Cranial Osteopathy

Osteopathy – Bexhill, Hailsham, Stone Cross

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Cranial osteopathy

What is cranial osteopathy?

Craniaosteopathy is a subtle and refined version of osteopathy, which helps your body to help itself. It is a very gentle but effective way of diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal and other health problems.

Cranial osteopaths use a highly developed sense of touch to feel subtle changes of tension and tissue quality in the whole body, and to diagnose areas of strain or dysfunction. Treatment is very gentle and is guided by your body. The osteopath’s hands stay fairly still during the treatment as they ‘listen’ to your tissues and make tiny movements to facilitate change.

The cranial approach is useful throughout the body.

The cranial approach is useful throughout the body, not just the head. The term ‘cranial’ simply refers to the fact that it includes the structures of the head.

Cranial osteopathy can be beneficial for adults and children alike.

Your natural vitality

Your body is capable of self-healing and self-regulation. You have a natural vitality which allows you to recover from injuries, illnesses, accidents or traumas (physical or emotional). However, often when you recover you are left with subtle changes, for example, an adapted pattern of movement or altered alignment. These changes can influence the way you function, making it harder for you to cope with the next illness, accident or other challenging situation when it occurs.

You can only go on absorbing knocks and scrapes for so long. Eventually, your mechanism will run out of ways to adapt and cope. At that point, you will start to experience pain, reduced vitality and ill health.

Cranial osteopathy is a way of helping your body to unwind and let go of the complex layers of musculoskeletal changes, restrictions and adaptations you have bedded in over time. The release of old patterns of tension and strain in turn leads to an improvement in your health, vitality and wellbeing.

Diagnosis and treatment are closely linked. The cranial osteopath works to activate the ability of the body to heal itself. By offering gentle and specific support where it is needed, we can bring the tissues into a state of balance and release, which helps to restore health and wellbeing.

Using the cranial approach, the osteopath learns to listen to, and be guided by, the body’s inner knowledge of what is wrong, which may be different from the patient’s opinion and even the osteopath’s opinion.

In a cranial treatment, an osteopath is deeply connected to the inner world of living anatomy and physiology. Listening carefully the body can tell the story of what has happened to it, what trauma (emotional or physical) it has suffered and, how it is trying to cope with the legacy of these traumas.

In treatment the osteopath is guided by the tissues and supports the re-balancing or release of areas of dysfunction. The body has an amazing ability to heal itself and maintain its own physiology in a state of health and uses the re-balancing during osteopathic treatment to re-establish healthy physiology.” [Sutherland Cranial College of Osteopathy]

What does cranial treatment feel like?

Cranial osteopathic treatment is very gentle and relaxing. During the treatment some people are aware of different sensations, for example, mild tension, feelings of warmth or sensitivity. Those sensations gradually disappear. Other people are unaware of anything happening at all during the treatment but feel different when they get up afterwards. Most people become deeply relaxed during treatment, and it is not uncommon for people to fall asleep.

What is the history and thinking behind cranial osteopathy?

The cranial 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 cerebrospinal fluid around the brain and spinal cord (the primary respiratory movements). He discovered that this movement was reflected throughout all the connecting tissues of the body.

Every cell and all the fluids of your body express a rhythmic, involuntary motion, which is key for your health and vitality. The cranial approach aims to work with your body to optimise its natural movements and flow.

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.

Does cranial osteopathy have a scientific basis?

Cranial osteopathy is difficult to ‘prove’. But modern scientific understanding of physiology, in particular the physiology of fascia and electromagnetics in the body, are increasingly validating the theory and palpatory experiences of cranial osteopaths.” [Sutherland Cranial College of Osteopathy]

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