"Cranio for the Brain and Second Brain"
8 - 9 November 2024

University of Antwerp, Belgium 

3rd Hybrid Multilingual Edition


3rd International
Cranio Research Congress


Congress objectives

The International Cranio Research Congress (ICRC) aims to provide an independent, innovative, international and interdisciplinary platform to advance the practice and foundation of craniosacral therapy, to identify areas for future research, and to encourage international networking and cooperation.

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Who should attend

The congress brings together scientists, researchers, craniosacral therapists, osteopaths, physiotherapists, physicians and other healthcare practitioners who wish to learn more about the latest scientific research about craniosacral therapy.

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Venue: University of Antwerp

The beautiful 16th-century Hof van Liere and the adjacent historic buildings, which were constructed by the Jesuits in the 17th century, are an oasis of calm in the bustling city centre of Antwerp. Click here for directions.

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Why (virtual) attending

Expand your knowledge. Learn and deepen your therapeutic abilities. Network and connect with like-minded people. Get insights into the latest trends. Help shape the future of craniosacral therapy and discuss how it fosters harmony and human well-being.

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Theme 2024

Discover the power of the craniosacral therapy at our upcoming congress! Join us to explore the intricate connections between the brain and the second brain (gut) and learn how Craniosacral Therapy could help optimize their functions.

We’ll share the latest research and insights from top researchers and practitioners, and guide you through techniques and practices to enhance your practice and overall wellbeing. Whether you’re a craniosacral therapist, a healthcare professional or someone interested in personal growth and development, this conference offers a unique opportunity to deepen your understanding of the incredible potential of Craniosacral Therapy.

Don’t miss out on this brain-illuminating event!  🙂

Prof. dr. Melanie Boly

Melanie Boly, MD PhD, is an accomplished neurologist and neuroscientist with a joint appointment in Neurology and Psychiatry at UW Madison, US. With a remarkable career spanning two decades, her research focuses on altered states of consciousness, including vegetative states, sleep, anesthesia, and seizures. Under esteemed mentors like Steven Laureys, Pierre Maquet, Adrian Owen, and others, Melanie’s passion for understanding the brain has flourished. Using advanced neuroimaging techniques like PET and functional MRI, Melanie integrates these tools with the Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness to explore neural mechanisms underlying consciousness in healthy and neurological patients. Melanie’s groundbreaking research led to numerous publications in esteemed international journals (current Google Scholar H-index 87) and invitations to present her findings at prestigious conferences. With dual board certifications in neurology, she dedicates 75% of her time to research and 25% to clinical work as an epileptologist. Melanie Boly’s commitment to unraveling the brain’s mysteries makes her an invaluable addition to the Cranio Research Congress, aligning perfectly with this year’s theme.

Nikki Kenward

Nikki Kenward is a seasoned Upledger CranioSacral Therapist with over 25 years of experience in the UK. As a certified International Healthcare Educator for more than 15 years, she has been instrumental in teaching CST1, Paediatrics 1 and 2, and Sensory Integration, leaving a lasting impact on future therapists. Recently, Nikki’s passion led her to develop a groundbreaking curriculum centered around the Enteric Nervous System. Her international workshops now spotlight the significance of craniosacral therapy in supporting gut health, shedding light on its vital role as the “second brain.” A prolific author, Nikki’s book explores the profound connection between emotional history, trauma, and gut health, offering invaluable insights for those seeking relief. The eagerly awaited second edition of “Overcoming Chronic Digestive Issues: Release the Visceral Layers of Post-Traumatic Gut Disorder” will be published by Inner Traditions and launched in September 2023. Nikki Kenward’s expertise extends to empowering individuals with long-term gut issues, showing them how various life aspects impact digestive health and mental well-being. Her illuminating approach fosters hope and resilience in those facing debilitating challenges. With Nikki’s knowledge and dedication, craniosacral therapy takes center stage as a transformative tool for gut health, which fits perfectly with this year’s theme at the Cranio Research Congress.

