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Cranial Osteopathy

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Cranial Osteopathy

It is a very subtle form of osteopathic treatment based on gentle inherent motion within the body.

It is a technique that is used by osteopaths who have done specific post-graduate training to refine their skills in this field.

About Cranial Osteopathy

The name of Cranial Osteopathy came from Dr William Garner Sutherland, who discovered this gentle motion of the bones in the skull in 1898. He subsequently named this motion “cranial rhythm”, hence the name of the technique.

It has since been discovered that this gentle motion is present all over the body and is referred to by Osteopaths as Involuntary Mechanism or more commonly, the Primary Respiratory Mechanism (PRM) or Primary Respiration. The name “Cranial Osteopathy” still remains yet the treatment can take place anywhere on the body and is used to treat the whole.

About Primary Respiratory Mechanism (PRM)

The PRM is a very small motion consisting of very small amplitude. It can take from 30 to 90 seconds for motion to move from one direction to another. Tension in the body can disturb the PRM and, therefore, using a finely-tuned sense of touch, the Osteopath can sense from where this disturbance may be coming. This may even be away from the actual site of pain that the patient originally presented with. It can also give the Osteopath an overall sense of how the body is feeling, be that healthy, or stressed and tired. Treatment involves rebalancing the PRM so that through its self-healing capabilities, the body may be able to function at its optimum health.

The benefits of Cranial Osteopathy

Cranial Osteopathy treats the whole body and a wide range of conditions. Cranial Osteopathy is essentially one technique out of many that an Osteopath can do if they have done the post-graduate training. Therefore, it can be used as a different approach/ technique for all the presentations an Osteopath usually sees.

The biodynamic model of Cranial Osteopathy

Biodynamic model of Cranial Osteopathy is one that was founded by the world renowned American Osteopath Dr James Jealous. He took Cranial Osteopathy and combined it with the study of a German embryologist (“Biokinetics and Biodynamics of Human Differentiation”) and as it further developed, he named it Biodynamics of Osteopathy in the Cranial Field (BOCF).

This approach looks at the health of the individual rather than concerning itself with the problems. Therefore, instead of recognising the tissues that may be causing the restriction or lack of motion, it works by understanding the quality and movement of the PRM in the healthy tissues. By doing so, and allowing the PRM to have its full expression in the body, it may allow for healing to take place.

Dr Jealous discovered that there is a link between the PRM and the metabolic field in the embryo, which links a correlation between the PRM and the self-repair nature of the body. A Cranial Osteopath who works biodynamically will consider Health as a verb, look at the whole body, and allow for the self-correction ability of the body to take place.