Osteopathy in the cranial field


Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopaths focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs all function together as a holistic unit.

In Australia and New Zealand, osteopaths are university trained in anatomy, physiology, pathology, general medical diagnosis and osteopathic techniques.

What is Cranial Osteopathy?

Cranial osteopathy, also more formally called ‘osteopathy in the cranial field’ is a whole person approach to the patient. It was first considered by the founder Dr William Sutherland, for manipulating the bones of the skull – hence the name cranial osteopathy. The approach includes gentle hands on techniques to manipulate the bones of the cranium and similar techniques to all regions of the body, encouraging fine or small changes to influence the primary respiratory mechanism. The primary respiratory mechanism or PRM is considered the breathing of all the tissues – breathing of every cell, and by influencing this osteopaths feel that this helps the self-healing homeostatic mechanisms of the body.

These techniques are used by osteopaths either exclusively or in conjunction with other techniques such as stretching, articulation as well as general health advice and management. Most osteopaths in Australia have an introduction to these techniques at undergraduate level. The SCTF ANZ provides further programs for osteopaths to develop and refine these skills.

Who can benefit from Cranial Osteopathy?

Almost all people can benefit from the use of Cranial Osteopathy at some stage in their lives. This may vary from birth trauma, both for the mother and the child, through the growing childhood years and during our working life, particularly if there has been trauma to the head….small trauma like dental work, through to major head injuries following car accidents may respond well to Osteopathic treatment.

Why is Osteopathy in the Cranial Field so effective?

When you experience physical or emotional stress, the tissues in your body may respond by tightening. This tension disrupts what is called the ‘cranial rhythm’.

The cranial rhythm is a very subtle movement that is associated with respiration and is present in all body tissues. Cranial osteopaths are trained to feel this rhythm and work to release the tension. It is a gentle yet extremely powerful approach to addressing specific health problems by taking the whole body into account.

Cranial osteopathy is a painless way to release stress and strain naturallywithin the body.

Interested in completing a Cranial Osteopathy course?

Find out more here

Would you like to try Cranial Osteopathy as a patient?

Find your local practitioner here

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