Cranial Osteopathy

For people who require a gentle approach

Cranial Osteopathy

Cranial Osteopathy is a safe, gentle and highly refined form of osteopathic treatment. Cranial Osteopaths use gentle hands-on approaches to assess and treat both babies and adults. Cranial Osteopathy is used for a wide range of conditions and people of all ages, from birth to old age. Cranial is a very safe and effective form of treatment that helps to release deeper tensions throughout the body. Cranial Osteopathy works in subtle ways, encouraging spinal fluid along the spine and creating a more profound sense of relaxation and balance throughout. Treatment involves gently applying fingertip pressure to the bones of the head and spine. The osteopath will use minimal pressure during treatment to adjust and help resolve any tensions and strains. Cranial Osteopathy can be very powerful yet has a very soothing nature. During treatment, patients may feel sensations of warmth and relaxation, either around the hands of your cranial osteopath or elsewhere in their body. Most patients feel the gradual release of tension and become deeply relaxed

How does cranial Osteopathy Work?

A highly effective approach Cranial Osteopathy works with the body’s spinal, lymphatic and fluid pathways helping to aid the bodies self-healing processes. Cranial Osteopathy also works with the autonomic nervous system helping ease tensions within spinal pathways, bones, muscles and fascia. Cranial also subtly eases trapped nerves and balances the deeper involuntary mechanisms.  palpated by Osteopaths. Cranial may also help to support the immune system and encourage healing processes.

Interestingly our bodies internal tissues move rhythmically and cyclically, and many of our bodily functions are automatic and not under our conscious control. They are described as the autonomic nervous system. The rhythm palpated by Cranial Osteopaths is subtle but can be palpated, perceived and felt in a way that the Doctor can feel your ‘pulse ‘on your arm. Cranial  Osteopaths are trained at the highest levels, and most of the education and practice is at a post-graduate level. Cranial Osteopaths use their trained sense of palpation to diagnose and treat the more subtle aspects of our bodies functioning.

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Many conditions respond well to cranial osteopathy.

Many conditions may respond well to cranial Osteopathy. People attend for back and neck pain, sleeping problems, headaches, fibromyalgia, and digestive problems; Cranial is particularly suitable for babies and small children. In part, we think it is due to their youthful energy, which appears to speed their response to gentle but direct Cranial Treatment. Cranial Osteopathy has its roots in classical Osteopathy. Cranial treatment helps to address imbalances in our bodily systems. Cranial Osteopathy looks at the relationship between the body’s “structure” and its functioning, employing effective techniques that use gentle hand and fingertip contact during treatment. They also palpate disturbances in the fascia (the glue that holds us all together), the bones and soft tissues. Osteopaths will feel for distortions and restrictions in the body and apply specific techniques to help re-address the balance.

Cranial for babies and children

Parents usually attend the Practice for a couple of reasons. Perhaps their baby has a problem that they are worried about or a general check-up in the early weeks after birth. The visit may often begin by asking you questions about the baby to determine whether you had a good pregnancy and a problem-free birth. Osteopathy may help solve sleep and feeding problems that don’t always respond to traditional medicine. Cranial Osteopathy is especially helpful for people who require a gentle approach. Cranial Osteopath examines your whole body, not just your head and may help people with long term pain and discomfort relating to old physical injuries or birth trauma. Cranial Osteopathy is also great for relieving everyday stress and tensions. Patients are often impressed by how light touch has such a profound effect on how they feel.

The most common issues treated by cranial osteopath are-

  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Infantile Colic
  • Reflux/silent reflux
  • Recurrent ear infections

Visiting a cranial Osteopath

The visit starts by taking a detailed medical history. This part of the treatment is important as it often helps to shed light on details that may have previously been looked over.  Once the Osteopath has all the medical and historical information, the physical examination begins. Often the first thing the osteopath will do is hold the babies head.  Cranial osteopaths are trained to feel subtle, fundamental movements within the body structure. Special attention is paid to the bodies symmetry and whether those subtle movements are asymmetrical or stronger on one side. They also feel for tensions or strains within the patient’s cranium, bones and joints. During treatment, the osteopath will use really gentle pressure to adjust and help resolve any tensions and strains. Cranial osteopathy can be very powerful yet has a very soothing nature. Cranial osteopathy treatment helps the baby to feel more relaxed and contented.

