Sacro Occipital Technique (SOT) is a form of bodywork that was developed by Major Bertrand DeJarnette, who was a chiropractor, osteopath, and engineer in the 1920s. The goal of SOT is to evaluate the body as a whole, and look for patterns of dysfunction, rather than a symptom based focus on individual body parts. This is done by assessing the body’s dural meningeal system and making corrections when necessary. When this system presents with dysfunction, it often manifests in physical pain, tension, or other symptoms.
This can happen in people of all ages, however, babies can begin to develop these dysfunctions at birth, and are unable to voice their discomfort to caregivers. For example, babies who are having trouble nursing may be experiencing dural meningeal tension. When primary structural shift occurs and the top vertebra of the neck places tension on the dura mater, this tension creates a pull elsewhere in the system, oftentimes within the skull.
This can result in undue pressure placed upon cranial nerves, particularly those that control the mouth. The three nerves of the cranium that regulate breastfeeding are the glossopharyngeal nerve (which controls the muscles of the pharynx), the vagus nerve (which controls the muscles of the soft palate), and the hypoglossal nerve (which controls the tongue muscle). Compression of any or all of these nerves can cause dysfunctional nursing. Infants experiencing symptoms of tongue and lip tie can benefit from SOT. Some may be experiencing this tension on the floor of the mouth mimicking a tie, and may not need to undergo revision. Others may have a true oral tie, but still benefit from SOT pre and post revision, as the tension caused by oral ties can result in pull throughout the rest of the system.