Cranial Osteopathy is a very gentle, yet effective treatment that typically involves a practitioner cradling the patient’s head (hence the name ‘cranial’), base of spine (hence sometime the name ‘sacral’) or other part of the body in order to feel for any mechanical imbalances which may contribute to the patient’s condition. The practitioner then works to reach a state of balance to allow the body’s inherent self-healing mechanism to restore a state of well-being and health. Osteopaths work with the body, they don’t treat symptoms. Most people are surprised how superficial the Osteopath’s touch is during treatment. The patient may feel a deep sense of relaxation and possibly become aware of heat, tingling, pulsations or other sensations and as physical restrictions are eased a sense of lightness and calm can follow.
Although often associated with treating babies and children Cranial Osteopathy is suitable for people of all ages and may help a wide variety of conditions. Osteopathy in the cranial field may be used alone or in conjunction with other treatment techniques depending on the presenting symptoms and the patient’s preferences.
People often wonder ‘what is the difference between Cranial Osteopathy and Cranial-Sacral Therapy?’. Generally in terms of the treatment approach they are fairly similar, however the main difference is that an Osteopath will have undergone a four-year comprehensive degree programme and further postgraduate courses in Cranial techniques, whereas typically a Cranial-Sacral Therapist will have studied for a few weeks to two years in the discipline, so it is important to check their qualifications.