Christchurch Natural Health Practice
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Cranial Osteopathy

Cranial Osteopathy is a gentle form of treatment based on sensitive awareness of and therapeutic relationship with the whole person through palpation of the subtle rhythmic motion of the whole body, including the brain, spinal cord, skull bones, fluids of the body (including CSF) and connective tissue. It is particularly effective in the treatment of babies, children and adults where disharmony has been introduced by birth-trauma, accident trauma, dental or surgical treatment, illness or emotional trauma whether recent or many years ago.

More about Cranial Osteopathy

Cranial Osteopathy was developed by William Garner Sutherland in the USA in the 1930’s and 40’s. He discovered that the skull is not a solid box but that it and in fact the whole body undergoes minute rhythmic movements of about 12 times per minute (there are slower rhythms too) and that when he felt this with his hands he sensed a tide-like breathing of all the tissues of the body. Sutherland found that when the rhythmic motion wass increased, this tide led towards greater wellbeing and improved health and when the tide was restricted it led to reduced wellbeing. He called this tidal motion ‘Primary Respiration’ because he felt that within it lay an expression of a fundamental driving force or `Potency’ of life. He treated this mechanism and its inherent potency with great respect. The cranial concept continues to develop as a profound therapeutic modality, always based on clear osteopathic principles. Sensitive touch is used to understand health, “dis-ease”, tissue memory, and how a person expresses themselves through their body.

Christchurch OsteopathyCranial osteopathic techniques are used to help the body return to homeostatic balance (the normal relaxed or neutral state). Forces of trauma can remain `held’ in the body’s tissues for many years (felt by a practitioner as areas of `inertia’ or compression etc.). As inertia is released patients may feel a sense of deep relaxation (where the body is moving from “dis-ease” to ease) or as a subtle re-alignment of body posture, as lightness, or as a return to a “new yet familiar sense of `self’. Release of physical and emotional inertia patterns from the body can help people maintain their health after treatment(i.e. symptoms recur less often if at all); patients may also move forward again on many levels. After treatment patients, may also notice more energy and feel more in balance standing, walking or sitting and reduced pain.

Cranial Osteopathy for Children and Babies

Cranial Osteopathic treatment is a safe, extremely gentle yet powerful way to help newborns, babies and children rebalance after birth trauma, illness, and accident. Tensions within a baby or child’s body are released with experienced, light, and sensitive touch. baby

A short series of treatments may be required. Over the years many babies, with many different symptoms such as irritability, sleeping disturbances, excessive crying etc have responded to osteopathic treatment, preparing them for a life ahead far less restricted by the forces of birth and paving the way for fuller physical mental and emotional development.

Children tend to respond well to cranial osteopathic treatment as they often have more vitality than adults and are growing and developing rapidly. Generally, the earlier treatment begins the more quickly a child will respond. The number of treatments required depends on many factors, including the severity and type of problem, how long it has been present, inherited influences, nutrition and current stresses.

Osteopathy in Pregnancy

Osteopathy and acupuncture can be very helpful in pregnancy for morning sickness, headaches and back or pelvic pain (when ligaments relax due to the hormone oxytocin and body posture changes as the body grows). Pregnancy tends to highlight any pre-existing mechanical imbalances, so it is worth checking for and correcting these before or at least early on in pregnancy. Acupuncture may be able to assist in turning a breach baby, and in induction of labour.


About Osteopathic treatments

What happens during your first consultation?

A full case history will be taken, including details of your birth, accidents, illnesses, operations, medications, medical treatment and symptom picture. An Osteopathic examination then takes place, which may require you to undress to your underwear. Your postural balance and range of movement will be assessed as you stand and bend. Then, areas of inflammation, muscle tone, organ position and motion and the more subtle functions of `Cranial System’ motion and vitality will be felt. You will be encouraged to ask questions and be fully involved in your treatment planning and any exercises suggested for you to do at home. In a few cases further tests may be required such as functional medical tests, x-ray or MRI to build a full picture.

In order to help you to recover your full health as quickly as possible it is necessary for you and your osteopath to discover and work on the root causes of your health issues whether physical or emotional trauma held in the body or poor posture at work. Questioning and subtle touch may help us find these underlying causes of `dis-ease’ and discover your full potential. My role is to help empower you to reach your ultimate state of wellness, while not taking away your responsibility for your own health. With commitment and working as a team I believe we can achieve this goal.

How long does it take?

Health takes commitment and teamwork . Usually there are a number of factors involved which contribute to "dis-ease. To estimate how many sessions we will need, I will need to see you, make a full assessment and in long standing conditions see how your body responds to treatment before reviewing again. I will re-evaluate how you are progressing after 3-4 sessions. Some patients only need two treatments and some come on a regular basis for long- term health issues such as arthritis or for maintenance. Often prevention is better than cure and osteopathic treatment helps to prevent problems in the future (this is particularly important for children as they have their whole life ahead of them)I may work other health professionals where necessary, such as your GP, Dentist, Nutritionist, Podiatrist, Counsel etc.

Do I need to be sick to seek treatment?

No, many people come because they want optimum health and wellbeing and they have little or no pain. They may feel so well and alive after treatment(see Your Stories) that they choose to receive treatment for this reason or they see osteopathic treatment as a tool to help them develop on many levels.

The fees for our services vary according to individual requirements. Please contact us for your quote.