Cranial Osteopathy is a system of treatment that focuses on whole body health through treatment of the bones of the skull and neck. Cranial osteopathy is a very gentle and safe form of treatment for all ages.
Cranial Osteopathy was developed in the early 1900’s by the Osteopath William G Sutherland. By the 1960s and 1970s, following in the footsteps of Sutherlands philosophy, Osteopath John Upledger utilised laboratory tests to discover a rhythmical movement within the tissues of the body, proving Sutherlands teachings. This movement is known as cranial motion as it occurs within the cranium and translates to the rest of the tissues in the body. The cranial motion is a very subtle movement and a highly developed level of palpation is required to be able to feel it and thus influence it. Issues in the framework of the neck or skull have a knock on effect on the vcranial motion by sometimes interrupting it or altering it, this then has an influence on overall health and wellbeing as all tissues of the body are effected – from organs to muscles etc. When we are born the bones of the skull are dis-articulated (the fontanelles are an example of this) and as we grow they fuse, however this fusion is made up of a strong cartilage and not bone, therefore allowing movement to still occur in the skull. Any trauma or stress on the skull can influence the slight movement between the sutures and therefore have a detrimental effect on the cranial motion.
Cranial osteopathic treatment itself is very gentle, with the practitioner applying very gentle pressure to the skull and neck, quite often patients describe a feeling of heat, pressure or a wave type motion. Cranial osteopathy is safe to use on virtually all patients which allows it to be a very beneficial form of treatment for any ailment.
What is the difference between Craniosacral therapy and Cranial Osteopathy?
Essentially both forms of treatment are the same. Cranial osteopathy was initially taught by Osteopaths to people who came from different backgrounds. However, as these practitioners were not qualified as Osteopaths they had to form a different name for the therapy, hence cranio-sacral therapy was coined.