In this blog, our Osteopaths Samantha Owen and Lee Thompson have a chat about the most common queries patients have about Cranial Osteopathy.


Lee: Although often written as a separate treatment option, cranial osteopathy doesn’t differ much from that of “normal” osteopathy. Cranial is more of a technique that some osteopaths use as both a method of diagnosis and treatment. The name “cranial” suggests that the technique has something to do with the head… and it does – it is named as such due to the movement of some of the bones within the head. As with “normal” osteopathy though, the approach still assesses the body as a whole. Practitioners who use cranial osteopathy usually combine the technique with other techniques such as massage and manipulation to devise a treatment best suited to each individual patient.

Samantha: So, shall we talk about the kinds of patients can benefit from Cranial techniques?

Lee: Cranial osteopathy is often associated with the treatment of babies; this is because the technique is often more subtle and gentle, so suits new-borns well. It is not exclusive to the younger person though – the cranial approach can be used with any patient, no matter of their age, gender, build or complaint!

Samantha: Our lives can be very stressful through work, families and day to life, cranial can be helpful to relax and balance our nervous system. our sympathetic nervous system is responsible for our fight or flight mode so if we were being chased by a monster this would allow us to run using adrenaline, however now it is used to keep us going and sustain working as much as we do, which can make us feel stressed, if this is highly activated it can cause us to become fatigued and drained. Cranial can help to relax us by balancing our sympathetic to our parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for our health longer term to allow us to heal and recover, cranial can help relax us and balance these two systems which can helps to decrease our stress levels.  However, making effects to these systems can make you feel tired and why after treatment you might feel you just need to take a nap…

Lee: I sometimes do get some people who wonder if anything is happening though, because it is so gentle. There’s not much to see! It is not uncommon for someone watching or even having treatment to think that nothing is happening during the technique. This is because the technique is extremely subtle compared to other methods. People are often more surprised at how different they feel after the treatment has finished. It is also very common for patients to fall asleep during a cranial technique – and this is okay! With the method being so gentle, it is also often very relaxing. Falling asleep can help with the treatment as it allows your whole body to relax into its natural state, allowing the osteopath to understand the forces going through the body more in-depth.

Samantha: Another form of cranial can be used on specific joints through the ligaments, ligaments provide stability to our joints when are muscles are working to allow movement to our joints. However due to the strains of various forces in our day to day lives this can create strains on these ligaments and can prevent them from resting. Gentle touch from your osteopath can give your joint gentle support and allow them to rest which can aid in joint mobility.

You can book yourself or your baby in with Samantha or Lee by calling 0121 354 6955 and asking for a Cranial Osteopathy appointment. 

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