In Focus: Cranio-Sacral Therapy

We encourage the reporting of breaches that are local to you first. If a Craniosacral Therapist advertises their services via a website, misleading advertisements should be submitted to the ACCC for review.

Practitioners are often osteopaths, massage therapists, chiropractors, dentists, or physical therapists.

Craniosacral therapy (CST), bio cranial therapy, cranial osteopathy, cranial therapy, sacro occipital technique (SOT), and craniopathy are some of the terms used to describe a manipulation technique based on unsupported claims such as:

  • The human brain makes rhythmic movements that are unrelated to breathing or heart-rate at a rate of 10 to 14 cycles per minute.
  • That these small cranial pulsations can be felt with the fingertips.
  • That the 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 causes disease.
  • That these diseases can be diagnosed by detecting abnormalities in this rhythm.
  • And finally, that these diseases and symptoms such as pain (especially of the jaw joint) can be remedied by pressing on the skull bones.

Quick Tips

Advertisers can be considered to be making misleading statements if:

  1. they claim to be able to manipulate the individual cranial bones of an individual past adolescence.
  2. their therapeutic value claims a benefit beyond placebo.
  3. they claim interference with the flow of cerebrospinal fluid is a common cause of disease.
  4. they claim to be able to treat these problems through CST.

Searching for Breaches

Try searching “Craniosacral”.
Most webpages breach Australian Consumer Laws by being misleading or containing unbalanced information that may cause people to cease medication, or undertake CST in place of conventional treatments.

Suggested Evidence

You should always included evidence of the advertisements, such as a screenshot of the website.
It is best to provide evidence to substantiate complaints against the claims by a therapist.

Below are two sources that may be used to lend more weight to your complaint.

Hartman SE, Norton JM: Interexaminer reliability and cranial osteopathy.
Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine 6(1):23-34, 2002.

Kazanjian A et al: A systematic review and appraisal of the scientific evidence on craniosacral therapy.
BCOHTA, May 1999.


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