The Foramen Magnum

the region of the foramen magnum …

Practical Cranio 1 brings a general introduction to purecranio, the craniosacral system, the enhancement of our sensitivity, the effect of touch. The class ends with an introduction to Practical Cranio 2: Sense the intricate movements of the occiput. We continue from there to sense the individual movements of the occiput.

William Garner Sutherland adresses our attention specifically to the foramen magnum, the area where the spinal and the cranial dura meet. He emphasizes on the unobstructed foramen magnum as one of the most important prerequisites for optimal functionality in his book Teachings in the Science of Osteopathy.

The movements of and within the occiput are partly caused by the cranial rhythmic impulse generated in the ventricles. The opening of the foramen magnum and with that the freedom of movement of a part of the Central Nervous System passing through the Foramen Magnum depends however also on chronic and/or acute behaviour of the specific connective tissues and muscles that keep the occiput and the atlas in place.

With sensitivity and respect for the intricate and extremely subtle movements it is possible to sense all the intricate movements of the occiput and its relation to the atlas, its relation to the neck area, and with that to sense the freedom of passage of the Central Nervous System through the Foramen Magnum.

Gentle sensing and following the occiput in all its intricate movements brings often already a relaxation about in the relationship of the occiput and the atlas, so closely connected. If they move somehow connected and also somewhat independent, what influence does that have on the foramen magnum? On our freedom in movement and balance?

However interesting all that may be, the end of the exploration and the practice should be that they can move as free as possible, allowing us not only to turn our heads and our spines freely, but just as important to allow the central nervous system inside the dural tube to function without extra pressure from a foramen magnum whose opening width is compromised. The area, in other words benefits hugely from a maximum of relaxation and many headaches subsided immediately after a release of the occiput and the foramen magnum..

In Practical Cranio 2 we start therefore with the foramen magnum through achieving a good knowledge about the occiput, the atlas, and their furthering connections with the spinal and the cranial zone. From there we will explore the inter and intra mobility of all the cranial bones, the SphenoBasilar Synchondrosis, the membranes inside the cranium and spine and the possibilities for corrections on restrictions.

Following William Garner Sutherland we will see how important it is to evaluate the region of and around the Foramen Magnum first of all, to allow the occiput to move as free as possible, to allow the nervous system a passage as free as possible.

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