Osteopathy in the cranial field reloaded

Dates: 7-8 November 2020

Course leader: Marco Gabutti

Cost: £218-£270


About the course

Explanatory models in cranial osteopathy are either outdated, in conflict with current evidence or way too subtle to be grounded on any evidence-informed theory.

This course is designed as an invitation to consider the head under a different perspective, which bears the advantage to be compliant with current knowledge in the field of tissue mechanics and to open up to new perspectives in the manual approach of the bony tissue in general, and more particularly the head.


Summary of Osteopathic Practice Standards (updated) covered in this course

A Communication and patient partnership - A3, 

B Knowledge, skills and performance - B1, B3, B4

D Professionalism - D1, D3


Communication and Consent 2 hours

This course includes an update about some potential mechanisms involved in the patient complaint. Thanks to the course, the participants will be able to enhance the information they give to patients about those potential mechanisms and to what extent they might or might not be able to help them overcome their troubles.


Learning Outcomes

  • Get acquainted with the basic principles of material mechanics in order to get access to the relevant literature reviewing the stresses and strains of the skull
  • Understand the mechanical behaviour of bones, how they distort, under which load and to what extent
  • Get updated about the most recent findings in matter of cerebrospinal fluid circulation and micro-movements of the brain and be able to critically appraise their relevance in our daily practice.
  • Experience a way to approach manually the bony tissue that would be compliant with current knowledge
  • Understand how this approach could fit in a biopsychosocial framework
  • Figure out the respective role of the key figures in the development of the current cranial approach in osteopathy

Course suitability

This course is suitable for osteopaths, chiropractors, physiotherapists who are looking for an update in the field of cranial osteopathy and/or are looking for another way to include the head in their daily practice



Day 1

09:00-09:30: Registration

09:30-11:00: Theory – The cranial sutures: roles and evolution through life

11:00-11:30: Break

11:30-12:30: Theory – Basic principles of material mechanics – part 1

12:30-13:30: lunch (included)

13:30-14:00: Theory – Basic principles of material mechanics – part 2

14:00-14:45: Theory – The mechanical properties of living tissues, in-vivo distortions of bones

14:45-15:30: Practical – palpatory exercises on the bony tissue: the tibia

15:30-16:00: Break

16:00-17:30: Theory – Multi-stability, fatigue failures, reversible and irreversible states, how these notions may fit in an informed biopsychosocial model.

Day 2

09:00-09:30: Summary of the previous day

09:30-11:00: Theory – The mechanical properties and behaviour of the head

11:00-11:30: Break

11:30-12:30: Practical – palpatory exercises on the head – part 1

12:30-13:30: lunch (included)

13:30-14:00: Practical – palpatory exercises on the head – part 2

14:00-15:00: Theory – Critical appraisal of the Sutherland model, and historical perspective

15:00-16:00: Practical – palpatory exercises on the posterior part of the head, the vault and the face

16:00-16:30: Break

16:30-17:30: Theory – Movements of the brain and the cerebrospinal fluid, history and current state of research


Recommended pre-reading

Gabutti, M. & Draper-Rodi, J. Osteopathic decapitation: Why do we consider the head differently from the rest of the body? New perspectives for an evidence-informed osteopathic approach to the head. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine 17, 1–7 (2014).


Course leader

Marco Gabutti initially graduated as an industrial engineer before reconsidering direction and moving into osteopathy.

He has been working for five years with Pierre Tricot and assisted him in teaching an original functional approach called “approche tissulaire”.

Marco taught basic physics and then cranial osteopathy in different osteopathic colleges.

Together with Jerry Draper-Rodi he got a first article published in the IJOM inviting the osteopathic community to rethink the way they consider the head in their teachings and daily practice.

He is currently working with his wife, an osteopath too, in Normandy. He regularly teaches CPD courses about the possible evolutions of the cranial model and, together with Jerry Draper-Rodi and Laurent Fabre, teaches on an integrated course about the biopsychosocial model and the latest advances in pain management.

Cancellation policy

The UCO regrets that no refunds can be made for cancelled places unless a substitute participant can be found.  The UCO cannot guarantee that any course will run.  In the event of your course being cancelled, all paid fees and deposits will be refunded in full.