Trepanation is the medical process of creating a hole in the skull. Some ancient cultures practiced trepanation as a way of releasing demons and allowing medicine from the outside world to enter the brain of the patient. The skull was viewed as a prison for the mind, so a hole was necessary to access or free it. It is believed that beliefs in trepanation grew out of the observation that babies are born with fontanelle, a soft hole in the skull which eventually closes.
In modern times, self-trepanation has been cited as a method for regaining lost creativity and solving depression. Advocate Bart Hughes argues:
The theory is based on the fact that human infants have an opening openings called fontanelles. During birth, these openings enable the bones of the skull to flex, so that the head can pass through the birth canal. According to Hughes, the closure of the fontanelles compromise one's creativity and energy; trepanation, therefore, enables one to return to a creative, energetic childlike state.