CRI Measurement – a selected History

Posted 12/14/13 by Malcolm Hiort and filed under:



Woods JM, Woods RH, A physical finding related to psychiatric disorders, JAOA 1961;(60)August:988-993


Frymann VM, A study of the rhythmic motions of the living cranium, JAOA 1971;70(May):928-945

St. Pierre

Capacitance plates
St. Pierre N, Roppel R, Retzlaff E, The detection of relative movements of cranial bones, JAOA 1976;76(December):289
Brief one page research paper.


Force transducers

Tettambel M, Cicora RA, Lay EM, Recording of the cranial rhythmic impulse, JAOA 1978;149
This one-paragraph ‘research paper’ is cited in later academic papers.


Force transducers

Cope MK, Dunlap SH, Calibration of a device for the measurement of the CRI, JAOA 1983;83(1) September:132
Single page research paper.



Myers RG, Measurement of small rhythmic motions around the human cranium in vivo, Aust J Ost 1988:9(2): 6-13
A range of rhythms were found at the eye orbit


Infrared markers

“In conclusion, objective verification and quantification of cranial ability has been achieved for the first time in man”. Is this statement true?

Are Zanakis’s research studies referred to and taken as important scientific work?
Yes. Here is one example from an internet craniosacral network group discussion:

This discussion cites only two references to support the arguments made, one being by Zanakis:
Zanakis, M. F., R.M. Cebelenski, et al. (1995) Departments of Biomechanics and Bioengineering, Physiology, and Neuroscience, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. JAOA Vol. 94, No. 9, September 1994.

Two passages from this study; “The goal of this study was to objectively measure and evaluate human cranial
mobility using a kinematic (“Macreflex”, Qualisys Corp.) motion analysis system … and … In conclusion, objective verification and quantification of cranial ability has been achieved for the first time in man, supporting the practice of craniosacral therapy.” convey a research breakthrough.

MF Zanakis is widely referenced in craniosacral articles and academic papers.

Eight abstracts were published after the Fortieth Annual JAOA Research Conference of 1996, where Zanakis’ CRI research was presented in a Poster Session in the conference lobby.
When printed later, the abstracts included a JAOA editorial heading: “Abstracts are reproduced exactly as submitted. The AOA and the JAOA assume no responsibility for the content of the abstracts printed herein.”

Confidence in CRI measurement studies conducted by Michael F Zanakis is undermined by his being convicted twice for fraud, that his widely referenced ‘published research’ consists just of 100-word abstracts, and also that no subsequent research to duplicate this breakthrough ‘objective verification’ research has been conducted since.

Lewandoski MA, Drasby E, Morgan M, Zanakis MF, Kinematic system demonstrates cranial bone movement about the cranial sutures

Zanakis MF, Lewandoski MA, Marmoura M, Kircher KT, Banihashem M, Dowling DJ, Cranial mobility in man: objective measurements in normal subjects, JAOA 1995;95(8)August:497 016

Zanakis MF, Marmoura M, Banihashem M, Kircher KT, Lewandoski MA, FerrisPhillips MT, Subjective and objective evaluations of the cranial rhythmic impulse in man, JAOA 1995;95(8)August:497 017

Zanakis MF, Kircher KT, Lewandoski MA, Schwartz D, Sussman M, Accuracy of acupuncture needle markers and surface markers for obtaining the “cranial kinetogram” in humans, JAOA 1995;95(9)September:547 26

Zanakis MF, DiMeo J, Madonna S, Morgan M, Drasby E, Objective measurement of the CRI with manipulation and palpation of the sacrum, JAOA 1996;96(9)September:551

Zanakis MF, Marmoura M, Morgan M, Lewandoski MA, Application of the CV4 technique during objective measurement of the CRI, JAOA 1996;96(9)September:552 PO3

Zanakis MF, Morgan M, Storch I, et al, Detailed study of cranial bone motion in man, JAOA 1996;96(9)September:552 PO6

Zanakis MF, Zaza W, Zhao H, Morgan R, Schatzer M, Objective measurement of the cranial rhythmic impulse in children, JAOA 1996;96(9)September;552 PO5

Zanakis MF, Zhao H, Schatzer M, et al, Studies of the cranial rhythmic impulse in man using a tilt table, JAOA 1996;96(9)September:552 PO4

All of these works are abstracts only, not full research papers that were peer-reviewed prior to publication.

Kinematic system demonstrates cranial bone movement about the cranial sutures
The cranial kinetogram: objective quantification of cranial

Two aspects are of concern:

1 The ‘published research’ consisted of abstracts only.
Each title of his nine papers is accompanied by no more than 200 words.

Usually in academic publishing, an abstract is a summary of a research paper that is a link to the longer paper. There are no such longer papers though, the abstracts relate to ‘poster sessions’ at JAOA Research Conferences.

2 “Neurophysiologist Michael Zanakis, 44, was sentenced last Thursday by a Suffolk judge after a jury convicted him of fraud and extortion” NY Daily News

It would seem that after leaving New York Osteopathic College where the CRI research was conducted, Zanakis worked as a neurophysiologist at a medical research laboratory, writing papers such as ‘Male rats spinal cord injuries’. The USA attorney argued that rattus norvegicus (white lab rat) tails from his workplace were fried, later secreted in french fries he ordered, and then used to extort McDonalds. He was also convicted of defrauding the Coca-Cola company three years earlier.

Rasmussen and Meulengracht

Servo actuators

In research published in 2020 the cardiac rhythm, the respiratory cycle and a “third rhythm” were detected in 50 supine subjects, who were examined for 42 minutes each with a force of 10 grams, applied by two servo actuators to the mastoid portions of the temporal bones

The third rhythm ranged in values from 4.25 to 7.07, with a mean of 6.16 cycles/minute. This slow figure is consistent with experimental studies generally, as opposed to the faster figures that authors tend to quote. (See Table 1 elsewhere in Articles here)