Cranial Osteopathy

Clare Kersley – Osteopathy and Therapeutic Massage – Bexhill, East Sussex

What Is Cranial Osteopathy?

Cranial osteopathy is a very gentle and relaxing, yet effective form of hands-on treatment. It involves only very light touch and slight movements from me, as your cranial osteopath. My goal is to “listen” to your tissues and to facilitate change rather than to force change on your structure. In other words, using the cranial approach, I can work gently to help your body make the changes it needs to make.

During cranial treatment I might appear to be very still, with my hands hardly moving at all. Some patients can feel the treatment working inside their body and may feel a sense of warmth either under my hands or elsewhere. Others don’t feel any effects until later. Nearly all patients find cranial osteopathy deeply relaxing – some even fall asleep!

As humans, we are basically all self-healing and self-regulating organisms. Under the right conditions, our bodies can release patterns of strain, tightness and tension we might be holding onto. Some of those patterns might have been carried with us or accumulated over many years in response to incidents or accidents we’ve experienced. We’re very good at adapting to knocks and scrapes and at just getting on with things afterwards. Eventually though, we run out of ways to adapt and cope and we start to experience aches and pains and ill health. Cranial osteopathy can be a useful way to work back through and unravel our layers of adaptations.

Although the name “cranial osteopathy” suggests treatment of the head, cranial osteopathy is actually a treatment for the whole body. It is aimed at improving your health and well-being by allowing your body to let go of patterns of tension and stress, some of which might have been bedded in over many years, and to restore a state of balance within you.

Patients who experience cranial osteopathy often say that they find it deeply relaxing yet surprisingly powerful. People have said that they feel more comfortable afterwards and less tense, have freer range of movement, sleep better and generally feel better in themselves. Some people say they feel nothing other than relaxation during the treatment itself, and it is only later that they notice some change. Not everyone notices a change straight away.

Scientific Basis

With cranial osteopathy, like many other hands-on treatments, the evidence-based studies have not been done. So, while many patients report experiencing significant benefits, I have to point out that there is a lack of scientific proof for these benefits…

If you want to know whether cranial osteopathy is the right thing for you, please read both the good and the bad stories on the internet, or speak to trusted friends who have experienced it, or perhaps give me a call with your questions.

History of  Cranial Osteopathy

The cranial osteopathic approach was founded by Dr William Garner Sutherland, who first began considering the idea of ‘cranial’ osteopathy in 1899. He described a motion of the cranial and sacral bones corresponding to the movement of the cerebrospinal fluid around the brain and spinal cord (the primary respiratory movements). This movement, he discovered, was reflected throughout all the connecting tissues of the body. Every cell and all the fluids of the body express a rhythmic, involuntary motion that is of primary importance in each person’s health and vitality.

Dr Sutherland discovered that by relieving minor “strains” or abnormalities within the motion of the cranial bones and the sacrum he could produce profound effects on the general health of his patients.

Last updated: March 9, 2016 at 11:04 am

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