Cranial Osteopathy it is the name given to a subtle and refined approach to Osteopathy that follows all the principles of Osteopathy. Cranial Osteopaths use a highly trained sense of touch to feel subtle changes of tension and tissue quality in the living anatomy of the whole body, and to diagnose areas of strain or dysfunction.
By very gently meeting the body in a way that allows it to come to a point of balance or neutral, Cranial Osteopaths allow taught and restricted areas back into normal healthy movement and function. A little bit like taking a coat off a coat hook; The restriction is disengaged and allowed to move more freely again.
The osteopath is often drawn to areas in the body that have been affected by past events, such as old accidents and injuries. The body may have learned to compensate for a traumatic event or injury and the patient may be unaware that there is anything wrong, but the effects may still be present and relevant to current symptoms. Osteopaths look to understand and treat the cause of the symptoms, to reduce the chance of them returning in the future.
Cranial treatment appears so passive, how do I know that anything is happening?
Observing cranial treatment can be compared to watching someone reading a book. From the outside nothing much appears to be happening but, if you are the one reading the book, you are transported into a rich world of structure, colour, depth and emotion. As you continue to read, the story unfolds.
In a cranial treatment, an osteopath is deeply connected to the inner world of living anatomy and physiology. Listening carefully the body can tell the story of what has happened to it, what trauma (emotional or physical) it has suffered and, how it is trying to cope with the legacy of these traumas.
What sort of patients or conditions can be helped with cranial osteopathy?
Cranial osteopathy is widely known for the treatment of babies but is equally effective for adults, children, during pregnancy and the elderly. In any osteopathic treatment, the whole body is involved and improvements are often noted in different areas and different systems rather than in just the symptomatic one.
What does cranial treatment feel like?
Cranial osteopathic treatment is very gentle and relaxing. During the treatment some people are aware of different sensations, such as mild tension, aching or sensitivity that gradually disappear, or of feelings of warmth and relaxation. Other people are unaware of anything happening at all during the treatment but are aware that they feel very different afterwards. Most people become deeply relaxed during treatment and it is not uncommon for people to fall asleep.
Does cranial osteopathy have a scientific basis?
With every advance in scientific understanding of physiology, in particular the physiology of fascia, fluids and electromagnetics in the body, we are gradually validating the theory and palpatory experiences of cranial osteopaths. There are also a number of clinical studies investigating the effects of cranial osteopathic treatment. The SCCO is currently supporting a research project (https://www.babycheckbath.org/mission/) into the effectiveness of osteopathy in treating babies with feeding difficulties or other causes of distress. Initial results look promising, with the first 110 evaluation forms showing that 85% of parents rated the service at a score of 8/10 or above and a 1/3 of these parents rated us as 10/10, and 99.1% would recommend the service to another family. 60% of parents were not familiar with osteopathy before referral to Baby Check. The project has now advanced to looking at how osteopathy influences breastfeeding outcomes for babies with feeding difficulties.
–Adapted from the Sutherland Cranial College of Osteopathy; What is Cranial Osteopathy?
With 19 years experience as a Cranial Osteopath in Stroud, I treat people with these conditions on a daily basis;
Back Pain, Neck pain, Joint Pain (including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis), Muscle Spasms, Sciatica, Cervicogenic Headaches, Migraines, Tension & Inability to Relax, Arthritic pain, Circulatory problems, Cramp, Digestion problems, Fibromyalgia, Frozen shoulder/ shoulder and elbow pain/ tennis elbow, Generalised aches and pains, Lumbago, Minor sports injuries, Neuralgia, Rheumatic pain.
The National Council for Osteopathic Research (NCOR) found that 96% of patients attending this clinic were either Very Satisfied or Satisfied with the osteopathic care they received; 93.8% of them experienced an improvement in their symptoms, of which 73% were either Completely Recovered or Much Improved.