Dr. Jennifer DenBleyker, D.C., Dr.

What is S.O.T.?

History of SOT:
Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT) was originally formulated by Major Bertrand DeJarnette (The Major) who was an Enginerr who became a Doctor of Osteopathy and then a Doctor of Chirorpactic in the 1920’s. He developed color-processing and sold it to Kodak to pay for his Chiropractic research on the human body, which we now call SOT. The Major was inspired to go beyond simple spinal adjusting and developed methods of correcting the Cranium, Pelvis, Extremities and Organs. This study brought about a system of adjusting patterns in the body, not just single body parts. The most significant pattern was the relationship between the sacrum and occiput (which became the name of the technique).

An important distinction of SOT is the use of indicators. Each adjustment has a sign or signal that the we use to know when and where to adjust. For example, muscle tension at the knee may indicate the pelvis needs correction, and connective tissue fibers at the base of the skull (called occipital fibers) indicate different vertebra in the back or spine may be in need of an adjustment. This also tells us on the next visit if the correction has been completely or marginally effective. From these indicators, we design a different adjustment set on each visit, listening to the body each time. It takes study to master this method of care, but it isan effective, precise adjustment without relying exclusively on x-rays

One of DeJarnette’s great discoveries was a category system that recognizes that human structures have specific patterns of imbalance. By generalizing patients into three categories DeJarnette developed methods of determining three identifiable, yet interrelated, systems of body reaction. Through the use of specific indicators, location and correction of these body patterns a system of before and after treatment tests can be applied to evaluate need for care and whether the care was successful.

How It Works:
SOT concerns itself primarily with the cranial sacral respiratory mechanism. This is a wavelike oscillation in the covering of the brain and spinal cord. Although quite subtle, this motion is essential for the normal functioning of the brain and spinal cord, and thereby the rest of the nervous system and the rest of the body.

It functions much like breathing air, in that it has a cyclic tightening and loosening phase. Ordinary respiration–breathing air in and out–also affects and can be used to normalize cranial sacral respiratory action. The normal function of the cranial sacral respiratory mechanism is recognized as a primary function of life in the body and must be normal if all functions of the body are to be normal.

Like other chiropractic techniques, SOT also corrects abnormal spinal mechanics and any associated nerve problems. These can include back pain, headaches, dizziness, arm and leg pains.

Through the use of Chiropractic Manipulative Reflex Techniques (CMRT) we can help normalize organ function in your body, including high blood pressure, digestive problems, urinary problems, toxicity, female reproductive dysfunction, etc. The list goes on and on. Many head-related symptoms can also be treated by your SOT practitioner, including, but not limited to: TMJ, Tinnitus, Headaches, Visual disturbances, Ear infections, etc.

How Is SOT Different from Other Techniques:

SOT is composed of highly accurate and effective clinical procedures. Dr. Major B. DeJarnette spent most of his life conducting clinical investigation into what works in chiropractic and what makes chiropractic work. Many of the experiments he first tried on himself so that he was aware of the results first hand. He also recruited others to be patients while he tested the procedures. By means of these repeated, peer-reviewed tests, he determined the true nature of the spinal subluxation and how it could most efficiently be corrected.

Is this a proven method?
SOT has been shown to be clinically effective in thousands of offices worldwide. This method of health care is constantly improving and finding new proof of it’s effectiveness. The SOTO-USA website offers many research articles and SOTO-USA is leading the way in evidence based practice of SOT. Visit our Resource Page for research articles.

Many of the other chiropractic techniques use principles that were originally discovered and written by Dr. DeJarnette. The validity of Dr. DeJarnette’s research is proven every day by the practice of these techniques. As specialists in Sacro Occipital Technique, the chiropractors listed on this website are trained in SOT and diligently apply all of their skill, knowledge, and judgment to every adjustment they give. Their effort is to apply SOT as Dr. DeJarnette developed it. This is the proven method and the one that is most often found to be effective.

What is the Goal:
At all times, during an SOT adjustment, the comfort of the patient is considered. But eliminating or killing the pain is not the main goal of a chiropractic SOT adjustment. The true goal of an adjustment, and particularly an SOT adjustment, is to normalize the function of the entire body.

The central nervous system—the brain and spinal cord—is the avenue of approach. The brain and spinal cord are used for this purpose because all studies of the human body show that their function is the primary function of the body. They act to control all other functions of the body as well. So, normalization of this function is the primary goal. As this goal is obtained , the pain will go away. But elimination of pain is simply a side effect of normalizing the cranial sacral respiratory mechanism.

SOT Visceral Work:
Chiropractic Manipulation Reflex Technique (CMRT):

Included in SOT® Methods 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 is 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 Dr. Jennifer to take a whole person approach to health. The correction of the spinal subluxation was not enough and Major DeJarnette devised visceral manipulation procedures. Visceral procedures are used to help normalize organ function without the use of drugs or surgery.

