Winter 2022 Introductory Course: Osteopathy in the Cranial Field (In Person)


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We have reached capacity for this course, contact to be added to the waitlist.

Expand your osteopathic skills with a deeper understanding of the central nervous system through Introduction to Osteopathy in the Cranial Field. Learn about the anatomy and physiology of the cranium and its inter-relationship with the body as a whole, and how this method may be applied for the prevention and treatment of disease and enhancement of health.

March 19-23, 2022 (In Person) in conjunction with the AAO Convocation
Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, Orlando, Florida

What You Will Learn

  • Explore the five 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: Zinaida Pelkey, DO, FCA
Associate Director: Shawn Higgins, DO

Scroll down for more information including course details, liability release, schedule, scholarship information for students/residents, who can attend and more.

To register, please complete the liability release checkbox below and other optional fields that apply to you. Then click “add to cart.”


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Liability Release

Liability Release: Participation in this program will involve physical activity, including contact by and with instructors and other participants. This, and particularly activity involving physical diagnostics and manual therapeutics, could possibly entail risks for participants of new injury or aggravation of pre-existing conditions.
By applying to participate, the applicant acknowledges and assumes the risk associated with participating in the laboratory sessions and agrees to hold The Osteopathic Cranial Academy and fellow participants harmless indemnify, defend and free of liability from and against any damage or personal injury that might occur during or as a result of participation in this program. Furthermore, the applicant covenants to hold harmless, indemnify, and defend The Osteopathic Cranial Academy from and against any use or misuse that applicant may make at any time of any knowledge or information that applicant derives from participation in this program. The applicant should carry adequate liability insurance which would be activated in the instance of the use or misuse of this knowledge or information. Participants in the course are examined and treated by instructors following the course in case any problems arise from treatment by fellow students.

I acknowledge that I have read the Liability Release and agree to the statement. It is the responsibility of ALL participants to use the information provided within the scope of their professional license or practice.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation policy:

Cancellations must be in writing.  Cancellations more than 30 days prior to the course will be refunded minus a $50 processing fee. Cancellations less than 30 days in advance will be credited towards a future course.


This course will be given as a pre-Convocation course in coordination with the AAO at Rosen Shingle Creek, 9939 Universal Blvd., Orlando, FL 32819.  Reservations can be made via this link.  You can also make your reservations by phone by calling 1-866-996-6338, use booking code 35809.

Note that, at the time of booking, the hotel will charge a one-day booking for each room reserved that is non-refundable even if the reservation is canceled.


Scholarships (for half of the course tuition = $895) for students and residents are available from the Cranial Academy Foundation.  Scholarship applications can be downloaded here and are due by January 7;  we suggest submitting by email to  The Foundation will make scholarship decisions by January 20 2022.   If you are applying for a scholarship, register under the scholarship version of the course to make your $900 deposit.

Schedule & Faculty


Lecturing Faculty
Zina Pelkey, DO, FCA,* Director
Shawn Higgins DO, Associate Director
Annette Hulse DO*, Director in Training, Day 3-5
Jim Binkerd DO*
Arlene Dijamco MD
Eric Dolgin DO, FCA*
Hugh Ettlinger DO, FAAO, FCA*
Andy Goldman DO, FCA
Jenny Highland DO
Michael Porvaznik DO, FCA*
Elena Timoshkin DO

*OCA Proficiency Recognition + NMM/OMM

Table Trainers
Tamzon (Rachel) Feeney DO
Bill Lemley DO, FAAO*
Melissa Ventimiglia DO* Day 1-2
Ruba Katrajian DO

Faculty In Training:
Kendi Hensel DO


Day One – Saturday, March 19

8:00Intro – Announcements20LecturePelkey
8:20Find seats & fill out health forms10
8:30History of Osteopathy and OCF20LecturePorvaznik
8:50Skull Landmarks – Guided Lab35LabTimoshkin
9:40Philosophy & Principles of the PRM25LectureEttlinger
10:05How Do You Palpate15LectureGoldman
10:20How Do You Palpate – 3 Heads40LabGoldman
1:10The Base – Bones & SBS Motion45LecturePelkey
1:55Base Bones25LabPelkey
2:20Base Palpation40LabPelkey
3:15CSF & Fluid Movement30LectureHiggins
3:45Sensing Fluid30LabHiggins
4:15CCJ / OA30LectureEttlinger
4:45OA Treatment Lab40LabEttlinger
5:25Faculty Q & A, Check Students, Take Home Exam20Faculty
6:00Staff Meeting20


