What Is Cranial Osteopathy?

Cranial Osteopathy is a gentle and effective treatment which is suitable for all ages. Despite its name, it is used to treat the whole body, not just the head. Due to its gentle nature it is really popular with pregnant women, and for mother and baby after birth.

It stimulates healing by using gentle hand pressure to manipulate the skeleton and connective tissues, especially the skull and sacrum (the large, triangular bone at the base of the spinal column). Cranial osteopathy is based on the theory that the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord, has subtle, rhythmic pulsations that are vital to health and can be detected and modified by a skilled practitioner.

What conditions is cranial osteopathy used for?

I can treat all conditions that is traditionally treated with structural osteopathy using light cranial techniques. There are obvious symptoms that respond very positively to cranial such as headaches and migraines. I also regularly treat many other conditions this way with very positive outcomes. If you think this might be something you are interested in please contact me to have a chat.

As a guide for you, if a condition is causing symptoms in a certain area which is held by the musculoskeletal system then it might be something we can help with. All your organs (including your brain) are held in place by ligaments, bones, muscles and fascia. These tissues therefore can hold tension and strain for many varied reasons but this can cause an impact on the connecting organs. The good news is that if they can hold tension then they can also be released by light cranial treatment.

What does cranial osteopathy treatment feel like?

Cranial osteopathy is a very light gentle non-invasive technique. I can treat most patients fully clothed though usually on the first appointment i will ask a patient to undress down to their underwear for a preliminary assessment (Please go to the what to expect page for more details)


Most of my patient only feel the light pressure of my hands. However probably about fifteen percent of my patients feel what I am doing with the sensation of areas tensing or releasing under my hands. As cranial osteopathy can treat all areas of the body I will move my hands around the body to the areas that feel that they need treating. For example, if someone comes in with knee pain i will assess and treat at least the foot, knee, hip and pelvis.

How often can cranial osteopathy be used on a patient?

As with all types of osteopathy, vital work is done by the patient once the treatment is finished. During a treatment I will release and balance areas of restriction. Once the restriction has been resolved your body has to heal and recover, this can take a couple of days up to about a week. Due to this I usually recommend a treatment once a week or maybe every two weeks. Too many treatments close together doesn’t speed up recovery.