Osteopathy’s true power in healing is the ability to observe and affect the person on many different levels. Some osteopaths concentrate on more structural and others on the less tangible levels. Margi and Chris enjoy treating throughout the osteopathic spectrum.
For an in-depth explanation of cranial techniques, please see the section on Cranial Osteopathy.
Cranial Osteopathy is not different to any other form of Osteopathy. The name refers to a refined and subtle type of osteopathic treatment that uses very gentle manipulative techniques. Cranial Osteopaths use osteopathic principles to treat the whole body including but not exclusively the head.
Osteopaths use their highly trained palpatory skills to detect areas of tension or restriction in the body, and to gently release them to restore a state of balance within the musculoskeletal system of the body.
The aim is to relieve the current symptoms and also improve the underlying health of the tissues as far as possible in order that they do not recur.
This type of treatment is suitable for everyone from newborn babies to the very elderly, being extremely gentle.
What does Cranial Treatment feel like?
Patients may feel sensations of pressure or warmth, either under the osteopaths hands or elsewhere. Most patients feel that gradually the tension is being drawn out of their body and they become deeply relaxed.
The joint or tissue is placed into a position of ease using slow gentle movements where a release of tension is felt.
This is similar to positional release but more subtle. The tissue is very slightly moved in the direction it wants to go and then held. The patient will not notice the amount of movement and is unlikely to feel the change while being treated.
Balanced Ligamentous Tension (BLT)
Ligaments provide important feedback to the brain and spinal cord on the position of a joint, and the muscles and fascia surrounding the affected area. Â Similar to the two techniques above, it involves listening to the tension in the ligaments around a specific joint, and waiting for a change in the quality of tension. Once a change has been detected, the joint is moved to a position of ease.
HVT (High Velocity Thrust)
This is what Osteopaths are generally known for where a clicking and cracking of the joints is heard. In this adjustment, it is the speed of delivery through the joint forcing nitrogen gas out of the joint fluid which makes the popping sound. The gas is then reabsorbed into the joint fluid. The purpose of this technique is to increase the range of motion of a joint. Both Margi and Chris use this method to manipulate where necessary. It is not painful, but they respect if you choose to not include this technique in your treatment.
Many people think of osteopathy as purely massage. However massage is used as part of a treatment combined with many other techniques. When necessary, we use longitudinal (up and down the muscle) and cross fibre (across the muscle) massage techniques as well as deep tissue.
Our joints are loaded with proprioceptive nerve endings to tell us its current position. By articulating joints, we can alter the neurological feed back to the muscles which increases the movement of fluid within the joint. This can be done on single joints or as a larger dynamic movement. The therapeutic value of somebody else moving your joints is very beneficial.
In all consultations, treatment is a seamless work of art carried out in the present moment, constantly reassessing with a two-way dialogue with the body using our hands and applying osteopathic principles.
“The Tao that can be completely explained is not the Tao itself.”
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching