COMING SOON: Fall 2023 Hybrid Introduction to OCF


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Hybrid Introduction to Osteopathy in the Cranial Field – Fall 2023


(Check back here after June 1 for more detailed registration information)


Expand Your Osteopathic Skills

Highly regarded by its practitioners and patients alike, the study of osteopathy in the cranial field includes broadening and deepening the perceptual skills of the practitioner, as well as intensive study of the anatomy and physiology of the cranium and its inter-relationship with the body as a whole.  Learn how this approach can be applied for the benefit of your patients in the prevention and treatment of disease, and enhancement of health.

What You Will Learn

  • Explore the components of the primary respiratory mechanism, including articular, cerebrospinal fluid, fascial/membranous and nervous system anatomy.
  • Deepen your understanding of the body as a dynamic unit with a capacity for self-healing.
  • Establish the basis for palpatory diagnosis and treatment.

Course Director: Annette Hulse DO
Assistant Course Director: Daniel Shadoan DO

Registration Fee: $2,295

The OCA has developed a hybrid format for this course with both online and in-person components:

  • Virtual Lectures and Group Discussions, Sep 1-Oct 8: Lectures will be presented online, with 4-6 hours of video recordings delivered each week. At the end of each week, participants will join in a mandatory 1 hour-long discussion group via Zoom.  There will NOT be a discussion group weekend of Sep 16-17, see schedule below for details.
  • Regional In-Person Labs, mid-October through mid-November : The hand-over-hand training for which the OCA is well known will be held in small groups regionally. The lab portion of your course will take place over a three-day weekend following completion of the lecture portion of the course.
  • Lab locations are planned to include Long Island NY, San Francisco Bay Area, Columbus OH, and TBA.   The labs will be similar to those at previous Introductory Courses, with hands-on instruction by experienced trainers at a 1:4 faculty student ratio.  Dates at each location will be available soon.


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Course Schedule

Lecture Week 1:  Self-study online video lectures (approx 6 hours) Sep 1-9.  Mandatory Zoom small group discussion Sep 10 (various times will be available).

Lecture Week 2: Self-study online video lectures (approx 6 hours) Sep 11-23.  Mandatory Zoom small group discussion Sep 24 (various times will be available).

Lecture Week 3: Self-study online video lectures (approx 4 hours) Sep 25-30.  Mandatory Zoom small group discussion Oct 1 (various times will be available).

Lecture Week 4: Self-study online video lectures (approx 4 hours) Oct 2-7.  Mandatory Zoom small group discussion Oct 8 (various times will be available).

Hands-on Labs: After completing the 4 weeks of lectures and discussion groups, course participants will attend 3 full days of hands-on labs in a small regional group with experienced OCA faculty as table trainers in 1:4 ratio. All labs will be completed by Nov 20; final dates by location to be announced soon.

  • Long Island NY, Nov 3-5 (tentative)
  • Los Altos CA (San Francisco Bay Area), Oct 20-22 (tentative)
  • Columbus OH, Nov 10-13 (tentative)
  • TBA


Introductory Course: Osteopathy in the Cranial Field

The Osteopathic Cranial Academy supports and encourages educating the health care community about the principles and practices of osteopathic medicine. The Introductory Course is a hands-on program that builds upon medical knowledge and clinical experience. In order for our students to learn the scope of practice of Osteopathy in the Cranial Field (OCF), in a comprehensive fashion and in order for them to apply this form of practice in a manner that is both safe and appropriate, it is crucial that they meet the necessary prerequisites for the Introductory Course.

I. Medical Physicians

Osteopathy and OCF are part of the practice of medicine. The Osteopathic Cranial Academy’s Introductory Course is designed to teach the integration of OCF into the practice of medicine. This course assumes a strong background of education and training in the biomedical sciences and in the clinical observation and treatment of pathology in patients.

