Cranial osteopathy is not different to osteopathy. It is the name given to a subtle and refined approach to osteopathy that follows all the principles of osteopathy but includes closer examination and treatment of the structure and function of the head, central nervous system, and systems which interconnect the parts of the body such as the neuroendocrine, craniosacral, cardiovascular, and lymphatic systems.
Cranial osteopaths use a highly trained sense of touch to feel subtle changes of tension and tissue quality in the living anatomy of the whole body, and to diagnose areas of strain or dysfunction. The osteopath is often drawn to areas in the body that have been affected by past events, such as old accidents and injuries. The body may have learned to compensate for a traumatic event or injury and the patient may be unaware that there is anything wrong, but the effects may still be present and relevant to current symptoms.
Using this approach, the osteopath learns to listen to and be guided by where the body is revealing dysfunction, which may be different to the patient’s opinion and the osteopath’s initial opinion. This helps the osteopath to understand and treat the root cause of the symptoms, to reduce the chance of symptoms returning in the future.
One should be aware that levels of training, understanding and skills of an Osteopath with post-graduate training in Cranial Osteopathy are significantly different to those of a craniosacral therapist.