Cranial osteopathy

September 23rd, 2004 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, gillian mckeith, nutritionists, PhDs, doctors, and qualifications, times | 48 Comments »

Ben Goldacre
Thursday September 23, 2004
The Guardian

· “Cranial osteopathy – aligning the plates of the skull.” Sounds great. Maybe I can use it to treat my hangovers. The Times certainly likes it, and it even got Dr Toby Murcott to tell us how it works in a box, alongside a case study, called “What’s the evidence?” Toby says: “Can cranial osteopathy treat the brain? Cranial osteopathy is a gentle technique – practitioners claim to feel a subtle pulse in the fluid surrounding the brain. There is some research to suggest that these pulses are related to slow, regular changes in blood pressure in the brain. This has yet to gain wide acceptance and it’s not clear how working with these might lead to health improvements.” Here’s what you need to know.

· First, cranial osteopaths don’t even think the pulses are blood pressure; their theories revolve around the “inherent rhythmic motility” of the brain and spinal cord, mixed with breath and cardiac cycles, causing rhythmic fluctuation of the brain and surrounding fluid, which they think they can feel through the bones of your skull, and fix up with a bit of wiggling. They write long articles about actin and myosin (the things in muscle cells that make them move) being present in brain cells; unfortunately, they always forget to mention that brain cells lack the dense arrays of those filaments which are necessary to generate any significant movement.

· But are there real “cranial pulses” to be felt, however they may be generated? It’s easy to find out: ask a couple of cranial osteopaths to write down the frequency of the pulses on the same person’s skull, and then see if they give the same answer. There have been five papers published doing just this, and in none of them did the osteopaths give similar answers. Which suggests to me that (a) this is not a reliable biological phenomenon, and (b) perhaps these cranial osteopaths are, er, imagining it. So: the discipline is based on a misunderstanding, they can’t measure what they claim to measure and work with, and there’s no evidence to say it works.

· When I see a box labelled “What’s the evidence?” next to a health article by a Dr Toby Murcott, call me naive, but I assume he’s a medical doctor, rather than a science journalist with a PhD. And by now, regular readers must be wondering how I’m going to crowbar Gillian McKeith into this column. Well, what do you know, Dr Toby Murcott was the “science adviser” on You Are What You Eat, the TV show that told us we should eat more dark leaves, because the chlorophyll would oxygenate our blood. Bravo.

The following appeared two weeks later:

Don’t knock it

Thursday October 7, 2004
The Guardian

I don’t care what Ben Goldacre says (Bad science, September 23), after having severe sleeping problems for almost two years due to stress I was referred to an osteopath by my GP. I haven’t needed sleeping pills since (three months now). Bad science? Perhaps, but it worked for me.
E McDonald
Antwerp, Belgium


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
If you like what I do, and you want me to do more, you can: buy my books Bad Science and Bad Pharma, give them to your friends, put them on your reading list, employ me to do a talk, or tweet this article to your friends. Thanks! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

48 Responses



  1. cath having fun said,

    September 9, 2006 at 1:07 am

    re above comment
    I’m always reminded of a college lecturer, who constantly reminded us that
    ‘the plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data’. I predict I may be using this comment again sometime later this month…

  2. Gunga Din said,

    September 19, 2006 at 5:24 pm

    Anecdote vs. data.
    Too true, but without the recorded anecdote to pique interest, no scientist would ever spend any time on collecting data to prove the validity of anecdotal claims.
    It is hardly the anecdote’s fault that there are some who jump at the chance to believe everything they hear/read. Some anecdotal evidence has, after many years of exploration, turned out to be truly astounding science.
    Some has also turned out to be twaddle.

  3. Dr. Garner said,

    December 23, 2006 at 9:49 pm

    I would succes that you take a new look at the research done on Cranial rythmic impuls. It has been measured. It is true that we don´t know what it mean and where does it come from. Inter-examiner reliability is not good for palpating this, but it´s not good in many other things either. (check out the knee surgery techniques for example). The main thing with this is that it´s safe and effective when ablied with the right medical knowledge.

    I´d just like to quote Carl Sagan and say “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”.

