What is Cranial Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a field of medicine that involves minimally invasive procedures to bring about healing in the body. Osteopaths are board certified medical doctors who have chosen to continue their training to learn how to use osteopathy to provide alternative healing to their patients.

We often prescribe medicine for conditions like colds, flu, headaches, allergies and the like. What if you didn’t necessarily have to use them to get well? For children, using certain medicines is prohibited because the formulation is too strong. This begs another alternative for their treatment.

Cranial osteopathy involves using the body to heal itself. It sounds a little like chiropractic care. Osteopaths are taught to palpate the skin and feel the flow of fluids throughout the body as well as the alignment of bones, muscles and joints. It is manual manipulation that is gentle enough for children and babies to participate in.

How does it work?

The patient lies down on an examination table. The doctor will ask about the complaint. It could be a cold, allergies, diarrhea, constipation or any number of conditions. The doctor will palpate to feel how fluids flow throughout the body of the individual.

One of the beliefs of osteopathic medicine is that the brain and the spinal cord communicate in a rhythmic way with other areas of the body through the dura and the fascia. The fascia is a sheet of tissue that covers the organs of the body and the nerves. The dura covers the brain and extends down into the spinal cord where nerves originate.

The doctor will slowly manipulate the head to communicate where there is a problem or dysfunction elsewhere in the body. There should be no pain or discomfort when performing cranial osteopathy. Some may feel the relief immediately when joints are realigned or fluid blockages are released through manipulation. For children, they may feel relaxed as their symptoms subside.

Osteopathy is about treating the body and not the condition itself. This is one reason why if your baby is spitting up or has colic, the doctor may concentrate on their legs or arms instead of the site of the condition. There is a problem somewhere in the body that may be triggering the condition, and it doesn’t have to be in the same place as the actual illness occurs.