Cranial Osteopathy

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Osteopathy is a holistic system of manual therapy that aims to reduce pain and restore healthy function to the body.

Cranial Osteopathy (also called craniosacral therapy), is Osteopathy applied to the tissues and bones of the skull (or cranium).
Cranial Osteopathy may help conditions involving the head and neck, brain, and nervous system, such as the following:

– migraine and headache
– whiplash injury
– chronic neck pain
– sinus congestion
– vertigo
– concussion
– head trauma due to motor vehicle accidents, sporting injuries, falls, or domestic violence
– jaw (TMJ) issues
– symptoms of fibromyalgia

Cranial Osteopathy is performed with the patient fully clothed, and involves the Osteopath applying very gentle pressure to the head and face. The goal of the Osteopath is to release tension in the fascia and muscles of the head and neck, to ease tension in the fascia surrounding the skull bones, to improve blood flow to the head and the brain, and encourage venous and lymphatic drainage from the head and brain. The effects of such treatment may be to reduce pain and promote healthy function of the head and neck, sinuses, jaw, brain and ultimately, the whole body.

Cranial Osteopathy may also help to balance the autonomic nervous system, which is the part of the nervous system that manages our automatic processes, such as heart rate, breathing, and digestion.

Our autonomic nervous system is made up of two parts: the sympathetic nervous system (also called our ‘fight and flight’ system), and the parasympathetic nervous system (also called the ‘rest, digest, and rejuvenate’ system). A healthy nervous system involves keeping these two systems in balance, whereby we don’t spend too long activating any one system. Unfortunately, in our modern fast paced world, we are often busy and stressed, leading to an overactive sympathetic system. A stressed or overactive sympathetic nervous system may lead to impaired memory & learning, mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, a weaker immune system and more frequent illness, an increase in blood pressure and subsequent damage to arteries, and impaired digestion (Yaribeygi, Panahi, Sahraei, Johnston, & Sahebkar, 2017). Cranial Osteopathy may help reduce the effects of stress and restore healthy balance to the nervous system.

All our Osteopaths have completed cranial training as part of their Osteopathy degrees, with Dan Carroll and Jo Meon also completing post-graduate training in addition to their degrees.

If you think Cranial Osteopathy might be helpful for you, or you would like to know more – please get in touch!

 

References

Forehand-van Der Linde, K., & Kratz, S. (2019). Manual therapies reduce / eliminate post-concussion symptoms in a 24-year old athlete with multiple concussions. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 100(10), e94–e95. doi: 1016/j.apmr.2019.08.274

Guernsey, D., Leder, A., & Yao, S. (2016). Resolution of concussion symptoms after osteopathic manipulative treatment: A case report. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 116(3). doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2016.036

Harrison, I., Siow, B., Akilo, A., Evans, P., Thomas, D., Lythgoe, M., & Wells, J. (2018). Non-invasive imaging of CSF-mediated brain clearance pathways via assessment of perivascular fluid movement with diffusion tensor MRI. eLife, 7. doi: 10.7554/eLife.34028

Jessen, N., Munk, A., Lundgaard, I., & Nedergaard, M. (2015). The glymphatic system: A beginner’s guide. Neurochemical Research, 40(12), 2583–2599. doi: 10.1007/s11064-015-1581-6

Magoun, H. (1951). Osteopathy in the cranial field. Denver, Colorado: Sutherland Cranial Teaching Foundation.

Matarán-Peñarrocha, G., Castro-Sánchez, A., García, G., Moreno-Lorenzo, C., Carreño, T., Zafra, M. (2011). Influence of craniosacral therapy on anxiety, depression and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 1-9. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nep125

Patel, K., & Sabini, R. (2018). Safety of osteopathic cranial manipulative medicine as an adjunct to conventional postconcussion symptom management: A pilot study. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 118(6), 403–409. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2018.061

Yaribeygi H., Panahi Y., Sahraei H., Johnston T., & Sahebkar A. (2017). The impact of stress on body function: A review. EXCLI Journal, 16,1057-1072. doi: 10.17179/excli2017-480

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