Cranial Osteopathy is a subtle and refined type of osteopathic treatment that osteopaths use to release tensions and stresses throughout the body, including the head.

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. This rhythm was first described in the early 1900’s by Dr William G Sutherland and its existence was confirmed in a series of laboratory tests in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Tension in the body disrupts the rhythmical motion expressed in the body tissues. Practitioners compare what your rhythm is doing to what they consider ideal. This shows them what trauma (emotional or physical) it has suffered and how it is trying to cope with the legacy of these traumas. It also gives them an insight into the overall condition of your body, for example if it is healthy, or stressed or tired.


It is a safe, gentle yet extremely effective approach to treatment of a wide range of problems in the whole body. Cranial Osteopathy is widely known for the treatment of babies but is equally effective for treating people of all ages, from birth to old age. Osteopaths have different specialities including sports injuries, paediatrics and visceral osteopathy and Cranial Osteopathy embraces all these.


Osteopaths treat people not conditions


When we experience physical or emotional stresses our body tissues tend to tighten up. The body may have been able to adapt to these effects at the time but a lasting strain often remains. Any tensions which remain held in the body can restrict its free movement. Gradually the body may find it more and more difficult to cope with accumulated stresses and symptoms may develop.

In any consultation the osteopath will review symptoms a patient is experiencing, including aches and pains, stresses or emotional issues. In treatment, the osteopath will explore and treat areas of dysfunction in the anatomy and physiology that may be linked to any of these areas.

The human body has an amazing ability to heal itself and uses the re-balancing during osteopathic treatment to re-establish healthy physiology. Patients often report improvements in many different symptoms after treatment. For example, it is not uncommon for digestive problems to resolve when the spine or pelvis are being treated because of back pain.


Cranial osteopathic treatment is very gentle and relaxing. During the treatment some people are aware of different sensations, such as mild tension, aching or sensitivity that gradually disappear or of feelings of warmth and relaxation. Other people are unaware of anything happening at all during the treatment but are aware that they feel different when they get up afterwards. Most people become deeply relaxed during treatment and it is not uncommon for people to fall asleep.