SOT Cranial Work:
SOT doctors who continue their training are well versed in cranial manipulative therapies. SOT recognizes the important role of normal cranial function in health and disease. The cranial bones and other cranial structures can cause central nervous system problems that are often overlooked or ignored by most other chiropractic systems.

Early in his research, Dr. De Jarnette realized the importance of the human cranium and made references to such as early as the 1930s. His research focused on other aspects of the human condition for several decades. Viscerosomatic reflexes, trapezius fibers, occipital fibers, and the pelvic Category system took the predominance of his time and attention.

All the while, however, he understood the importance of the cranium, and he knew that it was impossible to treat the entire rest of the body and the cranium as separate entities.

Eighty percent of the nervous system is in the head and can be influenced by cranial structures. However, the other 20 percent enervates every conceivable structure of the body and reflexly influences the brain and cranial function.

Dr. De Jarnette beautifully mapped out these complex interrelationships and proposed some of the first-ever descriptions of the stress patterns in the cranium as associated with the overall skeletal structural imbalances. The Major set the basic understanding of the total body interrelationships that continue on even today.

Researchers such as Dr. Hirotaka Miyano of Japan, who has meticulously mapped out every aspect of the cranial distortion patterns emanating from the pelvic category distortion complexes, are still carrying out the work inspired by De Jarnette. Much of the ongoing and newly-developing cranial technologies emanate from the groundbreaking text of Dr. M.B. De Jarnette in 1968. Having studied the human condition in total for almost 40 years, he produced his first textbook totally dedicated to the human cranium.

However a craniosacral therapist’s focus is generally on relaxing the person rather than actually making a clinical change in a specific type of clinical presentation. Craniosacral therapists are not doctors who are trained in diagnosing patients to discern when a patient may be having a serious condition needing specific care or a referral.

It is for this reason their lack of training for differential diagnosis, being able to assess pathology, and know who and when to refer, has been questioned. In some instances this can create a gray area where patients needing care from a doctor are left in the hands of a layperson without the knowledge of primary healthcare practitioner or knowing how to appropriately triage (work together within a healthcare clinical setting).

Does SOT Require Nutritional Changes:
Often. Any effort to restore health in this day and age on this planet requires improving nutritional intake. This is due to what is called “over-consumptive malnutrition.” Our current food supply is structured in such a way that people eat a lot of empty calories. So, specific nutritional supplements and changes are usually necessary.

Does the adjustment cause pain in my body?
No. SOT works to a great extent by specifically positioning the body to use the weight of gravity and the body to correct the body. This occurs because of an interaction between the specific position the body is in and the motion of the body caused by normal breathing. Many times the patient will feel very relaxed during the adjustment and may even take a nap. There may be some pain when specific points of correction are located. However, patients often report it feels like a “good pain” and is relieving rather than a “bad pain” and serves mostly to let the doctor and patient know that a point needing correction has been found.

Spinal subluxation:
A disorder of the spinal, pelvic or cranial bones which can adversely affect the circulation,fluctuation and absorption of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Spinal subluxations can also be associated with spinal joint connective tissue and muscle asymmetry, somatovisceral and viscerosomatic reflex activity, local pain, as well as other related phenomina.

SOT Cat I:
Category I deals with the primary respiratory mechanism between the sacrum and occiput. This relationship is described typically as pelvic torsion (twisting of the pelvis that makes it seem as if one leg is shorter than the other) with limited sacral nutation (tailbone movement). The spinal and cranial meningeal and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) systems function, to a degree, like a closed kinematic chain. Therefore the sacral or tailbone meningeal attachments and reduced movement can have an affect on the tissues above such as the spine with meningeal altered tensions, CSF stagnation, and altered vascular related function.

Category II involves over-motion or instability of the sacroiliac joint causing a dysfunctional relationship between the tailbone and pelvis. The sacroiliac weight-bearing joint sprain makes if difficult for the body to maintain itself against gravity and function at its optimum. It is common with this category to find low back imbalance which can affect the knees, shoulders, neck and TMJ with Category II patients. When Category II patients are not treated and the condition persists it can lead to a Category III type condition.

Category III is commonly associated with severe low back pain relating to sciatica or disc herniations. Patients often have difficulty standing up straight and can be leaning to one side and forward. They will have pain when they cough or sneeze, attempt to sit or arise from a seated position, or even just putting on their shoes. It is also possible to have numbness or weakness in the legs.

SOT offers very specific methods that are effective and specific for each individual patient’s needs. Each patient is treated individually and in some instances other SOT methods are needed to improve function of organs (CMRT – chiropractic manipulative reflex technique), cranial bone and TMJ (jaw), and foot, ankle, knee, hip as well as hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder function.

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