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Sacral Occipital Technique Overview

includes technical explanations of Catagory 1,2,and 3 SOT analysis and care:


The brain and the spinal cord forms the central nervous system which is the master control system of the body, co-ordinating all tissues, organs and systems within the body. The regulation and control of all body organs and systems is carried out by complex nerve impulses generated in the brain and transmitted down the nerve cord through nerve roots to every part of the body. Messages are transmitted through nerve channels from the brain to the organs and are retransmitted from organs back to the brain. This allows the brain to regulate and control all the systems to produce a healthy body. The picture on the cover of this pamphlet shows the normal brain and spinal cord with its protective covering - the dural membrane. Note: the two pairs of nerve roots. (There are 31 pairs in all)


Cerebro-spinal fluid is produced in the brain and is pumped from the brain down the spinal cord, around the spinal cord and brain and is then reabsorbed. A sac-like membrane (dural membrane) covers the brain and spinal cord in which it is immersed in C.S.F. The C.S.F. acts as a cushion protecting this delicate mechanism. C.S.F. provides nourishment, removes waste material and provides an ideal medium for nerve energy conduction.


Due to their importance the brain and spinal cord are protected by bone. The brain by the skull (cranium) and the spinal cord by the spinal column. The spinal column is made up of 24 vertebrae interspaced by pads called discs which allow the spinal column to move.


The pelvis is made up of two hip bones (the Ilia) and the triangular bone in the middle called the Sacrum, The junction of the Sacrum with the Ilia is called the Sacro-Iliac joint.

The sacrum forms the foundation for the spine which in turn supports the Cranium (Skull).

This skeletal structure provides the protection for the brain and spinal cord.


A very special function takes place in the human body that is absolutely essential to good health. It is the circulation throughout the nervous system of C.S.F.

C.S.F. is created in the brain and supplied to the nervous system through the gentle pulsing action of three pulses.

The first pulse is generated in the brain. The second pulse is the diaphragmatic respiratory pulse - breathing. The third pulse is the cardio vascular pulse - generated by the heart.

Normal Cerebro-Spinal Fluid Flow Diagram


A minute regular rhythmic motion between the occiput and the sacrum circulates the C.S.F. around the brain and spinal cord and throughout the nervous system. This sacral pump is the circulatory system of the brain and spinal cord and its function is paramount to normal health


The basis of the human structure is the pelvis. The pelvis supports the spine and skull, the shoulders and arms and, below the pelvis, the legs and feet.

The internal organs are suspended by ligaments that attach to the spine and pelvis. The large upper thigh and important back muscles, including those responsible for neck and shoulder stability are attached to the pelvis. All these structures must be balanced, co-ordinated and maintained by a stable pelvis in order to produce normal nerve action.

Normal Symmetric Spine diagram


The Category I phenomenon occurs when the sacro-iliac joints become misaligned (subluxated) moving one hip forward and the other backwards. The sacrum rotates and the sacral pump loses its rhythmic function, creating a distortion of the Dural Membrane around the brain and spinal cord as a result of the Category I pelvic rotation.


The asymmetric spine results, the pelvis rotates, the shoulder girdle reciprocates and the head tilts.

This distortion affects the free flow of C.S.F. The sacral pump becomes unstable and imbalanced and can no longer circulate the required amount of C.S.F. around the brain and spinal cord. This leads to lack of nutrition, increase in toxicity and lowered level of nerve function around the body.

As we know the nervous system controls the functions of every tissue, organ and system in the body and therefore Category I symptoms maybe varied and many and may include some of the following:

  • any visceral disturbance
  • skin disorders
  • numbness in facial structures or extremities
  • insomnia
  • lower back pain
  • headaches
  • nervousness
  • weight problems

Spinal Fluid Diagram


When correcting a Category I subluxation your Chiropractor will use two blocks which he will place under your pelvis in a designated position and leave you in a prone position for about six minutes to allow your body weight and respiratory motions to reset the sacro-iliac joints and reinstate the sacral pump mechanism for C.S.F. circulation.


When ligaments in the pelvis stretch and tear the sacro?iliac joint separates and the sacrum slips on one side; the spine becomes imbalanced, the vertebrae of the spine become misaligned and the nerve roots down the entire spinal cord can become irritated and compressed, effecting normal neurological function.

The separation of the sacro?iliac weight bearing joint as shown on the cover results in reciprocal distortion in the shoulder girdle and neck, as well as disrupting the balance of other weight bearing joints such as the knees, ankles and arches of the feet.

Thus category II symptoms may be varied and distant from the vicinity of the pelvis, and may include some of the following:

  • jaw problems
  • neck pain
  • ear pain, loss of balance, tinitis
  • lateral headaches
  • shoulder, arm, hand pain
  • lateral chest pain
  • groinal pain
  • lateral thigh pain
  • knee, ankle and feet problems
  • hypoglycaemia
  • menstrual problems
  • low back pain


The Temporo-Mandibular Joint (T.M.J.) or the Jaw Joint has a reciprocal relationship with the sacro?iliac joint and is therefore reliant on the stability of the sacro?iliac joint. In a Category II weight bearing sacro?iliac separation, the T.M.J. will change its position to compensate and can bring about changes that can affect the bite, balance, hearing and neck position.

This must always be a consideration in the chronic Category II. (see below).

Lower Jaw Position diagram

CATEGORY II CORRECTIONThe correction of the Category II Syndrome is accomplished by using the weight of your body on mechanical levers (wedge shaped blocks) to close the separated sacro?iliac joint.

You will notice an immediate improvement in the strength of your arms as the blocks achieve their objective.