Day Two – Sunday, March 20

8:00Review of day 1.20LecturePelkey
8:20Temporal Part 1. & 2. 2 min stretch60LectureGoldman
9:20Temporal Bone Lab45LabGoldman
10:25Temporal Palpation Lab40LabGoldman
11:05Vault 1. Vault25LectureTimoshkin
11:30Vault 2. Bone anatomy45LectureTimoshkin
1:25Vault Bone Lab30LabTimoshkin
1:55Vault Palpation Lab35LabTimoshkin
3:30RTM Palpation Vault & A/P Contact40LabEttlinger
4:10Layer Palpation – Membrane, Bone, Fluid40LabPelkey
4:50Venous Sinus Drainage15LectureEttlinger
5:05Venous Sinus Drainage40LabEttlinger
5:45Faculty Q & A, Check Students, Take Home Exam20Faculty


Day Three – Monday, March 21

8:00Review of day 2.20LecturePelkey
8:20Patterns Sidebending/Rotations, Torsions25LectureBinkerd
8:45Pattern Lab SB/R & Torsion Palpation20LabBinkerd
9:05Patterns Vertical & Lateral Strains30LectureBinkerd
9:50Pattern Lab Vertical & Lateral Strain Palpation40LabBinkerd
10:55Sacral Bone lab20LabHighland
11:15Sacral Palpation30LabHighland
11:45Principles of Treatment30LecturePelkey
1:25BLT – Limb (Forearm) Set up10LecturePelkey
1:35BLT – Limb (Forearm)30LabPelkey
2:05Cranial Strains Dx w/ Motion,20LecturePelkey
2:25Cranial Strains: Dx with Motion Testing, Tx w/ BMT60LabPelkey
3:40Sacral & Core Link Dx & Tx15LectureHighland
3:55Sacral & Core Link Dx & Tx40LabHighland
5:35Faculty Q & A, Check Students, Take Home Exam25Faculty


Day Four – Tuesday, March 22

8:00Review of day 3.20LecturePelkey
8:20Frontal & Parietal Lift & Spread20LectureTimoshkin
8:40Frontal & Parietal Lift & Spread45LabTimoshkin
9:25Face Part 1.25LectureDolgin
10:05The Face, Part 2.25LectureDolgin
10:30The Face Bone Lab50LabDolgin
11:20Palpation of Face50LabDolgin
1:20Treatment of the Face60LabDolgin
2:20Temporal Diagnosis20LectureGoldman
2:40Temporal Treatment, Direction of the Tide45LabGoldman
3:40Mandible/Mouth, 1.25LectureHulse
4:05Observe TM function5LabHulse
4:10Mandible/Mouth, 2.25LectureHulse
4:35Fluid Diagnosis & Treatment15LectureHiggins
4:50Lateral Fluctuation40LabHiggins
5:30Faculty Q & A, Check Students, Take Home Exam30


Day Five – Wednesday, March 23

8:00Review of Course20LecturePelkey
8:20Mandible Mouth: 3. TMJ25LectureHulse
8:45Treatment of the Mouth60Lab
10:00Peds/OB: Part 1. Obstetric & Neonatal25LectureDiJamco
10:25Base Spread/Condylar decompression10Lecture
10:35Base Spread/Condylar decompression40Lab
11:15Peds Part 2. Pediatric Clinical25LecturePelkey
11:40Principles of History and Diagnosis, Observational Clues20LectureBinkerd
1:25Head Model Lab: 3D Perspective, CN review60LabPelkey
2:25Clinical Correlations / Q & A30Senior faculty
3:10Practical Exam60
4:10Check Students60


Who Can Attend


  • Medical physicians (DO or MD) with a current unrestricted license to practice medicine in the US
  • Dental physicians (DDS or DMD) with a current unrestricted license to practice dentistry in the US
  • Resident physicians (DO or MD) who are under contract with an ACGME-accredited residency program
  • Currently enrolled students at a US AOA-approved college of osteopathic medicine
  • Medical physicians (MD) who reside and actively practice internationally, under certain conditions
  • International osteopaths, under certain conditions.  International DOs must meet criteria for OCA membership including membership in an OCA-recognized affiliate society



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 Licensed in the US

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 Diplomates 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, which may require up to 6 months for review. 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.

PDF Course Flyer


OCA_Intro_Course_Flyer_2022-rev 11-3

Expand Your Osteopathic Skills with a Deeper Understanding of the Central Nervous System

Highly regarded by its practitioners and patients, cranial osteopathy studies the anatomy and physiology of the cranium and its inter-relationship with the body as a whole. Find out how this method may be applied for the prevention and treatment of disease and enhancement of health.

When: March 19-23, 2022, in conjunction with the 2022 American Academy of Osteopathy Convocation

Where: Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, Orlando, Florida

What You Will Learn:

  • Explore the five 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: Zinaida Pelkey DO FCA

Registration Fee: $1,795.00.  Scholarships are available from the Cranial Foundation for students and residents (link coming soon).

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.

PLEASE NOTE: If you register for this course and do not meet the eligibility requirements for it, your tuition payment will be refunded, minus a $25 processing fee. If you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact the OCA office before registering.

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