Osteopaths using the Cranial Technique​

Cranial Osteopaths can be effective in the treatment of chronic health conditions. Many problems don’t respond to typical medication or standard Physiotherapy. Cranial is focused on improving general circulation and reducing tissue tensions and ligament stress. Health is really about allowing the body to work at its optimum, allowing energy to flow and the immune system to function efficiently. Babies and young children often respond very well to treatment from a Cranial Osteopath. Treatment may help resolve many discomforts and distortions from infancy or traumatic birth. 

Expectant Mums will often find Cranial very effective during the difficult times of pregnancy when bodies are in a state of flux and under hormonal influences of relaxin. At this point, fast-moving physical re-adjustment (compensation) happens, and the body can feel painful or out of balance. Osteopaths using the Cranial Technique are, in essence, Traditional Osteopaths with degree-level training and years of experience. Osteopaths have a strong foundation in anatomy and physiology and a complex understanding of the body. The  Osteopathic “cranial” technique is a  specialised field. Osteopaths pay to train at a postgraduate level. They have the same highly trained medical skills in differential diagnosis, treatment and clinical testing.

What Happens if Trauma Goes Untreated?

During birth, babies can experience trauma as they absorb the stresses of labour. Many babies are born with odd-shaped heads and some bruising. Although this is normal and usually sorts itself out within the first few days. The actions of crying, yawning and sucking helps the head and face to normalise. Some babies may not recover well and experience ongoing discomfort. Osteopathy can be helpful with particularly ‘unsettled’ babies or little ones who have trouble sleeping. Babies who have suffered a traumatic birth may also experience behavioural problems and possibly learning difficulties if the effects of the birth go untreated. Suppose parents find their babies generally feel irritable, persistently crying, have colic-type symptoms, or suffer from the wind. In that case, it could indicate factors associated with retained moulding and subsequent feeling of pressure in the head if the baby needs constant movement to settle or distract it from the discomfort and help it settle.
Cranial osteopathy may help manage ongoing problems with latching on or bottle-feeding sick after feeds. If the baby dislikes lying on their back or wearing hats or has an asymmetrical head, this could indicate that all is not well.
Other symptoms that may indicate problems may be chest infections, recurrent colds and coughs, sticky eyes, squints or glue ear may manifest after a traumatic birth.
As babies develop, issues with toddlers and children can be wetting the bed or reluctance to toilet train. Emotionally lack of concentration, not sitting still and extreme moods and tantrums.

osteopath cranial technique

Our Cranial Osteopaths

What our clients say

Thank you Hatfield Practice, especially Osteopath Chris, for making my body do things that I thought not possible…. I’m trying to stretch every night to keep those skiing positions…but its hard at my age but I’m kicking those 25 age somethings  a***s, like a 43-year-old should!

Sally- Ski instructor

I have been working with Dora (Physio). Apart from the very professional treatment, she always went out of her way to treat me like a real person and was genuinely interested in how i felt . This holistic and human approach to care makes such a difference and seems to permeate the whole practice – from the greeting at reception to the banter between colleagues to the therapy itself.

Sue M.

Relaxing, professional and just brilliant.

Graham. Hatfield

Ian is great – helped me loads

Thanks Brain

Back Pain

Great exercise advice, my shoulder was painful before but now feel so much better more mobile and zero day to day pain. Well done”

Clive N, Watford.

” I always pop in for a cup of tea and a chat, no place like it”

Elsie ( 82 yrs)
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