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What is Cranial Osteopathy?

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

Cranial osteopathy is a gentle form of treatment that exists within the broader osteopathic framework. It is used to treat people of all ages but can be particularly suitable for babies and children.

Cranial osteopathy is centered on the Primary Respiratory Mechanism (PRM) or cranial mechanism. This is a subtle movement that is present within all tissues.

what is cranial osteopathy

The focus is to treat the body as a single unit rather than the separate parts that make up the body.

This approach recognises that optimal health occurs when the body is in balance and functioning harmoniously.

Over time, stresses in various forms, including physical, emotional, nutritional, and traumatic stresses, can cause strain patterns to develop. The accumulation of these layers throughout life can disrupt the Primary Respiratory Mechanism, decreasing the flexibility of muscles, ligaments, and joints. Strains within the Primary Respiratory Mechanism, limit your ability to adapt to further stresses, predisposing your body to injury.

Cranial osteopaths are trained to diagnose any strains present that may be limiting your body. Using the body’s self-healing mechanism, they will aid in releasing any unwanted strains, enabling the body to return to a state of balance. This is a very gentle and relaxing treatment and we encourage patients to embrace the treatment and take the opportunity to rest.

TRAINING FOR CRANIAL OSTEOPATHS Prior to studying cranial osteopathy, cranial osteopaths complete a five-year full-time university training to become an osteopath. This training includes osteopathic philosophy and techniques, anatomy, physiology, pathology, and diagnosis.

In addition to their university education, cranial osteopaths will complete additional courses in the areas of “osteopathy in the cranial field” and “biodynamics in the cranial field”. This training gives them the skills to apply cranial techniques to their osteopathic training.

WHAT CAN A CRANIAL OSTEOPATH TREAT? Cranial osteopathy treats muscles, ligaments, tendons, and fascia, along with the nervous and circulatory systems to facilitate change in the body. From experience, our osteopaths have identified that cranial Osteo can aid in the treatment of:

  • Neck and Back pain

  • Sciatica and leg pain

  • Shoulder pain

  • Hip pain

  • Sporting injuries

  • Work-related pain

  • Headaches and migraines

  • Pregnancy and postpartum pain

  • Joint and muscle pain

  • Arthritis

  • Jaw Pain and TMJ

Chloe O'Brien - cranial osteopath from The Osteopathic Pelvic Hub in Hampton

At the Osteopathic Pelvic Hub Hampton, Chloe O'Brien is an experienced osteopath who uses cranial osteopathy as a part of her treatment.


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