Cranial/Structural vs Craniosacral

Cranial/Structural techniques are very different from craniosacral techniques in intent and application.  Craniosacral techniques are applied within the soft tissue restrictions of the normal cranial motion. Cranial/Structural techniques release the soft tissue restrictions of the normal cranial motion resulting in structural changes throughout the body.


  • Mobilization of the cranium. “within the box” (i.e. Within the soft tissue restrictions.)


  • Mobilization “beyond the box”
  • Rebalances the entire body structure.
  • Uses the cranial bones as handles to mobilize and release the soft tissue of the reciprocal tension membrane, dura, and myofascial planes that hold the structural patterns of the cranium and the body.

Therapeutic Cranial Decompression:

Is based on Osteopathic principles and has many health benefits with the primary one being to shift the body into homeostasis. A valuable therapeutic technique that will re-establish homeostasis within the body when appropriate and boost the immune system. It can also be used to mobilize a stuck and extremely restricted cranium.

Treating SBS (Sphenobasilar Synchondrosis) patterns with indirect/direct technique.


Cranial decompression of the SBS patterns with indirect/direct technique creates functional releases of the cranial mechanism. These decompress the cranium for expanded range of motion, release of trapped fluid and energy resulting in homeostasis and a boost of the immune system. In cranial Osteopathic literature (Magoun and Sutherland) there are many discussions of additional benefits of cranial decompression.

Patterns of the SBS mechanism (Sphenobasilar Synchondrosis)

Normal Patterns

The cranial motion of the SBS mechanism normally alternates between flexion / extension with the occiput and sphenoid moving rhythmically and evenly superiorly and inferiorly.

Distortion patterns of the SBS mechanism

(Existing from distortions and restrictions of the cranium, reciprocal tension membrane, dura, and fascia – all myofascial planes come off the dura.)

Possible causes:

  • Life experiences exaggerating the core distortion.
  • DNA

As interpreted from Dallas Hancock, D.C. (“Foundations of CranioStructural® Techniques”, 1997) the distortion patterns are named for the direction in which the cranium moves easily, and the restricted motion is in the opposite direction.