Cranial therapy involves special manual methods of diagnosis and treatment of the cranial system. This involves looking at the relationships and interactions of various tissues within the cranium, not only the bony (osseous) structures. Further to this, the cranial tissues cannot be considered in isolation due to the dynamic effects of the cranial tissues on the rest of the body and indeed, the body on the cranium.
Cranial therapy works to improve the structural and dynamic balance of the entire body system, thus reducing the energetic needs for normal body function and stimulating our normal self-healing mechanisms.
Cranial therapy takes into account the inherent motions of the cranial bones, the brain and spinal cord; the movement of the cerebrospinal fluid throughout the system; the mobility of the dura (membranes around the whole system); the link between cranial mechanics and sacral/pelvic mechanics; the brain; the relationship with the cranial nerves; and the effect on and from other entities, including the vascular system, the endocrine (hormonal) and lymphatic systems.
Cranial lesions can be adaptive or traumatic. Because of the inherent tissue connections in the body, an injury to the foot may ultimately present as a cranial adaption. The effects of direct trauma are more obvious and may relate to such things as sporting injuries, car or bike accidents and birth trauma to the head and neck.
The nature of cranial work is very gentle and involves a light touch. As such, it is suited to adults, children and infants for many types of conditions.
In relation to paediatric cranial therapy, please see the information contained on the Paediatric Physiotherapy page.