The primary premise of craniopathy is that there is a fundamental rhythm in the body called the craniosacral primary respiratory rhythm or CS-PRR that is important to the health of the brain and cord. The rhythm is composed of three sources of waves.
The first source of waves comes from the nervous system. The nervous system produces electrical waves which we measure with EEGs in the brain, ECG’s for the heart, and EMGs for skeletal muscles.
The second source of waves comes from the heart and respiration, which together create cardiorespiratory waves that are transmitted to the brain. The pumping of the heart and blood vessels create ripples in the water surrounding the arteries in the brain. Because of its pressure affect on the heart and blood vessels in the ribcage, respiration, increases the ripples in the arteries like wind on water.
Respiratory waves are further transmitted to the brain via vertebral veins in the spine called the VVP. The VVP is connected to the brain and like the cranial veins, the veins of the VVP have no valves.
The third source of waves comes from musculoskeletal forces. The first source of musculoskeletal stress comes from inhalation and exhalation via muscles which cause flexion and extension of the base of the skull and the rest of the spine including its base, the sacrum. Technically, the respiratory affect on motion in the axial skeleton is called nutation.
The accessory muscles of respiration pull down on the base of the skull causing a strain that bends it downward in the direction of flexion. Respiration also causes the ribs to lift and the ribcage to expand. In addition, it causes the thoracic spine to straighten.
Respiration also causes the diaphragm to plunge downward pushing the abdominal organs deeper into the pelvis. The downward movement of the organs and the change in the throacic spine causes the lumbar spine to straighten and the sacrum of the pelvis to move into more of a flexion position. Exhalation relaxes the strain and reverses the above. This cycle continues with every breath throughout life.
As a child matures additional muculoskeletal stresses come from holding the head upright, chewing, standing and walking. Bipedal motion causes fluid shifts in the cranial veins which again have no valves.
Upright MR angiograms continue to confirm Dr. Sutherland’s theory of the craniosacral primary respiratory rhythm. Radiologists refer to the respiratory waves in the brain as B waves or volume waves. Because the vertebral veins, which have no valves, transmit respiratory waves to the brain it causes cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure in the brain (and cord) to rise and fall. In other words, brain pressure goes up and down with each breath. The brain beats just like the heart. In radiology it’s called compliance. Compliance is a good thing in the brain. It helps move things along.