Cranial osteopathy... a refined and subtle type of osteopathic treatment that uses very gentle contact to encourage the release of stresses and tensions throughout the body.

It is suitable for everyone from the newborn to the elderly. It is particularly effective for the treatment of babies and children.

How can it help?

When osteopaths examine babies, areas of tension are often found in the spine or head, which are indications that the baby is uncomfortable. A baby cannot complain of backache or headache, and will typically express this by crying and being unsettled and irritable.

In a research study conducted by Clive Hayden into the effects of cranial treatment on babies, some parents perceived the following changes in their child's behaviour:

  • reduced colicky crying
  • improved sleep
  • less unsettled, irritable behaviour
  • increased quiet happy spells

Note: The Advertising Standards Agency will only allow osteopaths mention conditions where the efficacy has been proven by large scale clinical trials. This data is not available for many conditions that patients report improvement in, so they may not be mentioned here.

Adverse reactions?

Reactions to treatment are variable. Often the baby or child is very relaxed afterwards and sleeps well. Others have a burst of energy after treatment, usually followed by a good night's sleep.

Occasionally children are unsettled after treatment for up to 24-48 hours. This is a temporary situation, and is usually caused when the release of tensions is incomplete. It is not always possible for a complete release to occur in one session, especially when stresses have been severe.