The effect of cranial manipulation on the Traube-Hering-Mayer oscillation as measured by laser-Doppler flowmetry

Altern Ther Health Med. Nov-Dec 2002;8(6):74-6.


Context: A correlation has been established between the Traube-Hering-Mayer oscillation in blood-flow velocity, measured by laser-Doppler flowmetry, and the cranial rhythmic impulse.

Objective: To determine the effect of cranial manipulation on the Traube-Hering-Mayer oscillation.

Design: Of 23 participants, 13 received a sham treatment and 10 received cranial manipulation.

Setting: Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Department, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, Ill.

Participants: Healthy adult subjects of both sexes participated (N = 23).

Intervention: A laser-Dopper flowmetry probe was placed on the left earlobe of each subject to obtain a 5-min baseline blood-flow velocity record. Cranial manipulation, consisting of equilibration of the global cranial motion pattern and the craniocervical junction, was then applied for 10 to 20 min; the sham treatment was palpation only.

Main outcome measure: Immediately following the procedures, a 5-min posttreatment laser-Doppler recording was acquired. For each cranial treatment subject, the 4 major components of the blood-flow velocity record, the thermal (Mayer) signal, the baro (Traube-Hering) signal, the respiratory signal, and the cardiac signal, were analyzed, and the pretreatment and posttreatment data were compared.

Results: The 10 participants who received cranial treatment showed a thermal signal power decrease from 47.79 dB to 38.49 dB (P < .001) and the baro signal increased from 47.40dB to 51.30 dB (P < .021), while the respiratory and cardiac signals did not change significantly (P > .05 for both).

Conclusion: Cranial manipulation affects the blood-flow velocity oscillation in its low-frequency Traube-Hering-Mayer components. Because these low-frequency oscillations are mediated through parasympathetic and sympathetic activity, it is concluded that cranial manipulation affects the autonomic nervous system.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser-Doppler Flowmetry*
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Spinal*
  • Middle Aged