A bit of history…
American physician Dr Andrew Taylor Still first developed osteopathy in 1874 as an alternative to the predominately drug-based allopathic medicine.
Dr William Garner Sutherland developed the gentle but potent technique called ‘Osteopathy in the Cranial Field’ in 1898-1900 as a continuation of the osteopathic approach. This technique is what our practitioners at Brisbane Osteopathic Centre work with today.
The difference between cranial osteopathy and other approaches
All osteopaths use the same basic principles during treatment. The difference is in the type of treatment applied. Some other approaches include manipulation, massage, myofascial stretching and articulation techniques. Osteopathy in the Cranial Field uses very gentle balancing techniques rather than quick forceful movements.
Manual therapists such as chiropractors, physiotherapists and some osteopaths may use strong manipulation (clicking techniques) and massage. At our practice we don’t use any of these techniques. We use very gentle methods, approaching the body as a holistic unit.
Why is Osteopathy in the Cranial Field so effective?
When you experience physical or emotional stress, the tissues in your body tighten. This tension disrupts what is called the ‘cranial rhythm’.
The cranial rhythm is a very subtle movement that is associated with respiration and is present in all body tissues. Cranial osteopaths are trained to feel this rhythm and work to release the tension. It is a gentle yet extremely powerful approach to solving specific health problems by taking the whole body into account.
The way we work is a painless way of naturally releasing stress and strain within the body.
What do our osteopaths look for?
Our osteopaths compare what your body’s rhythm is doing to what they consider is healthy. This shows them what tension is in your body - and even what tension it may be carrying as a result of its past history. Your body’s rhythm also gives an insight into the overall condition of your body - for example: if it is healthy, or stressed and tired.
Our osteopaths consider the function of each of your body's systems. If there is an aberration from normal this will show up as an area of tension or strain which can be felt by the osteopath. These are the areas which are then brought back into balance with the rest of the body.
Healing all your systems
When all of the systems of your body are able to function well and in unison, your body has the ability to self-correct - this is what the osteopath would refer to as homeostasis.
So all your systems - and how they function together - are considered by the osteopath during treatment. These systems are:
What is a treatment like?
Your practitioner will use subtle manipulation to these small rhythmic motions by cradling different parts of the body and using gentle pressure, but creating little movement. You remain fully clothed on the treatment table and no massage or forceful movements are applied. The experience is so relaxing that you may even fall asleep during the treatment.
How many treatments are usually needed?
We aim for you to be either symptom-free or able to manage the condition yourself. This usually involves three to six treatments.
Acute conditions may require less treatment and chronic or older conditions may require ongoing management.
Osteopaths consult with other medical practitioners when further testing or x-rays are required.