Understanding Cranial Osteopathy: Everything You Need To Know

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Understanding Cranial Osteopathy

Osteopathy as a whole is a complementary approach to diagnosing, treating and preventing certain health problems, from anxiety to back pain and neck pain. It involves gentle techniques to manipulate the joints in the skull, parts of the spine, and the pelvis to treat disease.

An osteopathic physician is trained to subtly move and stretch the patient’s tissues to help relieve muscle tension, improve mobility, and general well-being. It’s a complete individualised approach to physical, mental and emotional health, by ensuring that the body’s components are well-balanced and functioning smoothly.

How is cranial Osteopathy different?

Cranial osteopathy is an extremely gentle treatment primarily focused around the head, but uses the same philosophy as normal osteopathic practices and also aims to enhance the body’s own healing capabilities. 

A cranial osteopathic physician treats a variety of conditions throughout the body – by looking at the physiological balance of the body inside-out, particularly looking at the structures around the head, spine and pelvis. This total body balance improves the functioning of the immune system and the CNS (central nervous system), for better overall health.

What are its uses?

Cranial osteopaths use a safe and subtle touch to identify any stress and changes in the tissue. It is a non-invasive, hands-on method to feel discreet changes beneath the bones and membranes, to support the manipulation of the troubled areas. 

Below are some of the concerns that cranial osteopathy in London can help with –

  • Neck pain and back pain
  • Stress, tension and insomnia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Arthritis
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Scoliosis

A cranial osteopath always considers your medical history to carefully examine the past events that may have triggered the trauma and affected the functioning of the body. After the primary examination, they determine the course of treatment and advice on what steps should be taken to aid the progression. 

The treatment is very soothing, relaxing, and may cause mild sensations during or after.

Effectiveness – Does it really work?

Cranial osteopathic treatment is different for every individual, and so are the effects difficult to measure. However, cranial osteopathic physicians first train as osteopaths and then undergo extended years of specialist training of the cranial concept. They believe that by improving the flow of fluid in and around the CNS, they can help improve the body posture and the balance of the energy.

Can it help in reducing back pain?

Apart from common cold, what ailment forces people to consult their doctors every year, loses the most working days in the UK? Back pain. 

Due to our desk-bound lives, back pain is replacing traditional industrial injuries as a reason for sick leave. Pain in the back is mostly a result of strain in the array of ligaments, bones and muscles that make up the spine, and comes on gradually. It can further lead to recurring headaches, dizziness and nausea. 

So, what’s the fix?

Various studies reveal that cranial osteopathy improves function in patients suffering from back pain. Cranial osteopaths use gentle manipulation and massaging techniques to reduce back pain and prevent it from coming back. Manual therapy includes the proper alignment of the musculoskeletal system that gets the body back in a state of balance. 

If there are signs of other serious conditions, the osteopath may suggest some screening and imaging tests and direct the patient towards conventional treatment. The osteopathic physician may also suggest some exercises that can help with the back pain, and a few changes to workplace ergonomics, such as desk-position, and dietary modifications. Prevention advice may involve:

  • Posture
  • Breathing
  • Lifting techniques
  • Stress Reduction

Can it help in relieving stress and depression?

Depression, stress and anxiety affects a huge part of the world’s population. 

People might think that physical health is much more important than mental health, but that’s not the truth. Mental health is just as important as physical health. 

Our body and mind are intrinsically linked – when we improve our mental health, we automatically experience better physical well-being. Our mental health influences how we behave, think and feel in daily life. Not to forget, it is only possible to take care of the body if the mind is healthy enough and working well. 

Mental health can also affect our ability to cope with hardships, overcome challenges, recover from setbacks, and build relationships.     

Patients suffering from anxiety and depression have a hard time living their life, so much so that most cases of untreated depression result in severe impairments. Therefore, it becomes important to inform and educate people about good mental health. 

Although there are many ways to manage stress and depression-like therapies and medicines, Cranial Osteopathy helps in releasing the muscle stress around the brain and spinal cord. It improves the flow of spinal fluid and helps in restoring the motor and sensory nerves essential for the proper functioning of the brain. So when the brain is able to send the signals properly, it takes a natural cause of curing depression and anxiety

Can it help in treating Arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition associated with joints that not only takes a toll on your physical well-being but also affects your mental health. Prolonged suffering in pain leads to depression. However there is no cure for arthritis, cranial osteopathic treatment can do a great deal to ease swelling, relieve pain and improve mobility of joint movement.

Cranial osteopathy has proved its effectiveness in helping patients who have arthritis – improve their strength, movement and overall levels of discomfort. Management focuses on improving lifestyle through early diagnosis, thus, preventing further degeneration.

Osteopaths gently manipulate the joints and other muscle groups to release the tension and stress and relieve pain. The treatment may involve gentle stretching, mobility, and traction techniques.

Regular osteopathic sessions ensure that the pain never gets unmanageable and also help in destressing arthritis patients.