Michel Lootens

Michel Lootens, a Belgian osteopath and psychotherapist, boasts a rich legacy of over 25 years in the intricate realm of the cranial field. His expertise encompasses a profound understanding of the cranial osteopathic work, but also of biomechanical and biodynamic craniosacral therapy . As an accredited teacher in BCST CranioSacral Biodynamics since 2015, he earned the prestigious IABT label for Reliantie Institute, an academy revered for its avant-garde education with focus on Alignment and Syntropy. Michel stands as a beacon of innovation and forged the path with the groundbreaking postgraduate training “CoreDynamics in the Osteopathic Field”, showcasing his commitment to the fundamental principles of the pioneers A. Still, W.G. Sutherland, R. Becker and others. His approach integrates quantum biology, morphic and field resonance with the origins of osteopathy. From his perspective, symptoms are expressions of patterns that obstruct the alignment with the Life force. Trying to understand the body and its connections to the (higher) mind and the development of a Syntropic environment by the Power of Presence of the practitioner, skilled in feeling subtile layers, can create a gateway to an all-encompassing field where Self (re)organisation takes place. Michel Lootens’ unwavering dedication to unraveling the complexities of the human brain and quantumfields fits seamlessly with the Cranio Research Congress. His transformative perspectives and innovative approaches are invaluable, making him an indispensable asset to our congress.

Roberta Ogilvie

Roberta Ogilvie is a Brazilian/British CranioSacral Therapist (CCST, London) and Medical Anthropologist (UCL, London) specialising in treating people remotely, from her home in Rio. Her Craniosacral practice primarily focuses on the gestational period, the arrival of the baby, and the integration of the effects of the gestation and birth. Coupled with her cross-cultural awareness of post-birth interferences and how it shapes us, not only in terms of health but also personality. Whilst living in the Amazon forest she was introduced to shamanism, later gaining more knowledge in this field by studying the energy programme which is implanted into our brains during the gestational period, and how we can reprogramme this by using ancient shamanic techniques. Since 2012 Roberta has been working exclusively with Craniosacral Therapy, and with what she has been calling, ‘Biodynamic Expansion’. She is becoming a reference for remote therapy, having worked with people in countries all across the world, including indigenous children in the Huni Kuin village, deep inside the Amazon forest. One of her aims is to raise the awareness of remote Craniosacral Therapy. Roberta has also recently been invited to join the scientific committee of a renowned rainforest organisation supporting indigenous health programmes in the Xingu Reserve, Amazonia. Roberta’s pioneering work in remote Craniosacral Therapy, coupled with her profound cross-cultural insights and expertise in gestational and post-birth treatments, brings invaluable perspectives to the Cranio Research Congress, enriching our collective understanding of craniosacral therapy’s impact on the brain and second brain.

Etienne Peirsman

Etienne Peirsman is a highly inspirational and respected teacher in the field of CranioSacral Therapy, renowned for his unique and non-traditional journey into the realm of Cranio. His profound connection to this therapeutic approach emerged after a life-changing experience when a staph infection left him with only 20% kidney function. In the process of preparing for the inevitable, Etienne found himself immersed in total silence, a state that led to the remarkable healing of his own body. Motivated by this transformative experience, Etienne’s path led him to the Osho International Meditation Center, where he was first introduced to cranio during an immersive meditation and bodywork training. Since then, he has dedicated himself to sharing the profound healing potential of CranioSacral Therapy with the world. A true global influence, Etienne’s journey took him to apprentice at the Upledger Institute in Florida, and subsequently, he became a revered teacher at Bastyr University in Washington and the New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts. Notably, he is the visionary founder of Peirsman Cranio and the Peirsman CranioSacraal Academie (PCSA) in The Netherlands. His outstanding contributions have earned him an honorary membership with The Dutch CranioSacral Practitioner Society. Etienne Peirsman’s exceptional teaching style is a testament to his passion and talent, infusing his classes with humor and a deep exploration of stillness. He places emphasis on simplicity, encouraging spontaneity, and has developed state-of-the-art cranio classes with a unique focus on the brain. By bridging the gap between biomechanics Upledger style and biodynamic Sutherland style, Etienne’s methods resonate profoundly with his students. Learning cranio from such an extraordinary and visionary teacher is an unparalleled experience, making Etienne’s presence at the Cranio Research Congress a vital connection to the theme of “Cranio for the brain and second brain.”

Dr. Helen Rockliff

Helen Rockliff began her journey studying medical sciences at The University of Birmingham. Then focused on neuroimaging at Aston University. Her fascination with how the brain works shaped her career at the Mental Health Research Unit in Derby, where she immersed herself in studies on depression, self-criticism, and self-compassion. Helen’s pioneering work uses physiological metrics like heart rate variability to explore compassion’s impact on mental health. After earning her PhD from the University of Bristol, which investigated the effects of stress on fertility treatments outcomes, she extended her compassion research to addiction recovery at the University of Exeter. Her training as a Craniosacral therapist with Paul Vick at Resonance Trainings has facilitated integration of body-focused therapies with academic research, culminating in her current practice in the Peak District, UK. Helen is at the forefront of applying current research to enhance therapeutic outcomes in trauma recovery. Her participation in the Cranio Research Congress underscores her commitment to advancing craniosacral therapy through scientific research.

