Cranial Osteopathy is a specialised technique described as 'indirect' as no manipulative thrust is applied to any spinal joint. The cranial osteopath believes that the fine joints, or sutures, of the bones that form the skull allow tiny movements to occur between them. By stimulating this movement, the circulation of cerebro-spinal fluid is encouraged which may relieve local symptoms and also affect other organs, such as the pituitary gland. Gentle, rhythmic pressure is applied to the head in order to encourage movement of the skull structures. These techniques are ideal for treating the new born and young children.
Cranial Osteopaths are trained to feel a very subtle, rhythmical shape change that is present in all body tissues. This is called Involuntary Motion or the Cranial Rhythm. The movement is of very small amplitude, therefore it takes practitioners with a very finely developed sense of touch to feel it. This rhythm was first described in the early 1900's by Dr. William G. Sutherland and its existence was confirmed in a series of laboratory tests in the 1960's and '70's.
While it can be highly effective at relieving symptoms, cranial osteopathy aims to treat the whole person not just the condition, so a very wide range of situations may benefit from treatment. These may include back and neck pain; joint pain and sports injuries; headaches, migraines and sinus problems; stress; recurrent infection; period pain; digestive difficulties; and treatment may also benefit general health and well-being.
In babies and children many problems such as restlessness, excessive crying, sleeping and feeding difficulties may be helped.