Osteopathy is a highly-skilled profession that uses scientific knowledge of anatomy and physiology to determine the cause of imbalance or ill health.
It is a natural, drug free way to restore your body’s natural movement and alignment. When the body is free of restrictions in movement, it is better able to cope with pain and stress and has the potential to heal itself. Through this gentle form of hands on adjustment, you can alleviate or stop pain from affecting your quality of life.
Cranial Osteopathy is a very specific and very gentle form of osteopathy. It revolves around the Primary Respiratory Mechanism (PRM). The PRM was first discovered by an osteopath, William Garner Sutherland in the late 1890’s. He first realised that the bones in the skull were designed to allow a degree of movement, like breathing and by experimenting on himself, discovered that good health relies both on the bones of the skull being correctly aligned and on their ability to allow a small amount of movement, the PRM. The PRM has a rhythm of its own, independent of the many other rhythms of the body (your heart beat, breathing etc). There are normally 8-14 cycles (expansions and contractions) per minute, but this varies with a person’s health, slowing down when you are ill or have suffered a trauma.
Feeling this rhythm requires a very gentle and sensitive touch. The osteopath uses this rhythm to identify the areas that need to be adjusted. He then moves the affected area in such a way as to allow the body to correct itself, usually by exaggerating the tension that exists in that area.
The use of the PRM has enabled a wide range of techniques to be employed by cranial osteopaths, most of which are very gentle. As a patient most of the time all you are aware of is the practitioner placing his hands on various parts of your body. The most commonly used technique involves the practitioner using his hands to gently exaggerate the tension that you are experiencing. Due to soft tissue inflammation and the presence of an injury this can cause some discomfort. Generally this is only for a moment as your own self healing process steps in and guides the structure back into the correct position.