    Dr. Garner

  4. jonathanhearsey said,

    July 6, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Dr. Goldacre, it gets worse…..

    jonathanhearsey.com/?p=24

    …..and, as you know, I am an osteopath!

    JH

  5. Osteopathy « The Crystal Conundrum said,

    December 28, 2008 at 12:16 am

    [...] therapy is the dodgiest part of Osteopathy.  Not all Osteopaths practice it.  If you click here, Dr. Ben Goldacre explains more about cranial [...]

  6. Cranial Osteopathy please help!!!! - Netmums Coffeehouse said,

    May 17, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    [...] [...]

  7. benrubi said,

    June 25, 2009 at 8:45 am

    How long did you study it?
    How long did you practice it?

    In Rome there is some one who received the Holly Spirit.

    For all others, they are not request to speake about what they beleive in. They have to prove, overall when having a public talk.

  8. tom said,

    September 30, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    My friend and his partner have been taking their infant son to see an oesteopath for cranial massage because the child does not sleep as much as they would like at the times that suit them. This concerns me for two reasons: the first being that that it seems to me that the manipulation of the soft skull of a baby might actually be dangerous; and the second reason being that they have been paying £21.50 per session which they can ill afford.

    I would be grateful if anyone could point me to some objective and accessible literature which discusses objectively the lack of evidence supporting cranial osteopathy as a treatment for babies. My argument to my friend that my four children all cried at night and the solution was either to feed, burp or cuddle them does not seem to “cut any ice”!

    I checked the NHS website, and found that it mentions cranial osteopathy in a list of “specific therapies [that] have been suggested and might be considered, although no reliable evidence was found to support these management approaches”.

    healthguides.mapofmedicine.com/choices/map/infantile_colic1.html

    The text containing mention of cranial osteopathy is reached by clicking on the box marked “General Advice”, about six boxes from the top.

    In the words of the NHS web site:

    “The Map of Medicine is used by doctors throughout the NHS to determine the best treatment options for their patients. NHS Choices offers everyone in England exclusive and free access to this cutting-edge internet resource, which lets you see exactly what your doctor sees.

    The information in the Map has been approved by the UK’s leading clinical experts, is based on the best available clinical evidence, and is continually updated.”

    Whilst this Map of Medicine does point out that there is no reliable evidence in support of cranial osteopathy, it is still saying that it “might be considered”.

    This too concerns me, because it could be interpreted that the NHS is condoning such unproven treatments.

    Please note that my friend was not referred to the osteopath by an NHS doctor, but by another acquaintance.

  9. wokao123 said,

    October 15, 2009 at 9:44 am

    i like this article Links of London Links of London Links of London Links of London Tiffany Tiffany Tiffany Tiffany ED hardy ED hardy ED hardy UGG BOOTS UGG BOOTS UGG BOOTS UGG BOOTS

  10. wayscj said,

    November 21, 2009 at 7:05 am

    ed hardy ed hardy
    ed hardy clothing ed hardy clothing
    ed hardy shop ed hardy shop
    christian audigier christian audigier
    ed hardy cheap ed hardy cheap
    ed hardy outlet ed hardy outlet
    ed hardy sale ed hardy sale
    ed hardy store ed hardy store
    ed hardy mens ed hardy mens
    ed hardy womens ed hardy womens
    ed hardy kids ed hardy kids ed hardy kids

  11. rachel108 said,

    November 29, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Hey pinhead. How are you are so ignorant as to even have time to knock somthing so blatently effective? Have you even had one treatment ? Have you even spoken to one osteopath? Have you even spoken to one patient?

    No. I guess not. You just get your kicks out of criticising what you know NOTHING about.

    Well all I can say is this: if you ever get a whiplash, migraines, ongoing headaches, head pain after dental work, if you ever have a baby that won’t sleep, or won’t stop screaming with colic – don’t come knocking on my door. And I would thank you not to tell other people to stay away when their quality of life could be greatly improved by this most extraordinarily effective and SAFE treatment.

    You just keep prescribing people pain killers that cover up their pain, damage their livers and offer them no hope of long term recovery.

