Historic evolution of BCST

The name “Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy” reflects the lineage it comes from – that of osteopathy. At a time when the general medical opinion was that cranial bones were fused, American osteopath Dr. William G. Sutherland (1873 – 1954) discovered that indeed they moved. “Like the gills of a fish”, they breathed, and this breathing was critical to health. In the 50 years that he devoted to this investigation, he found that the entire body – bones, tissues, fluids – engage in subtle and regular cycles of expansion and contraction which can be palpated by sensitive hands; and that this breathing was not triggered by muscles. His conclusion was that this respiration was a manifestation of the body’s inherent life force which he called “Breath of Life.”

The work was further developed by osteopaths like Dr. Rollin Becker, Dr. Robert Fulford, and Dr. James Jealous. In the latter part of the 20th century, Dr. John Upledger started teaching cranial work to nonosteopaths, and Franklyn Sills developed the 50-day, two-year foundation course curriculum which became the model for the training of present day Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapists.