Visionary Craniosacral Work® 3 – Advanced Content Class
Visionary Craniosacral Work® with the Cervical Vertebrae and First Rib

In this one-day, eight-hour class students will focus on the sub-occipital transit, the cervical vertebrae, and the first rib. Beginning with a foundation in embryology, anatomy, physiology and pathology, students will be shown, and then practice, manual therapy and craniosacral approaches to this area.

For clarity in the teaching process, the cervical spine will be divided into four soft tissue quadrants – anterior, posterior, left lateral and right lateral. An overview of the carotid and jugular vessels, the spinal cord, and cranial nerve XI will be included with a study of the cervical muscles and ligaments that are important in craniosacral work.

Students will learn the basic embryology of the vertebral column, noting the differentiation of ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm and the emergence of the primitive streak and the first four occipital somites after day fourteen. The concept of the ‘Lutz’ will be discussed. The ossification chronology of the occiput, the neck and first rib will be studied. The relationship of the atlas to the posterior cranial fossa, to the foramen magnum and the brainstem will be outlined. Students will be asked to study the bony anatomy of the superior surface of the atlas, including the ‘reniform’ atlanto-occipital joints (AOJ). Students will learn about the fascicles and the other ‘check ligaments’ of the AOJ. From there we will investigate the physiology, pathology and dysfunction of the sub-occipital transit of cervical spinal nerves 1, 2 and 3, noting their passage into the brachial plexus and their route through the anterior triangle of the neck.

In addition to studying the sub-occipital muscles, including the longus capitus, longus collis and the scalenes, students will study the transition from meningeal dura to spinal dura, and examine trauma to the atlanto-occipital joint as related to paraplegia and quadriplegia. The Reeves recovery, and the use of intensive physical therapy in facilitating spinal cord regeneration, will be discussed.

From this foundation of understanding the spine and its attendant soft tissues, students will be shown a 90-minute manual therapy and Visionary Craniosacral Work® protocol to work with the cervical spine and first rib. These techniques are designed to facilitate optimum function of the occiput, the neck, and the first rib.

Facilitating the return of optimum muscular balance to all seven cervical vertebrae can be beneficial in temporomandibular joint dysfunction, muscle weakness, muscular numbness, neck pain and stiffness, and decreased range of motion in the neck, shoulder, elbow or wrist. Manual therapy and craniosacral work to the neck and first rib can help alleviate headaches, facial pain, dizziness, thyroid dysfunction, nasal congestion, thoracic outlet syndrome and and brachial plexus irritation, in addition to also being helpful in rotator cuff tendonitis and frozen shoulder.