What is Cranial Osteopathy?

Cranial osteopathy is a form of osteopathic treatment that is used both diagnostically and therapeutically. Cranial osteopathy encourages the release of stresses and strains throughout the body and the head by applying various techniques to the cranium and sacrum.

Cranial osteopaths are trained to feel the cranial rhythm – a very subtle rhythm which scientists are still trying to explain, however several theories currently exist to explain this rhythmic pulsation, including:

  • the fluctuation of cerebrospinal fluid
  • an inherent mobility of the nervous system
  • the mobility of intercranial and interspinal membranes
  • the involuntary movement of the sacrum between the ilia

It is believed that the rhythmic pulsation of the cranial rhythm can be felt due in part to the very small amount of mobility achieved at the sutures, or joints, in the cranium.

Restoring the Body's Normal Function

Cranial osteopathy aims to normalise function and structure of all tissues in the body through the mechanism of the cranial rhythm. It works towards normalisation of cranial, spinal, autonomic nerve, arterial, veinous and lymphatic function and the correction of cranial and facial joint strains. Cranial osteopaths regard dysfunction as the loss or disruption of the dynamics that allow is to adjust to our environment. This can include disruption to muscle, fascia, bone, viscera, neurology, arteries, veins, lymphatics and cellular fluids.

Cranial osteopaths are taught to “listen” to the cranial rhythm through palpation of the cranium and the sacrum to help identify areas in the body with restriction or tissue asymmetry. These restrictions are then treated using a variety of techniques that address strain patterns in the cranial base or in relationships of the bones of the cranium. These techniques may include pumping and moulding techniques, all aimed at restoring balance and equilibrium to the membranes and bony relationships.

Cranial osteopathy is gentle and noninvasive which can be effective for both neurological and orthopedic conditions. Osteopaths may incorporate cranial osteopathy into their treatment programmes to address a wide range of conditions for people of all ages.

What does Cranial Osteopathy Treat?

The range of conditions cranial osteopaths treat and offer relief from is broad, find out more about Cranial Osteopathic treatments

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