Cranial Osteopathy is a refined and subtle approach to treatment that aims to release stresses and tensions not only in the head, as the name would suggest, but also throughout the whole body. Cranial osteopaths are trained to feel a very subtle, rhythmical shape change that is present in all body tissues. This is called Involuntary Motion or the Cranial Rhythm. The movement is of very small amplitude, therefore it takes practitioners with a very finely developed sense of touch to feel it. Cranial Osteopaths will have undergone specialised post graduate training in this field.
Tension in the body disrupts the cranial rhythm. Practitioners compare what your rhythm is doing to what they consider ideal. This shows them what stresses and strains your body is experiencing at present, and what tensions it may be carrying as a result of its past history and compensatory patterns. It also gives them an insight into the overall condition of your body, for example if it is healthy, or stressed and tired.
During treatment people sometimes report feeling a warm sensation, very gentle movement or unwinding; but most people will agree that it is a very relaxing form of treatment. This approach is especially appropriate with people for whom stronger osteopathic techniques may be contra-indicated. The calm and gentle approach of Cranial Osteopathy also makes it ideal for treating babies and young children.