What is Cranial Osteopathy?

A very gentle osteopathic approach that can be applied to any part of the body

Joyaa treating LizTypically, this approach involves gentle and relaxing osteopathic techniques that may be applied to any part of the body. The amounts of pressure employed are usually very minimal.

It is important to appreciate that Cranial Osteopathy is not all about 'the head'.

Cranial osteopathy or Craniosacral therapy

Cranial Osteopathy is sometimes referred to as Craniosacral Therapy. Our Osteopaths use the original title, Cranial Osteopathy. Becoming a cranial osteopathic practitioner requires extra training, usually at a post-graduate level.

Cranial osteopathic techniques have been practised since the 1930s

In the 1930s Dr William Sutherland, an American physician, discovered a movement taking place throughout the body that occurred in conjunction with what he felt to be a slight yielding motion of the bones of the head.

Sutherland and his colleagues believed that injury, illness or stress could disrupt the subtle movements they detected with their hands, and they hypothesised that such disruptions could be associated with disturbances in the the body's natural ability to regulate and heal itself. This was controversial at the time, and even after 80 years it remains the subject of much debate within our profession. At our clinic, we would like to see more research that may provide good quality evidence of the benefits that cranial osteopathy may offer.

It is not 'cranial massage' since there is no massage. It usually takes years of training and practice in order to educate the hands of an osteopath to 'sense' or palpate subtle stresses, strains and imbalances throughout body - whether these strains are in the client's legs or arms, their back or front, feet or head.

Subtle compressions, twists, sometimes a sense of 'inertia', or qualitative changes in tissues or motion can be felt. These, taken together with a comprehensive client case history, help us to build a picture of cause and effect.

Joyaa treating a babyWhether the problem is back pain, neck whiplash or face trauma in older children or adults, or colic, feeding issues, flat head (plagiocephaly) or glue ear in babies, we would like to have high quality scientific research in place whenever our treatment incorporates cranial osteopathic techniques. Research like this would support our treatment approach for each client, and our clinic would be happy to participate in such trials.

Our senior osteopath, Dr Joyaa Antares, completed an MSc in clinical epidemiology at the start of 2017, and aims to progress to a PhD and clinical trials.

If you would like to know more about Cranial Osteopathy or Craniosacral Therapy, please contact your Gold Coast Osteopath here.