In order for students to learn this scope of practice in a comprehensive fashion and in order for them to apply this form of practice in a manner that is both safe and appropriate, it is crucial that they have received or be in an advanced stage of the process of acquiring a broad and comprehensive level of medical educational training. Such training should include two years of didactic training in the basic and clinical biomedical sciences as taught in accredited (AOA, COCA or LCME) medical and ADA-accredited dental schools. Such training should also include three years of intensive training in approved clinical teaching settings, including extensive training in hospital settings where students are exposed to addressing the diagnosis and treatment of patients who manifest a broad range both in type and severity of clinical pathology. This is the level of education and training which leads to a license for the unlimited scope and practice of medicine, as defined by medical licensing boards in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Medical Physicians trained outside the US who reside and practice outside the US must be eligible for unlimited licensure within the United States.

II. Dental Physicians

Our organization has a long-standing professional relationship with members of the dental profession. Dentists are licensed to treat dental and dental occlusal problems and temporomandibular joint dysfunction, using dental, orthopedic, orthodontic, and surgical treatments. The application of these forms of treatment have a direct and immediate impact upon the relationships between the cranial bones and related structures, and in younger individuals, can have a dramatic and long term impact upon craniofacial and postural development.

It is essential for the well-being of our patients that we continue to maintain communication and develop mutual understanding with members of the dental profession. Dentists are encouraged to attend our courses so that they can understand the affects of dental treatments on the cranial mechanisms of our mutual patients, and so that they can learn to recognize how cranial somatic dysfunction can effect both the development and treatment of dental orthopedic and orthodontic pathology. This learning process involves training in osteopathic concepts. It also requires hands-on training in the palpatory skills which are required both to diagnose cranial somatic dysfunction and to recognize the effects of appropriate treatment upon the cranial mechanism.

By encouraging dental participation in our courses, the Academy hopes to encourage the ongoing development of dental practice that recognizes and works in harmony with the Primary Respiratory Mechanism. The Academy recognizes that dentists are not fully licensed for the unlimited scope and practice of medicine. However, dentists are the most fully trained and fully licensed professionals for treatment of dental, dental orthopedic, and dental orthodontic problems. For these reasons, The Osteopathic Cranial Academy allows and encourages licensed dentists to attend our Introductory Course.

III. International Osteopathic Graduates

“International Osteopathic Graduates” refers to graduates of osteopathic educational programs outside the United States who practice and reside outside the United States.

The Osteopathic Cranial Academy is committed to advancing the teaching of cranial osteopathy throughout the world, and therefore welcomes qualified Doctors of Osteopathy or Registered Practitioners of Osteopathy practicing in countries other than the United States into the Introductory Course. International osteopathic education does not follow the model used in the United States. While osteopaths trained in countries other than the United States may not receive the same basic science curriculum or level of clinical training required by colleges of osteopathic medicine, accredited by the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation, these individuals are educated in and practice the principles of osteopathy.

An individual’s qualifications for practice, and the scope of practice, are determined by each country’s laws of licensure. There is a great deal of variation in the licensure requirements of different nations. Admission into The Osteopathic Cranial Academy Introductory Course requires that individuals who complete an osteopathic educational program and practice and reside outside the United States either possess unlimited licensure for the practice of medicine or are members in good standing of a national osteopathic registry or the appropriate governmental licensing authority, the standards of which have been reviewed and approved by The Osteopathic Cranial Academy.

The Osteopathic Cranial Academy will evaluate applications from International Osteopathic Graduates on a case-by-case basis. The Osteopathic Cranial Academy reserves the right to request additional information about the education and training of any International Osteopathic graduate who applies for admission to the Introductory Course.



The Cranial Academy Foundation will be providing a limited number of partial tuition scholarships for students and residents.   Applications will be directly with the Foundation, and a link will be provided when registration becomes available.


The Osteopathic Cranial Academy has requested that the AOA Council on Continuing Medical Education approve this program for 40 hours of Category 1-A AOA CME. Approval is currently pending.


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