The Barnum Effect

Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral Therapy or Craniosacral Massage it a therapy involving the movement of the bones in the head to relieve a number of ailments. Practitioners will tell you that this technique offers relief from a whole host of complaints, however there is no evidence that this approach offers anything other than the placebo effect, which is very powerful in itself but is not a treatment option.

This therapy was ‘discovered’ in the early 19th Century by an osteopath in America and is based upon some of the wild theories of the time. Like many pseudo-scientific ideas it was created by a ‘Doctor’ and was based upon the knowledge of the time; a time before a complete understanding of human anatomy and physiology, x-rays, MRI scanners or orthopaedics. In other words, guesswork. The proof offered for the efficacy of this approach was that it was ‘demonstrated to his satisfaction’ – well that’s all right then!

Naturally, there is a very tiny but significant problem with this theory. The bones in the head are fused together a few years after birth and do not move; so there is no way that they can be manipulated without the use of a blunt object and considerable force; which may solve a patients problems but may cause a few nasty side effects e.g. death.

The whole Craniosacral idea belongs in the same box as Phrenology (head shape reading) as an outdated idea that has nothing to do with proper medical science.

WARNING – If the bones in your head can be manipulated it is important that you visit you local hospital as it is likely that you have a fractured skull which can lead to death!

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