«Listening to the vital forces that move, create,
form, maintain and restore.»



The biodynamic approach is

  1. A health model:
    Orientation to wholeness and health is the foundation for the therapeutic intervention.
  2. A science:
    Knowledge of anatomy, physiology, embryology and neurobiology supports the understanding of of the client's inner physiological processes.
  3. A philosophy:
    Be inspired to research, inquire and ask questions. Orient to the higher ordering principles of the natural world.
  4. An art:
    Refined perception and discernment.
    Creative application of basic principles according to the guidance of the natural laws.
  5. A way of life:
    Transferring learnings and experiences into daily life to support self-regulation, self-empowerment, potential, resources and capacity for recovery.

Definition of the primary respiratory mechanism

The founder of the work, Dr. William Garner Sutherland (1873-1954) talked about involuntary motions within a core system.

He called it primary respiratory mechanism (PRM), which consists of following 5 elements:

  1. The inherent fluctuation of the cerebrospinal fluid
  2. The motility of the brain and spinal cord
  3. The mobility and motility of the reciprocal tension membrane
  4. The articular mobility of the cranial bones (at their joints, the sutures)
  5. The involuntary movement of the sacrum between the two ilia

Dr. Sutherland taught that these 5 elements express their inherent motion, as regular rhythms and fluctuations.

According to his hypothesis, such movements are the expression of a primary respiration, an original inner breath.

He called "Breath of Life" the spark of ignition, the motive force to these inherent cycles, which regulate and regenerate the body.

Definition of craniosacral biodynamics

The term "craniosacral" refers to the structures of cranium (head) and sacrum (tailbone) and their anatomical connections. It is a term, which indicates the anatomical main elements of the original approach.

The discipline that studies the dynamic aspects of life processes on the basis of the laws of mechanics. It presumes the recognition of vital forces involved in the formation and maintenance of life.

Over the years of research and direct experience, Dr. Sutherland observed that the phenomena with which he was working during the treatments, were not only related to the motion of the bony structures. He postulated that the tide-like motion felt in the body is an expression of an organising principle, an inner physiological intelligence connected to health.

The main principles of craniosacral biodynamics:

  • Health is always present in the living body, also in challenging circumstances.
  • Orientation to oneness and wholeness, supports the expression of health.
  • Vital forces constantly generate, maintain and repair the body through all its life.
  • During treatment we connect with the vital, dynamic forces of life.
  • The perception and recognition of the regulating forces of life, support their expression in and through the body, that has a beneficial effect for body, mind and spirit.

Breath of Life

The Breath of Life expresses the universal intention to create and maintain life.

It is the creative life force that reconnects us to the inherent health and that expresses the dynamic, everchanging ordering matrix.

The Breath of Life acts as a therapeutic force, expressing within the body as primary respiration, a slow, steady, rhythmic, regular motion.

«It is the main role of each doctor, be he an African Shaman or a modern physician to entertain the patient, while secretly waiting for nature to heal the illness.»
Albert Schweitzer

Primary respiration

The subtle rhythms of the life forces can be felt as an intrinsic tide, or as an involuntary inner breath. They are already present during intrauterine life and contribute to the formation and development of the embryo. This inner respiratory rhythm is present before the breath of air and therefore is called primary respiration, to distinguish it from the pulmonary breathing, which is considered secondary.

The regulating cycles of primary respiration can be perceived in the wholeness of the body as fine, inner, involuntary rhythms. Supporting expression of these cycles allows the treatment to always be systemic and holistic.

The rhythmic cycles of primary respiration are present from our first moments of existence. They create and form our body as embryo and continue to express and shape us throughout all of our life.

Primary respiration brings vitality to the cells and underlies all metabolic processes. It is instrumental for the maintenance, repair and regeneration the body.

The Craniosacral Biodynamic practitioner relates to primary respiration as the main source of evaluation and the basic force guiding the therapeutic process.

Primary respiration expresses in different rhythms and qualities:

  • The Tide or Long Tide: A slow, steady cyclic force, which manifests as a field phenomenon. It permeates and vitalises the body.
  • Fluid tide: Fluctuations in the wholeness of the fluid body.
  • The cranial rhythmic impulse (CRI): The rhythmic motions in the soma, the structures and the tissues of the body in response to the ordering principle of the tide.


Health is ever present.

In this context health is not the mere absence of illness, symptoms or problems, but the harmonious cooperation of all the vital force, which sustains us through life.

The balanced rhythmic interchange between motion and stillness organises the metabolic functions of each cell and all fluids of the body.

The expression of health is felt in the potency of the tide and can be observed and cooperated with as regulating inner processes.

The biodynamic concepts understands that health is present and recognisable even in the symptom or in the illness. The practitioner develops the perceptual skills necessary to recognise and support the presence and the action of health for the benefit of the client.

«Health is related to a return to the freedom of interchange between body physiology and stillness.»
Dr. Rollin Becker


In biodynamics we observe and support life in motion.

We also cultivate the presence of the stillness of life.

During treatment there may be longer phases of rest, in which the harmonious functions of the physiology can be reestablished.

In moments of stillness the inner, involuntary functions are reorganized, bringing forth more balance and a clearer expression of health.

In stillness the mind can expand, the body can rest, the heart gets calm.

The depth of stillness brings clarity, it supports access to vitality, the organism can access the forces of Health and attune to them.

«One has to allow all things their own, still and undisturbed development...»
Rainer Maria Rilke


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Network and associations

International Affiliation of Biodynamic Trainings

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America

Cranio Suisse®
Swiss Association for Craniosacral Therapy

Italian Craniosacral Association

Swiss quality management certificate

Swiss registry for complementary medicine

cranio suisse


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