Cranial osteopathy is a refined and subtle osteopathic technique that focuses on very small movements of the bones of the skull and the quality and rhythms of fluids in the body. It is a very gentle yet a powerful technique to release stress and tension throughout the whole body.
Cranial osteopathy is based on the theory that the 22 bones in the skull move continuously, in a cogwheel fashion. In a healthy person, this cogwheel movement would be functioning well, resulting in excellent drainage of the head and optimised efficiency of the cranial nerves (some of which innervate the stomach and the gut).
However, for a person who may have experienced an uncomfortable position in utero – for example breech position, a difficult birth, or even something like being carried low as a unborn baby, a fall or an accident, the cranial mechanism might be impeded and they might experience any of the following problems:
- Babies: Flattening of one side of the head (plagiocephaly); weak latching techniques; reflux; irregular bowel movements; excessive crying, preference to turn the head on one side, sleep disturbance.
- Infant: Repetitive glue ear; blocked nose; bed wetting; hyperactivity.
- Adults: Repetitive headaches; migraines; sinusitis; vertigo
By addressing the overall balance of the cranial mechanisms, the Osteopath aims to create a better environment for the self healing mechanism of the body to work well.
One of our adult cranial patients described the treatment as “soothing and comfortable. You’re not pulled about and you can’t feel anything happening. It’s so calming you could fall asleep!” However, after treatment, she reported that she has felt very much better physically, like she is gradually returning to her old self.
In more complex cases cranial osteopathy has also been successfully trialled as a supportive treatment in conjunction with others, such as speech and occupational therapies , like:
- Downs Syndrome: helping with the breathing mechanism as they are often impaired and congested.
References: Handoll, N.J.R. ( 1998)- A paper on The Osteopathic Management of Children with Down’s Syndrome (British Journal of Osteoapthy)
- Autism: helping with regulating of the autonomic nervous system.
References: Frymann, V.M., Carney, R.E. & Springall, P. (1998). Effect of osteopathic medical management on neurological development in children. In Hollis Heaton King (Ed.) The Collected Papers of Viola Frymann, DO: Legacy of Osteopathy to Children. Indianapolis, American Academy of Osteopathy.
These have demonstrated that people who suffer from these conditions have seen some of the symptoms lessen with regular cranial osteopathy treatments.
For further information about the ongoing cranial trials, click here.
Stephanie is available on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Alan is available on Mondays and Thursdays. Click here to book online.