and used therapeutically. Sutherland carried out self-experiments: Among other things, he built a helmet with which he could put individual skull bones under tension. His wife then documented the different changes, including the personality, that her husband went through as a result of the change in tension in individual skull areas. As part of these self-experiments and observations on patients, Sutherland developed craniosacral therapy into an almost independent concept of examination and treatment.

The cranio-sacral therapy refers to the skull and the movements in the skull, the meninges (meninges), the connection between the head (cranium) and sacrum (sacrum) and the flow of the spinal cord-brain fluid. According to the craniosacral concept, there is a movement in or with its own rhythm between the poles of the head and sacrum. This differs from the blood and breathing rhythm in the organism and is called craniosacral rhythm or also primary respiratory rhythm (PRM).

Craniosacral therapy and epilepsy in dogs The primary respiratory rhythm naturally has a close relationship with the central nervous system. Among other things, it is assumed that an imbalance between excitation and inhibition of the nerve structures causes seizures in the brain. Overexcitability of nerve cells and at the same time abnormally high electrical activity and discharge of larger nerve cell groups can be observed with modern medical technology devices.

This is where craniosacral treatment starts in epilepsy dogs: In a healthy dog, craniosacral therapy is based on 5-10 rhythmically flowing cycles of PRM per minute. In a dog that tends to have seizures or epileptic seizures, the craniosacral model describes this rhythm as no longer synchronous and even, but completely confused and unrhythmic.

Another important point of craniosacral therapy in dogs is the relaxation of the intercranial membrane system. Among other things, the membrane is the part of the meninges that separates the two cerebral hemispheres (right / left) from each other as a firm connective tissue skin and spatially delimits the cerebrum from the cerebellum and thus acts as a mediator between the individual skull bones.

In human medicine, epileptic seizures are differentiated according to the location where they are likely to occur: the areas of the frontal lobe (forehead), parietal lobe (upper head), temporal lobe (temple) and rear lobe (back of the head) are differentiated - these are the important ones , large skull plates. The intercranial (in the head) membrane system has a connection to all these bones and also to the internal brain parts of the same name. With these facts, craniosacral therapy explains how dysfunctions in the intercranial membrane system can have far-reaching consequences.

The cranio-sacral therapy wants to solve the dysfunctions and tension in the cranial bones by balancing the cranio-sacral rhythm and relaxing the intercranial membrane system. In addition, craniosacral therapy aims to harmonize the excitability of nerve cells and help him less to tend to the explosive discharges that cause an epileptic seizure in a dog.

According to experience reports from dog osteopaths, craniosacral treatment can have a very positive influence on the frequency of seizures. In functional dog osteopathy, it makes sense to support the epilepsy treatment in dogs with cranio-sacral therapy. (Friederike Franze, human physiotherapist, dog physiotherapist and dog osteopath, 04.02.2011)

Also read:
Dog osteopathy - osteopathy for dogs
What is osteopathy
Dog osteopathy: The appropriate dog nutrition

Image: Martina Goslar /

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Video: Canine Craniosacral #1

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