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Cranial Osteopathy

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The Natural Practice

What is Cranial Osteopathy?

Cranial Osteopathy is a subtle form of osteopathic treatment that uses gentle pressure to encourage the release of stresses throughout the body. There are small fluctuations of movement within the body called involuntary motion. This feels like a gentle expansion and contraction of all the tissues, occurring between 7-14 times a minute. The involuntary motion can be easily disturbed by any form of trauma, such as a difficult birth, a car accident, knocks and falls and general illness. Gradually the body may accumulate these strains to the point that symptoms start to show.Treatment is generally an enjoyable experience, however, reactions to treatment are variable. There is usually a feeling of relaxation and babies and children often fall asleep. On average four to six treatments are sufficient, but this can vary depending on the severity of the problem.

Treatment for Babies

The baby’s head has the remarkable ability to absorb the stresses of normal labour. However, many babies are born with odd shaped heads and bruising. This normally recedes in the first few days, as the baby cries, sucks and yawns, but sometimes the un- moulding process is incomplete. When osteopaths examine babies, areas of tension are often found in the spine or head, which are indications that the baby is uncomfortable. A baby cannot complain of backache or headache and will typically express this by crying and being unsettled or irritable. This can be incredibly wearing for the mother as they may need to be constantly rocking or feeding the baby for comfort. These symptoms may be due to a number of factors such as retained moulding and a subsequent feeling of pressure in the head; the baby therefore needs constant movement to distract it from the discomfort and help it to settle. Also, the nerve to the stomach and/or diaphragm may be irritated as it exits the skull, and this effects digestion and subsequently the movement of food and wind through the gut is impaired.

Treatment in Childhood

As a child grows, the effects of retained moulding can lead to other problems. It can affect the body’s reserves and depletes the immune system, leaving the child more open to infections. Recurrent ear infection, impaired hearing due to glue ear, blocked, runny nose and mouth breathing may be a result of retained moulding affecting the movements of the bones around the face reducing drainage of the ear canal and sinuses.Some children may start showing signs of behavioural problems and learning difficulties. They may have poor concentration and become hyperactive and clumsy. The child was possibly restless as a baby and this becomes habitual and difficult to break.

Treatment in Adulthood

Most of us have been exposed to physical trauma at some stage in our life. The body may have coped well at the time, but occasionally a lasting strain remains. Mechanical problems can lead not only to aches and pains in joints and muscles, but also disturbances in the internal organs and the way they work. Symptoms such as headaches, indigestion, recurrent low back and neck ache, migraines, irritable bowel and RSI may result.