Cranial Osteopathy

What is Cranial Osteopathy?

Cranial osteopathy is a very gentle and subtle approach to the treatment of the whole body, not just the head as the name implies. Diagnosis and treatment through cranial osteopathy is no different to osteopathy. It simply recognises the importance of the subtle mechanics at work in the head and their impact on the whole body.


Throughout life, small amounts of movement occur in the human skull, primarily at joints known as sutures. These are most evident in children as the joints are not yet fused, making them particularly suited to cranial osteopathy. Your osteopath will be able to palpate these small movements which when disturbed may give rise to ill-health. As a result of dysfunction, symptoms may be felt locally or lead to bodywide effects.

How can Osteopathy help my baby?

Osteopathy can be effective in the treatment of many paediatric problems and is increasingly becoming the treatment of choice for many birth conditions caused by a difficult or traumatic birth.  The small tolerances of movement which exist in infant skulls permit babies to adapt to the natural forces of labour, but when birth is complicated by being unduly slow or fast, or when complications occur such as the need for forceps delivery, the infant's head may not fully recover from the distortion. This may result in subtle changes in function leading to problems such as feeding difficulties, wind and disturbed sleep patterns. The gentle skillful application of osteopathic treatment can often bring about a significant improvement in these distressing cases.

How can Osteopathy help my child?

As children grow older, problems may become apparent which have arisen because of earlier strains or as a result of trauma such as knocks on the head or falls, or recurrent infections in the nose and ears (glue ear). Other problems may be due in part to restrictions in the small yet important tolerances or movements in the growing skull. Some of the mechanical stresses on the body can be an important factor in cases of development delay such as delayed speech, educational difficulties and problems of coordination and physical development that have no particular medical diagnosis.