A History of Giving

Intent on making the world a touch better.

John E. Upledger, D.O., O.M.M.

Born on February 10, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Upledger passed away on October 26, 2012 at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. For manual therapists and other healthcare practitioners worldwide, his legacy is his generosity of spirit in sharing his discoveries and knowledge and ensuring their right to practice. For his patients and the patients of his students, his legacy is an open mind and heart to the validity of non-traditional medical approaches. For his family and good friends everywhere, his legacy is to stay with your journey despite the obstacles. He has proudly passed the torch From His Hands to Ours.

Throughout his career as an osteopathic physician, Dr. Upledger was recognized as an innovator and leading proponent in the investigation of new therapies. His development of CranioSacral Therapy in particular earned him an international reputation. He also served on the Alternative Medicine Program Advisory Council for the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C.

Although much of his experience was garnered through private clinical practice, Dr. Upledger served from 1975-1983 as a clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics at Michigan State University. During those years he supervised a team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists and bioengineers in experiments testing the existence and influence of the craniosacral system.

The results of those scientific studies explained the function of the craniosacral system and its use in evaluating and treating poorly understood malfunctions of the brain and spinal cord. Dr. Upledger went on to develop CranioSacral Therapy and other complementary modalities that are now taught worldwide to healthcare professionals through The Upledger Institute's educational programs. He also wrote numerous textbooks and study guides, and more than two dozen research articles.

The Dr. John E. Upledger Foundation was formed to honor his life and work by reaching out to those less fortunate and help improve their life experiences. This nonprofit organization is dedicated to the ongoing research and development of new therapeutic applications, and the establishment of community-outreach programs that enhance total health.

Modality Developer:

  • CranioSacral Therapy
  • SomatoEmotional Release
  • The Brain Speaks
  • Upledger Intensive Therapy Programs
  • CranioSacral - Dolphin Integrative Therapy Programs
  • CranioSacral - Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) Programs

Achievement Honors:

  • Alternative Medicine Program Advisory Council for the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C.
  • TIME Magazine, one of America's "Next Wave of Innovators" for his proven clinical applications of CranioSacral Therapy.


  • Still Point Inducer


  • Cell Talk
  • CranioSacral Therapy
  • CranioSacral Therapy II: Beyond The Dura
  • SomatoEmotional Release and Beyond
  • Your Inner Physician and You
  • A Brain is Born: Exploring the Birth and Development of the Central Nervous System
  • CranioSacral Therapy: Touchstone for Natural Healing
  • SomatoEmotional Release: Deciphering the Language of Life
  • Lessons Out of School

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