    Because you of course are the intelligent one aren’t you. And the rest of us who spent 5 years at university studying the cranial system are idiots. Obviously.

    UK Cranial Osteopath. And very, very proud of it.

  12. Ben Goldacre said,

    November 29, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    if you’re proud, can you give your name please?

  13. rachel108 said,

    November 29, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Sorry for being a bit strong, it is just so irritating to have somthing you see effectively resolving so many probelms everyday beung critisised so harshly and unfairly by such a high profle journalist. Perhaps you could do another review since it is 5 years since your article. I think the public need balanced literature. There are studies that have proven the movement of the cranial bones but you don’t quote them.

    In America, the fact that the cranial bones move was proven in xray studies and accepted 10 years ago. They are now 10 years into their research. Only MD’s practice cranial osteopathy in America and it is a highly accepted treatment form.

    Why is the UK so insistent on criticising it and waiting for it to be proved a farce?

    At the end of the day the public vote with their feet.

  14. Ben Goldacre said,

    November 29, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    nothing has changed so there wld be no benefit in updating, except to make the same points again.

    lots of people fall for scams, look at the popularity of pyramid schemes. just because people buy into them, does that they work?

    i note you are proud of what you do and say but wish to remain anonymous. people will read what they wish into it, i always find it a bit surprising.

  15. rachel108 said,

    November 29, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    So you are not prepared to re-assess the research then. Even though I am telling you there are research papers available that you have not reviewed which paints a very different picture?

    Even though hundreds of GP’s, consultants, midwives and dentists now refer patients to us every week.

    You just want to know who I am.

    Hmmmm

    Yes you are right. The public will read into it what they wish.

  16. Ben Goldacre said,

    November 29, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    please do post the latest trial data on cranial osteopathy.

    i dont mind if you want to hide your identity, rachel108, i just think it’s pretty funny (in passing) that you talk about how proud you are of what you do but don’t want to give your name. i know that’s common. i just think it’s funny.

  17. rachel108 said,

    November 29, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Righto. Well that’s a start.

  18. Ben Goldacre said,

    November 29, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    so post the data/

  19. rachel108 said,

    November 29, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=11831342&ordinalpos=4&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

  20. rachel108 said,

    November 29, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Review the evidence. the public deserve it.

  21. rachel108 said,

    November 29, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    www.freepatentsonline.com/5630422.html

    www.cranialacademy.com/pdf/PRMresearch.pdf

    www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/106/6/337

  22. Bones said,

    December 21, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Perhaps readers might be interested in the following review of cranial osteopathy:

    Green C, Martin CW, Bassett K, Kazanjian A. A systematic review of craniosacral therapy: biological plausibility, assessment reliability and clinical effectiveness. Complement Ther Med.1999; 7:201–207

    To quote its results and conclusions:

    “RESULTS: The available research on craniosacral treatment effectiveness constitutes low-grade evidence conducted using inadequate research protocols. One study reported negative side effects in outpatients with traumatic brain injury. Low inter-rater reliability ratings were found. CONCLUSIONS: This systematic review and critical appraisal found insufficient evidence to support craniosacral therapy. Research methods that could conclusively evaluate effectiveness have not been applied to date.”

  23. Bones said,

    December 21, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    You might also be interested in this v interesting article, tracing the origin of Sutherland’s model, the founder of cranial osteopathy:

    “Swedenborg’s influence on Sutherland’s ‘Primary Respiratory Mechanism’ model in cranial osteopathy”. T. Jordan. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine. Volume 12(3), September 2009, pgs 100-105

    Sutherland borrowed heavily from Swedenborg’s long-abandoned 18th century physiological hypotheses.

  24. gary said,

    December 25, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Interested to know your response to the two studies measuring cranial bone movement posted above?

  25. Trish_M said,

    January 23, 2010 at 11:06 am

    When my mother gave birth to my brother, this resulted in a twisted pelvis. She was in agony for years. The doctors / hospital put her into plaster of paris, and then surgical corsets, before discharging her ‘a cripple’ for whom they could do nothing more.

