Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917)
Still was constantly looking for a new understanding of health and disease. This American country doctor was deeply religious and was always looking for new ways to restore health. After the American Civil War, Still witnessed several of his children die one after the other. With earnest he began to look for a new understanding of health and disease and prayed intensely for new insights. A little later, the basic principles of osteopathy opened up to him. He was shown in prayer that the human body works as a unified whole and has a tendency to regulate itself from the inside, that structure and function are closely related and interdependent, and that the mobility of all structures is a prerequisite for the body’s health.
Dr. William Garner Sutherland (1873-1954)
Sutherland was working as a journalist and editor of the Daily Herald in Minnesota, when he heard of a doctor who performed an art called osteopathy and surprised many people with it. That inspired Sutherland to study osteopathy at the age of 25. As he examined a human skull as part of his studies, he noticed that the temporal bone and its joints looked like fish gills. He concluded that similar structures would also have similar functions. He had a premonition that the skull moves, and that this movement shows a rhythm, a sort of pulsation. After this discovery, he devoted the rest of his life to the study of craniosacral work. Before he went public with the craniosacral approach, he had studied and worked with it for 30 years.
Thanks to his work we now know that the individual skull bones perform certain movements. Sutherland was very experimental and distinguished himself by his humour and attention to detail. After having followed a rather mechanical way of reasoning at the beginning of his work, his observations became finer and he was referring more and more to the spiritual level over the years. “Be still and know”, he said once to a particularly inquisitive student.
Dr. John Upledger (1931-2012)
‘The Craniosacral system is the place where body, mind and soul come together.’
Upledger, a powerful and charismatic man contributed significantly to the wide dissemination and popularity of craniosacral therapy. He tried to frame the work in a purely scientific basis. With his multidisciplinary research team he had measured and documented the movements of the cranial suture. He was the founder of the “Somatic Emotional release“ method and thereby the first person to incorporate emotional work in Craniosacral therapy. He was also the first person to train “non-osteopaths” in his institute.