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The Art of Chiropractic: Structural / Sacro Occipital Technique® (SOT®)

Dr. Marty Rosen SOT Sacro Occipital Technique

This article on the structural technique of Sacro Occipital Technique®, or SOT®, is based on an interview with Dr. Marty Rosen. It is part of a collection of articles on different techniques in the Art of Chiropractic. Please find additional articles on the Art of Chiropractic on our website at lifewest.edu/magazine under the category “Vitalism” in the coming weeks.

Martin Rosen, DC, CSP CCP, CSPP

  • President Emeritus, Sacro-Occipital Technique Organization – USA (SOTO-USA)
  • soto-usa.org

Founded: 1899

SOT® was developed by Major Bertrand DeJarnette after he recovered from severe injuries in an explosion through both osteopathic and chiropractic care. DeJarnette felt there were several issues within the professions, and he began dividing his time between the practice of chiropractic and research. His work led to development of the SOT blocking and category system.

The philosophy behind SOT is that a primary subluxation occurs in humans within their first 7 years of life, and if left uncorrected it becomes a primary source of stimulus through life. This aberrant neurological pattern creates numerous compensations and adaptations. The SOT protocols are designed to peel off the layers and get to that primary subluxation.

“The basic idea is to correct the subluxation, not the compensation,” Dr. Rosen said. The science of SOT is based on both anatomical and physiological principles, backed up by a neurological indicator system to determine where, when and why to make an adjustment, and if a positive neurological response is achieved.

What’s happening now?

Dr. Rosen has been studying and teaching SOT since 1979. During the last 20 years much of his focus has been spent adapting the principles and procedures of SOT to the pediatric population. Dr. Rosen wrote the first pediatric participant guide in 1999, and has continued to adapt, redefine and create a complete pediatric chiropractic care program based on DeJarnette’s work.

SOT has expanded over the decades through research and clinical applications. Its physiological constructs and principles have been borne out by modern technological advances and discoveries.

For example, a study on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) mechanics and children with autism suggested that too much CSF in cranium in the first 6-24 months of life leads to a greater chance of a child developing autism or abnormal developmental issues. This study corroborates much of DeJarnette’s research on the effects of CSF and brain growth and development. Dr. Rosen has found numerous studies on the mechanics of CSF, the immune and nervous system that reinforce DeJarnette’s teachings.

What’s ahead?

According to Dr. Rosen, one of the greatest advantages of the SOT protocols is that as the indicators are utilized the chiropractor has numerous options on how to make the adjustment, from high-velocity to low-force protocols. “One of the reasons SOT is so powerful is that it is safely and effectively applicable to all types of patients in almost any situation,” he added.

Patients with complicated issues including those that have had surgery, concussions, degenerative spinal issues or hypermobility conditions can be cared for in the SOT practice. “There’s no problem adjusting patients any age or condition because the technique has parameters in it to address their specific situation,” Dr. Rosen said.

As people become more aware of the variety of assaults the nervous system undergoes throughout life and the far-reaching effects damage to this system can cause, Dr. Rosen said he expects the health care world will be looking for practitioners who can safely and effectively deal with these challenges. “SOT has a good basis for this,” he added.

Dr Rosen sees SOT as a technique that can maintain viability. “While there is a learning curve, once you make the effort to understand the protocols, its effectiveness and usefulness are returned tenfold.” In many ways SOT is uniquely positioned to help address many of the issues that are becoming more prevalent in the pediatric population, Dr. Rosen said.


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