    Thank goodness she found an osteopath to put her right. At 80, she is still dancing ~ but still having regular treatment.

    All of my children have benefitted enormously from cranial osteopathy. The one suffered during a difficult birth and would later collapse regularly. The other had problems, following, a road accident, where his skull was hit by a car, like a table-tennis bat hitting a ping pong ball. The third could not swim, except in circles, because she had hurt her leg and one was shorter than the other.

    When my friend’s son kept collapsing, after a road accident, it was my son who recommended the cranial therapist / osteopath ~ and he put the boy right. As his mother said, why could he do this, while the hospital left him in a state of contant collapse?

    Anecdotal, of course.

    Similarly anecdotal is the fact that, though my son visited doctors and hospitals, following his road accident, none diagnosed his broken leg, until I insisted on an x-ray. Two weeks after the accident he was put in plaster!

    I could give other stories indicating cases where the doctors got it wrong ~ but they would be anecdotal, too.

    Osteopathy works. Cranial osteopathy works. Of course there may be disreputable practitioners, but there are disreputable dictors, too.

    I don’t expect anyone to believe me, just because I say something is so ~ especially of they don’t know me. I will just say this, if ever you or your loved ones are injured, or if you know of a baby who has been negatively affected by a traumatic birth, just give it a try and see for yourself.

  26. sarah100 said,

    March 11, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Of course there is not absolute evidence for everything that may work. As a HV I went to watch cranial osteopathy as many of my mum’s were spending quite a lot of money on trying to help their babies settle in the first 6 – 8 weeks, and go back for 3 or 3 or more appointments in that time. I went in ‘believing it’ and came out more than doubtful. The cranial osteopath I spent time with said that it does not involve manipulating the plates of the skull, which surprised me, but was about the flow of fluid. I would say don’t waste your money. The majority of babies settle on their own in the first 6 weeks when parent and baby have managed to work it all out and increasingly parents have high and unrealistic expectations of when, if ever, a baby should cry. I have only read the abstract of the article that Rachel mentions, and the first thing I notice is it is talking about adults and not babies. I cannot find any good evidence. I don’t suggest it to mum’s now, but if they ask I tell them that other parents have found it helpful, and equally some don’t, it doesn’t seem to do harm.

  27. Dresden said,

    April 7, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Trish

    I don’t agree that any story you related about a doctor getting it wrong would be ‘anecdotal’, as much as a claim about any variety of osteopathy: if true, it would be evidence for incompetence or malpractice and couldn’t be used to generalise about the general conduct of doctors.

    A personal experience used to support a generalisation about a therapy is indeed anecdotal, by the same token.

    If you and your children have personally gained from therapy offered by osteopathy, then fine; what you’re not entitled to do is to make claims for its wider application. As someone said (above, I think): “The plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data”.

  28. Graeme said,

    April 15, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Ashamed to admit this, but when our daughter was 18months and driving us insane with her poor sleeping – we took her to a CO in Leamington Spa.

    He was clearly bonkers, although jolly nice. Claimed he could cure our daughter through my wife’s back!

    One thing though – he dangled our baby by her head and waggled her body around supported only by her neck. I know. We were nuts – why did we allow this!? He went on to encourage me to do this technique – and I did a couple of times. He charged good money for this.

    I’m sure if we hadn’t been so desparate – and if there had been enough info around back then (there wasn’t anything helpful on the internet) – we would never have allowed this quack loose on our precious baby.

    I just wanted to ask: how dangerous does this neck dangling sound, and do COs still routinely do this?

    Graeme

  29. fiolondon said,

    April 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Hi

    I have been revisiting this post since November waiting for Ben to update his article or comment on the research posted by Rachel108 in November.

    While I was here I thought that there were a couple of recent posts worth commenting on.

    To state my bias, my husband is an osteopath and his treatment on me worked when ‘conventional/allopathic’ medicine was not able to offer any solutions. I have also seen treatment work for many more people (although not all) so I think it is a matter of getting the evidence together to support the anecdotes rather than sying there is ‘nothing to it’.

    It is fair to say that the osteopathic community (who are a regulated profession) feel as though they have been caught ‘flat footed’ in the area of research and evidence supporting their profession.

