Cranial Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a gentle manual therapy involving soft tissue massage, careful articulation and traction of joints. It may also involve treating organs (like the bowels) and a technique called Cranial or Craniosacral Osteopathy. This is not just for the head and pelvis but for the whole body and is a gentle approach to tissues that are hard to reach otherwise and for patients who are delicate or, as with babies, are not able to fully communicate/cooperate with the practitioner.

The principle behind Cranial treatment is the subtle manipulation of the cranial rhythm – a body length oscillation resulting from the combined tissue motions from day to day metabolic processes.

By improving the oscillation with careful palpation, the tissue motion can be aided and thereby health restored to the area.

The aim of Osteopathic treatment is to balance the patient around their own midline and ensure that all tissues are evenly tensioned to promote optimal arterial and neurological supply and lymphatic and venous drainage.

As children do not have a lifetime of poor posture and bad habits to restrict their bodies they will usually improve faster than an adult will.

The first consultation will take between forty-five minutes and an hour and consists of a thorough case history, an examination including checking for developmental milestones and reflexes and then around fifteen to twenty minutes of actual treatment.

Throughout this process you will be kept informed as to diagnosis and expected prognoses and you will be given advice as to what you can do at home to make the treatment more effective.

Follow up treatments, if required, will take between thirty and forty minutes and will consist almost entirely of treatment.

For an average problem most babies may require up to two or three treatments and adults around three to four treatments. If there is a complex problem then this may take longer.

Any Osteopath you may wish to consult for advice as to the suitability of treatment or with regards to treatment itself will be registered with the General Osteopathic Council ( and can be found on their website though not all Osteopaths use Craniosacral technique so it is worth checking first.

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