Cranial Osteopathy

What is Cranial Osteopathy Used For?

Reducing stress and pain and to promote well-being. Cranial Osteopathy can help with a wide range of conditions including chronic lower back pain for which other osteopathic techniques may not be suitable. After experiencing physical or emotional stress it is common for our body tissues to tighten up. Although our bodies are generally able to adapt to stress at the time, prolonged stresses or strain can remain. This remaining tension can accumulate and be held in the body which can restrict its free movement and then symptoms develop. This works with your body to activate the innate ability of the body to heal itself by removing restrictions and provide support to bring the tissues back into a state of balance. The treatment is suitable for infants, adults and the elderly.

The History Of Cranial History

What Does a Cranial Osteopath Do?

Cranial Osteopathy is applied mainly on the tissues of the head however can also be used on different parts of your body directly. Cranial works on the principles that non-invasive, gentle cranial manipulation of joints and tissues can promote overall physical well-being. When arriving at our clinic we will go through a case history to understand your current symptoms and medical history. The osteopath will be interested in injuries that happened a long time ago; even birth trauma as this could have an effect with your presentation. After we will examine your active movements, provide a diagnosis and then go ahead with cranial massage treatment with your consent. Although cranial techniques are very gentle patients can experience great benefits following treatments.

Cranial Osteopathy for Migraines

Gentle stretching and massage to your neck and upper back tight muscles can help relieve the build-up of muscular tension that may lead to migraines. A cranial Osteopath treatment can help to reduce pains, ease tensions and promote well being. Recent research has shown that osteopathy can be effective in managing long term chronic migraines (Cerritelli et al 2015).

Cranial Osteopathy for Anxiety 

Firstly seeing an Osteopath is a therapeutic calming experience. You can share your worries and then receive hands on treatment for your pains and muscular tensions. A treatment is a deeply relaxing experience which can help reduce your anxiety. It is common for patients to constantly be in fight or flight mode with demanding job roles and busy lifestyles so a cranial treatment can act as a good ‘circuit breaker’ to help to turn down this switch. It can be so relaxing that some patients fall asleep within a treatment or report they have the best night’s sleep following sessions!

Cranial Osteopath London

What is Cranial Osteopathy for Adults? 

A deeply relaxing experience which can bring great benefits. Although overall mobility in the limbs, spine and head (cranium) starts to reduce in adulthood there is still gaps between the cranial bones (sutures) that Osteopaths believe they can influence to balance tensions. For example following a head injury it is common to experience headaches so cranial treatment can be of great benefit. During a treatment some clients are aware of different sensations, such as mild tensions, aching or sensitivity that gradually disappear, or of feelings of warmth and relaxation. Other people are not aware of anything happening during the treatment but do feel differently following a treatment. The majority feel deeply relaxed during treatment and it is not uncommon for people to fall asleep after cranial massage.

Cranial Osteopathy Back Pain

A recent systemic review (Dal Farra et al 2021) suggested their study strengthens evidence that osteopathy is effective in pain levels and functional status improvements in chronic lower back pain patients. A recent randomised controlled trial (Castro-Sanchez et al 2016) evaluated the effects of craniosacral therapy on disability, pain intensity, quality of life, and mobility in patients with low back pain. Ten sessions of craniosacral therapy resulted in a statistically greater improvement in pain intensity and hemoglobin oxygen saturation. Also systolic blood pressure, serum potassium, and magnesium level than did 10 sessions of classic massage in patients with chronic low back pain. However there was a call for more high quality randomised controlled trials research.

Can Cranial Osteopathy Help TMJ?

Yes we think so but it depends on the cause of your TMJ. If you have neck and upper back restrictions or a past history of head, facial and neck pain /trauma (including dental work) Osteopathic treatment can help to reduce your symptoms which should help to relax your jaws. Indeed if the problem is stress related and you are grinding your teeth in the night (bruxism) Cranial Osteopathy is deeply relaxing which will help to ease some of your tensions. If you haven’t tried Cranial Osteopathy for TMJ it is definitely worth giving it a go. s.

What to Expect After The Treatment?

It is common that adults feel a little light headed, more sleepy and relaxed after treatment but then feel better. According to the NCOR approximately half of all manual therapy patients experience some mild to moderate short-lived reaction to treatment. These can include, for example, a temporary increase in pain, aching after treatment, or post-treatment fatigue. In Licciardone’s(2003) study of osteopathy patients, 10-20% patients reported an increase in pain or symptoms, however, 42% of those went on to make clinically significant improvements compared to base line. Most muscle soreness, aching and headache post treatment resolved within 24 hours. Many patients who attend for osteopathic treatment take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help with their symptoms. Approximately 1 in 10 people who take NSAIDs on a daily basis experience persistent headaches (NHS 2021).

How Many Sessions will I need?

We will try to give some idea of how many treatments are necessary depending on your presentation. This will be reviewed at each session depending on your progress and as part of your treatment plan. Generally speaking adults will respond to treatment slower in comparison to children.

Part of our Osteopath Treatments