    In part this is because most osteopaths are sole practitioners working in isolation and running one’s own business does not leave a lot of time for running research trials, not the opportunity to compare the efficacy of different osteopaths and treatment approaches. However there are now national bodies who are encouraging and supporting osteopaths to produce good quality research. Much of the evidence produced so far has not been terribly well organised, so hopefully this ne initiative will be productive shortly.

    Another problem is that the seminal 1996 paper by Sackett et al (www.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/312/7023/71)
    describes evidence based medicine as a triad with research, clinicial expertise and patient preference at each of the three points.

    However, osteopaths with years of experience are unable to draw data from past patient records as participation in clinical studies need the explicit consent of patients. Retrospective permission is fraught with difficulty – not least the time involved. So many practicioners find that their cumulative expertise counts for very little in the search for ‘evidence based medicine’ despite Sackett’s definition.

    I think that Ben’s comments about lack of evidence are fair, but it should not be long before that is addressed.

  30. fiolondon said,

    April 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    In reply to Graeme, the ‘neck dangling’ is (according to my husband) not a standard cranial osteopathic technique which is normally gentle to the point you might think nothing is actually happening! However it is a known manual therapy technique so you would need to speak to the osteopath that treated your baby to see why it was indicated.

    That practicioner should also have explained the risks to you in order to obtain your informed consent so you are completely entitled to go back for answers to all your questions. It would probably be more informative than posting your questions to strangers on the web!

    But in my completely unmedical opinion, I would assess the risk of dangling under self weight, with the much higher forces applied to babies’ necks when delivered by forceps or ventouse (where the obstetrician has to put his/her foot on the bed to generate enough force to pull the baby out of the mother by its neck).

    As obstetricians assure us that assisted delivery is perfectly safe, and as the forces involved in this would far exceed the ones applied to your baby, I think an obstetrician would have to say that there was minimal risk from the ‘dangling’ you describe.

    However given that obstetrics was awarded the ‘wooden spoon’ in 1979 by Archie Cochrane for its unscientific methods you might be best to come to your own conclusions…..

  31. victoria davies said,

    September 28, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Anyone calling themselves an osteopath or referring in any way to what they do as osteopathy, either explicitly or implicitly, must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council. Osteopathy is regulated by statute. Cranial osteopaths are not the same thing as craniosacral therapists, who are completely unregulated (i.e. do not have to prove fitness to practice, evidence of training etc).
    Most of what I have read here about the theory of cranial osteopathy is outdated. Research is on going into the structural and functional basis of cranial osteopathy. For more information you could try contacting NCOR (the national council for osteopathic research) or the GOsC.
    I am an osteopath and use cranial in my work. It is highly effective, when properly used. If you want to take a baby to a cranial osteopath I suggest you look for someone who has done a postgraduate paediatric qualification, since developmentally babies are not simply small adults and should not be treated on the same basis.
    As an aside, having a PhD doesn’t automatically make you intelligent as the lack of impartiality on Dr Goldacre’s part in most respeacts demonstrates.
    Victoria Davies MSc BSc(Hons)Ost

  32. sakayus said,

    October 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    My issue that I’d like to address to the public is that in osteopathic school, we recieve a modest amount of the traditional A.T. Still OMM training and little to no cranial manipulative medicine training thus the ability and credibitily of each individual physician must be viewed on a level per reputation/experience. If I were starting my practice for cranial OMM I’d have to accrue a vast amount of patients in order to get a good sense of normal cranial movement and the correct techniques to properly fix certain dysfunctions. For regular medicine we call this residency where we look at thousands of ears just to figure out what a normal tympanic membrane looks like or listen to thousands of people’s hearts and lungs to know how to properly assess each patient where normal anatomical variability exist. Just remember that listening to someone’s heart, lungs, looking in their ears, and eyes only takes a few seconds and requires years to be well adept at picking out the more subtle pathologies thus it would be an appropriate statement to conclude that since it generally requires a few minutes to palpate one’s cranial motion and less avaliabilty of patient’s to perform it on, it requires substantial more time to appreciate.

  33. gary said,

    January 2, 2011 at 1:32 am

    Where are the rebuttals or new supportive evidence requested by the authors of this 2006 paper on cranial osteopathy? www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1564028/

  34. skepticbarista said,

    February 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    gary,

    You’ll find some comments on that article here:
    chiromt.com/content/14/1/10/comments

    I am currently talking to teh GOsC and NCOR about evidence for Cranial Osteopathy and have just blogged on the evidence (or lack of it) I’ve found:
    skepticbarista.wordpress.com/2011/02/01/osteopathya-question-of-evidence-part-1/

    Part 2 of that blog will be out in a day or so.

    Victoria Davies above says:
    “For more information you could try contacting NCOR (the national council for osteopathic research) or the GOsC.”

    Well I did and I think the results speak for themselves!

  35. skepticbarista said,

    February 6, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Osteopathy: A Question of evidence Part 2.
    skepticbarista.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/osteopathya-question-of-evidence-part-2/

    This is how the Osteopathys statutory regulator deals with enquiries about evidence for Cranial Osteopathy.

  36. RosieCrystalPalace said,

    August 7, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Re Rachel108’s first link, I can only see the summary, but it appears to conclude that X-rays are a useful way of measuring movement in the cranial bones – no conclusions are reported about what was causing that movement,or about any effects of cranial osteopathy or manipulation? It also doesn’t say there was any control among the 12 patients studied, to see whether cranial bone movement happens if you aren’t having cranial osteopathy?

    Please correct me if this is in the full report but not the summary.

    Rosie Hunter

  37. Cranial Osteopathy for Colic? Advice please said,

    December 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    [...] where people say it works but cranial osteopaths have no real scientific basis for what they do: Cranial osteopathy – Bad Science I don't think it can hurt but don't spend loads on it. Trouble is these things sort themselves out [...]

  38. cranial osteopathy? said,

    April 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    [...] on this page Cranial Osteopathy for babies and children and also some arguments against it here Cranial osteopathy – Bad Science Many parents have tried it – without any ill effects – but with mixed results. Often people have [...]

  39. raebeast said,

    May 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Animating an old thread here… I love science, but there is a zealotry to it that rivals religion. The whole craniosacral therapy and cranial osteopathic debunking crusaders are so hell-bent on disproving things that they never stop to think about the impact they have. It may be that the plural of anecdote is not data. Data is worth nothing against *personal* experience. Data may say a percentage of illnesses can be cured by a proven method, yet somehow that didn’t include you. The process is now worthless to you. General anesthesia kills people, yet people are mad at craniosacral for daring to claim any efficacy because science hasn’t figured out how to prove it. To my knowledge (mind you I am much more willing to admit it’s limits than some), nobody has died from craniosacral. Reminder – placebo is a very strong drug. Even it should be considered in this type of debate! Stop trying to prevent people from helping themselves. Seriously.

  40. Cranio Sacral Therapy said,

    August 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    [...] for cranial osteopathy Here is an article explaining why it is considered "bad science" Cranial osteopathy – Bad Science Many parents have tried using cranial techniques for their babies and I'm sure there are other [...]

  41. Allisurd said,

    November 17, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    @Raebeast said: “To my knowledge (mind you I am much more willing to admit it’s limits than some), nobody has died from craniosacral.”

    actually, people have died & others have been injured.

    Kimberly Lee Strohecker died: www.chirobase.org/16Victims/gallagher.html

    A baby died in the Netherlands: anaximperator.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/infant-dies-after-craniosacral-therapy-therapist-gets-off-scot-free/

    Michael Arditti nearly died: whatstheharm.net/craniosacraltherapy.html

    Then there are those psychologically harmed. A “friend” who knew about my traumatic past practiced CST on me w/o providing informed consent, I’m still dealing w/ the flashbacks she triggered – CST practitioners recognize no difference between memories, flashbacks & emotions. They are all one. And

    I’m not the only one who has been injured: www.massagetherapy.com/articles/index.php/article_id/442/The-Ethics-of-Touch-Part-3.

