Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT)

SOT is a method of chiropractic based primarily on the identification and treatment of three bodily systems (called Categories): the cranial sacral respiratory system, the weight-bearing system and the function of the lumbar spine. The cranial sacral mechanism is a combination of integrated functions that support, nourish and enhance the performance of the nervous system as it controls bodily functions.

The components of the cranial sacral respiratory mechanism are:

Respiratory motion of the sutural system of the cranium along with cranial bone flexibility.
Respiratory motion of the sacrum between the two ileum.
Tension of the dural membranes from its contact with the sutural system, the cranium, the upper cervical spine and the sacral base.
The inherent quality of the cerebral spinal fluid to pulsate and flow through the dural membrane system.

The growth and inherent respiration of the brain and ventricular system.

All other systems of the body have both a direct and indirect relationship to the cranial sacral respiratory mechanism (endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, etc.).

In SOT, structural analysis is based on objective clinical findings (indicators). These methods are based on normal physiology and how the physiology should react under certain conditions, i.e., Arm Fossae test is a challenge of multiple stimuli calling on the upper motor neurons system to coordinate function with the lower motor neuron system. Once these indicators are collected, the SOT Chiropractor makes judgments as to the best treatment approach. One of three categories are chosen, based on the needs of either the cranial sacral mechanism, the weight-bearing properties of the sacroiliac joint or the lumbar spine.

The three category system of classification is defined as follows:

Category I
A disturbance in the cranial sacral mechanism in its distribution of the cerebral spinal fluid, the tension of it's dural membranes and the function of the cranial/sacral structures to promote these qualities.

Category II
A disturbance of the body's weight-bearing system, primarily the weight-bearing sacroiliac interosseous ligaments, with a loss of the body's ability to maintain itself posturally against gravity. The cranial sutural system is considered as part of the body's weight bearing system.

Category III
A lumbar joint failure possibly resulting in discogenic involvement and nerve root compression or stretching. A failure of the piriformis muscle is also considered in Category III as is distortion of the pelvic ilio femoral complex.

Indicators for further treatment procedures are monitored as the treatment protocol continues. By monitoring the indicators, you also will know when and if the adjustment has been successful. All three of the category systems utilize specific pelvic blocking procedures to initiate alignment and respiration along with spinal adjustment. Cranial techniques are primarily indicated by the category system being treated. This flow from full body adjusting to specific cranial adjusting was developed over many years by Dr. DeJarnette.

Included in SOT is Chiropractic Manipulation Reflex Technique (CMRT). CMRT is a system of organ function analysis and treatment as it relates to the spine and the occipital tendon insertions. This method not only allows you to find the major vertebral subluxation but also the degree of involvement, (cerebrospinal-meningeal, vertebral visceral or structural-vertebral). CMRT teaches a method of adjusting the vertebrae subluxation along with soft tissue reflexes to nourish the organ. The occipital fibers are based on the ability of the proprioceptive system (Golgi Tendons) to respond to muscles influenced by spinal subluxations and visceral and meningeal disturbances. CMRT allows the SOT Chiropractor to take a whole person approach to health. SOT also employs Trapezius fiber analysis with spinal palpation to define spinal subluxation and cervical indicators to define lumbar subluxation. Extremity techniques are taught in SOT as part of its core curriculum since they are part of the weight-bearing system and can influence cranial sacral respiration.