When ligaments in the pelvis are torn or stretched, a separation of the weight bearing sacro-iliac joint takes place. This separation permits one hip to move forward, and the other hip to move backward, changing the leg length.

When this pelvic rotation is set in motion, the sacrum tips to one side causing the basic foundation upon which the spine rests to become unbalanced.

The Category III Subluxation occurs when the vertebrae in the lower lumbar spine are stressed beyond their ability to recover, usually upsetting a pre-existing weakness in the area. This can be caused by:


The intervertebral discs are pads found between the vertebrae. They act as shock absorbers and allow the spine to have mobility. Discs also protect the delicate spinal nerve roots which emerge from openings between the vertebrae. The disc has a tough outer covering and is filled with a jelly like substance called the Nucleus.

As a result of this Category III situation, pressure is put on a lumbar disc (usually 5th lumbar) forcing it to bulge out against the sciatic nerve and producing any or several of the following symptoms:

  • pain down the back of the leg
  • burning sensation down the back of the leg
  • pins and needles in the leg
  • tightness in the leg
  • numbness in the leg or back
  • poor bowel or bladder control
  • pain on sitting, rising, coughing
  • coldness in the extremities


The correction of the category III subluxation occurs while the blocks are placed in a precise position under your pelvis. (the position will vary according to the type of disc protrusion). This facilitates the optimum balance of the lumbar spine on the pelvis, removes pressure off the involved disc and the entrapped nerve root and reduces the pain.


There are generally three types of posture involved in Category III

1. Leaning away from the side of leg pain - usually a subluxated vertebra and slight disc protrusion

2. Leaning towards the side of leg pain

3. Leaning forward.

These last two postures can be affected by:

a. Herniation of the disc, where the outer layer tears and some of the inner jelly-like substance seeps out into the spinal nerve root space.

b. Rupture of the disc. The disc collapses and the inner substance spills around the nerve root, or fragments of the outer layer put pressure on the nerves.

The herniation and rupture both leave a person with varying degrees of irreparable damage, and although your Chiropractor may relieve the pressure from the nerves you must take responsibility to prevent further damage.

Incorporating the chiropractors advice into your daily life can be a valuable aid to minimising the chance of re-occurrence of this condition. Category III is a long standing condition which can be very demoralising, depressing and exhausting. Follow your Chiropractor?s advice carefully.



Sacro-Occipital Technique (S.O.T.) is a new, comprehensive and advanced concept of Chiropractic pioneered and developed through study, research and clinical application by Dr. M.B. DeJamette.

For more than half a century Dr. DeJamette researched and studied every aspect of physiology and anatomy and clinically found that human structural distortion falls into three basic groups. He labelled these groups as Categories I, II and III.

In this and other pamphlets we shall aquaint you with each Category.

Physiological adaptive range


At birth the human body has maximum health and maximum tolerance and is asymptomatic. Injury occurs at a very early age in the form of birth injuries (forceps delivery) falls, knocks and bumps. The body adapts and compensates for these injuries.

As one grows the body is continually subjected to stress.

  • physical
  • emotional
  • dietary
  • traumatic
  • environmental

All this time the body is free of symptoms. As the stresses accumulate through life, natural tolerance (resistance) becomes less and less, and the body?s ability to compensate and adapt becomes less and less. Structural changes primarily to the spine and pelvis will occur affecting balance and stability of the Sacro-occipital pump. The minute pulses between the occiput and sacrum will become irregular and change the free flow of C.S.F. This creates C.S.F. pressure change, increased toxicity, loss of nutrition and a breakdown of essential nerve energy transmission.

Finally, a stage is reached where there is a maximum adaptation and compensation, and minimum tolerance.

An established condition or disease process ensues causing organ systems to malfunction and ultimately produces pain and symptoms. Categories I, II and III indicate a gradual breakdown in the physiological adaptive range, and as tolerance declines the spine and pelvis deteriorate from Category I to Category II to Category III.

The Chiropractic objective is to re-establish structural stability, improving neurological function and tolerance by reversing Category III to Category II to Category I.

With a higher level of tolerance the body is better able to compensate and adapt, it becomes symptom free and increases the physiological adaptive range achieving a higher level of health.


Dr. Tom Maurno is specifically qualified to stabilise the spine and pelvis and to restore normal balance to the sacral pump mechanism. Only when the sacral pump circulates C.S.F. will the nervous system perform to the level to which it was designed. Provided nerve channels of communication are left open, the brain will diagnose the body?s needs and direct proper response to those needs. All chemicals and hormones necessary for life and health are made normally by the body and prescribed by the brain in the most exacting manner.

For the sick individual Chiropractic is a means of health restoration by opening nerve channels so that the body may heal itself. For the healthy individual it is a periodic check-up to ensure early correction to spinal distortion and potential nerve failure.


S.O.T. is not a therapy that treats named diseases. It is a system of removing the cause of nerve malfunction using minimum force to restore and maintain health.

S.O.T. employs the use of wedge shaped blocks to allow the body to seek its correct alignment and balance. There are many combinations of block positions used, and these are determined by tests that precede each adjustment. S.O.T. recognises the importance of body language in the form of neurological tests, weak muscles, tender areas and other signs and indicators, to determine the type adjustment needed.

As the body responds and heals, stress areas around the body are eliminated and natural tolerance levels are reinstated.


Healing is a process that only your body can facilitate. As such it is your responsibility to eat correctly, rest, minimise stress and follow your Chiropractor?s instructions.

Your restoration to health is directly related to the care and advice you receive. The onus is on you to co-operate accordingly