    Currently, I’m searching for people injured by CST either through commission, omission or negligence. When I’ve completed my work, I’ll post a link here. CST is dangerous if only because practitioners are not trained in medicine or psychology & do not know how to respond to medical needs & emergencies.

  42. Adrenal fatigue? - Page 3 | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 3 said,

    December 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    [...] Craniosacral therapy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Cranial osteopathy – Bad Science Sorry, Seaweed, but I would consider anyone practicing cranial osteopathy to be either self [...]

  43. A nonny mouse said,

    June 21, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    No science here, just anecdotal, but if you’re a parent, read on…

    I was highly sceptical about the whole business. My wife insisted I take him, as he had a difficult birth (breach)and she had heard it was good.

    He had sleep problems, was quite ratty and unsettled both at home and school.

    After three treatments, however, my mind has changed. I have seen a difference; he now sleeps through the night, most nights and after four years of disturbed nights, believe me,that is a blessing.

    The school have (without knowing we had taken him) told us that he is now more relaxed at school – co-incidence?

    The clincher for me – as I sat him in the car to leave, on the fourth session, for a boy that barely strings a sentence together, he spontaneously said – ‘I feel all nice now’ (I hadn’t been asking him how he was, I was just strapping him into his car seat!).

    None of this is proof. Just another anecdote.

    What I think is happening here is two-fold.

    1) When exponents of such treatment talk about unproven ‘reasons’ why the treatments work, most people with even a remotely scientific brain or education tend to wince a little (certainly my feeling). It’s a shame, as it gives critics of the treatment something really meaty to grab hold of and lay into. It would be far better to just say’ hey, we realign the skull’ it works!

    2) Many osteopaths are sole practitioners or work in small practises. They cannot carry out large scale trials. If there were, there would be proof, one way or the other. Until such time as large scale trials take place, they have no real ‘proof’ to fall back on, just anecdotes.

  44. Colic: is it all in the head? | PJ Young Books said,

    September 12, 2013 at 9:26 am

    […] we tried. In the end, almost as a last resort as I work in ethical healthcare and though I’m no Ben Goldacre, I was skeptical about it, I made an appointment with a cranial […]

  45. Craniosacral Therapy | Illuminutti said,

    October 11, 2013 at 1:04 am

    […] been unable to consistently come up with the same measurements of the alleged craniosacral rhythm. (Dr. Ben Goldacre says there have been five such published studies and “in none of them did the osteopaths give […]

  46. david said,

    March 31, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    After almost 4 years of my G.P insisting I had a heart problem (Dr Choudry @ Cannock Chase medical practice Staffordshire).
    I explained to Dr Choudry on several visits (made to feel like a hypo)and his colleague that my symptoms were breathlessness,loose bowel actions,pins and needles plus other things.
    I was active and had a reasonable diet at 40 years of age I was concerned because quite simply you know something is wrong. I laid off excerting myself because the doctor had kept telling me it was my heart (angina).After 3 ECG’S !
    Eventually I paid for an MRI (£720.00)to find I had a sliding Hiatus hernia which I had suggested twice after researching my symptons on the internet !!!
    Cranial Therapy was suggested by the company who scanned me and two sessions in I feel 300% better.Breathing back to normal, normal bowel movements and vast improvement in my mind set.
    This is not the first time my G.P has let me down.

  47. Ben Goldacre said,

    March 31, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Wow thanks David.

    It’s already pretty widely discussed that the companies who advertise full body scans are causing harm through overdiagnosis and overtreating, but this is the first time I’ve heard of them diagnosing something and then recommending a quack treatment for it.

    Can you tell us the name of the company?

  48. RG said,

    April 13, 2014 at 4:38 am

    It’s clear that Ben Goldacre has never EXPERIENCED cranial osteopathy, so his opinions are just that! I had a head injury and saw many many different doctors over a year; given many different meds as well, with no results. Found a cranial osteopath and within 3 visits, I was completely free of the pain I had suffered for a yr. Ba Humbug to Ben Goldacre. Don’t be jaded by this Goldacre’s cynical viewpoint.

You must be logged in to post a comment.