Cranial Osteopathy

What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy was termed by a 19th-century physician, Andrew Taylor Still, who believed and practiced in preventative treatment of disease. Within the US, those physicians who practice osteopathy are classified as DOs.

Those who practice osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) administer “a type of complementary and alternative medicine which primarily consists of moving, stretching and massaging a person’s muscles and joints. The treatments help the body to heal itself.[1] Physical therapists and dentists may also treat patients using OMM.

How can Cranial OMM help me?

Cranial Osteopathy is the study of anatomy and physiology of the cranium and its interrelationship with the body as a whole.[2] In physical therapy, cranial therapy for the face and head can be an essential aspect of a person’s rehabilitation from headaches, TM disorders, neck and low back pain, tinnitus, hearing difficulties, and even balance disorders. Cranial OMM can have profound effects on and promote the efficiency of other systems of the body such as the nervous, musculoskeletal and lymphatic systems.

What does Cranial OMM feel like?

Cranial Osteopathy usually involves the placement of the practitioner’s hands on the patient’s head. Only gentle and tolerable pressure is used to coax the cranial bones into alignment, the dural membranes into balanced tension, and the cerebral fluid into optimal flow. The treatment essentially feels soothing, much like a massage, and is very relaxing to patients. Occasionally, a person may report some slight and very short-

lived dizziness as a result of cranial manipulation. This is a very normal post-treatment symptom but will be monitored by the therapist accordingly to ensure that it resolves.

Where can I learn more?

The following links are excellent sources for additional learning about osteopathy:

American Osteopathic Association
The Osteopathic Cranial Cranial Academy
American Academy of Osteopathy

 

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[1] “NHS Osteopathy”
[2] “Osteopathic Cranial Academy”