Annemieke Romeijn

Annemieke’s journey of self-discovery and spiritual exploration began within the confines of a rural and traditional Christian upbringing. Driven by an insatiable curiosity about the concept of God, she pursued religious studies at the University of Amsterdam, where she embarked on a quest to unravel the mysteries surrounding spirituality. Her path eventually led her to serve as a minister for eight years, during which she cultivated a profound skill for empathetic listening, particularly to her predominantly female congregation. However, as her understanding of spirituality deepened, she found herself increasingly at odds with the patriarchal rhythms and rituals of the Christian faith, ultimately leading her to bid farewell to the church. Embracing a new path, Annemieke discovered solace and purpose in the realm of craniosacral therapy (CST). Within this field, she honed her skills and knowledge, finding resonance in its holistic and intelligent approach to well-being. Annemieke became a trustee for the CSTA (UK) in 2021, coinciding with the surge of craniosacral therapists transitioning to remote work due to the pandemic. She is chairing a working group investigating this new development in CST. Her pioneering work in this area will come to the forefront during the upcoming debate with Roberta, exploring the implications and potentials of online craniosacral therapy. Her transition from the confines of a traditional upbringing to her current role as a practitioner of Cranio Sacral Therapy, coupled with her forthcoming debate, is a testament to her unwavering commitment to understanding the transformative power of craniosacral therapy, making her a valuable addition to the Cranio Research Congress.

Scott Sternthal

Scott Sternthal is a dedicated osteopath hailing from Montreal, Canada. Having received his training at the esteemed Collège d’Études Ostéopathiques (CEO), Scott now leads his own clinic, where he collaborates with four other skilled osteopaths. During his early practice, Scott made a significant discovery that revolutionized his approach to manual therapy. He found that engaging in a dialogue with the Primary Respiratory Mechanism (PRM) within bone tissue was a crucial step in enhancing the effectiveness of other manual therapy techniques within the craniosacral core link and the periphery. This revelation marked the inception of Biodynamic Skeletal Therapy (BST), an innovative and comprehensive approach aimed at identifying and treating interosseous and intraosseous compactions. Scott’s insights and expertise culminated in the authorship of “Melting Bone Healing Tide,” a definitive work that delves into the profound healing potential of his approach. Scott Sternthal’s unwavering commitment to advancing osteopathy and his contributions to the field through Biodynamic Skeletal Therapy make him a valued figure too in the realm of craniosacral research.

René Zweedijk

René Zweedijk boasts over three decades of experience as an osteopath, dedicating his career to the art of healing. As a highly sought-after educator, he imparts his vast knowledge not only in his home country of the Netherlands but also on the global stage. His commitment to advancing the field of osteopathy is exemplified by his leadership role since 2000 as the head of PRO Osteo, a renowned center for continuing education in osteopathy. René is not only a practitioner and educator but also an author. His book, “Hoe een Osteopaat te Werk Gaat,” is a testament to his commitment to making osteopathy accessible to the general public. Furthermore, his contributions to various works within the field of osteopathy and his publication of numerous papers in international magazines have solidified his status as a thought leader. At the core of René’s practice is the harmonious blend of medical scientific knowledge and the classical principles of osteopathy. This fusion serves as his guiding “leitmotif,” allowing him to convey complex concepts in a simple and lucid manner, whether to seasoned professionals or those new to the field. René Zweedijk’s wealth of experience, dedication to education, and ability to bridge the gap between tradition and innovation make him a invaluable asset to the Cranio Research Congress.




Walking dinner & networking

On Friday evening, a walking dinner is organized to meet fellow therapists and get inspired for a vibrant experience with local food. (This is an optional event.)

Latest News

Accredited by NRO and LVNT, with Additional Accreditations Pending

NRO has accredited this congress for 12 points (12 hours), as well as the LVNT. Attendance certificates will be provided on requests. Accreditation by GNRPO vzw is ongoing.

Directions to the venue Hof van Liere at University of Antwerp

The congress will take place in the beautiful 16th-century Hof van Liere at the Stadscampus of the University of Antwerp. Address: Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium. Click here for directions.

Our Congress Now More Accessible Than Ever

Experience our live presentations from anywhere in the world, complete with automatic captioning available in multiple languages. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to engage in cutting-edge craniosacral therapy discussions in your preferred language.