Craniosacral Therapy and Osteopathy

Craniosacral Therapy and Osteopathy

Carl Teychené-Coutet, DOMPT

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle manual osteopathic method. It’s a holistic treatment that considers the client as a whole, permitting the correction of global restrictions throughout the body. It can be used to treat people of all ages, from birth to old age.

In craniosacral therapy, gentle pressure is applied to the bones of the skull.

In craniosacral therapy, gentle pressure is applied to the bones of the skull.

This therapy is based on something called the “primary respiratory movement”, which refers to the internal movements of the body, more specifically the mobility of the skull and sacrum. These are connected via the dural membrane sleeve. This is a tissue which encases the spinal cord and facilitates the reciprocal movement between the skull and sacrum.

Craniosacral therapy helps to eliminate obstacles created by the physiological system that the body is unable to balance itself. It helps the body in the natural role of auto-correction and healing.

Theory and Practice

Cranial Bone Mobility

The cranial bones.

The cranial bones.

The skull is composed of 22 bones.  Sutures interconnect them. Osteopathy considers every bone in the skull to be mobile in relation to each other. Bones may only move from 25 to 45 microns, but this mobility is perfectly perceptible for the trained hands of the osteopath.

Sacral Mobility

The sacrum (or tailbone) is a bone located in the posterior part of the pelvis. It articulates with the iliac bones on the outside, the lumbar spine above and the coccyx below.

Primary Respiratory Movement

The primary respiratory movement is an autonomic intrinsic expansion/retraction movement. It includes the movement of the brain, the fluctuation of the cerebro-spinal fluid, as well as the tensions within the membranes of the skull and the spine.

Use of the Craniosacral Method

Craniosacral therapy seeks to restore the balance between the tense structures of the bony, meningeal, muscular and fascial components of the body. The therapist uses gentle pressure to move the bones of the skull, unwinding tension through the dural sleeve and throughout the body. This release of tension has both a relaxing and healing effect on all the body’s systems.

This method is used for many different cases.

In newborns for:

a.         Plagiocephaly (flat head)
b.        Congenital torticollis
c.        Chronic colic
d.        Disrupted sleep

In adults for:

a.        Migraine
b.        Headaches
c.        Bruxism, teeth clenching, grinding
d.        Visceral troubles
e.        Spinal pain
f.         Stress
g.        Concussions

In pregnancy for:

a.        Spinal pain
b.        Low back pain
c.        Pelvic pain

Not sure if craniosacral therapy is right for you? Talk to an osteopath today!

Carl Teychené-Coutet is a Manual Osteopathic Practitioner in Ottawa. He has a practice at  Restore Chiropractic in Westboro, and another downtown at Ottawa Holistic Wellness. You can learn more about osteopathy on his website