- It is advisable to choose a cranial osteopath who is a member of, or is accredited by, an association or professional body. This ensures your cranial osteopathy is carried out in a suitable environment and by someone who has received formal training and ongoing development. Members are also bound to a code of ethics and practice. The main cranial osteopathy organisations are listed at the foot of this article.
The majority of osteopaths
are trained in cranial osteopathy while some choose to specialise in the field after completing post-graduate qualifications. It is advisable to ask your practitioner about their expertise in this area and ask for testimonials from previous clients.
Before your first appointment, write down your symptoms and concerns and take any prescription drugs or non-prescription drugs with you so your cranial osteopath can make an accurate diagnosis. You will not need to undress for your cranial osteopathy session but it is advisable to wear loose, comfortable clothing as you may have to remove an outer layer. What to expect -
During your first appointment, your cranial osteopath will take a detailed history of your health and ask about your symptoms, lifestyle and diet. They will then do a physical examination that may involve taking your blood pressure
and testing reflexes. They will also examine your posture when standing and sitting and your range of movement.
Cranial osteopathy usually takes place with the patient reclining on a treatment couch but if this proves uncomfortable it can take place in a sitting position. The cranial osteopath will place their hands at the base of the skull and feel for tension and the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Through this gentle touch, they will make a diagnosis of your condition and recommend a course of treatment.
The treatment itself involves a light pressure to the head and other parts of the body using various manipulation techniques. The methods your cranial osteopath uses are very gentle and many people find the sensation extremely relaxing. If other osteopathic techniques would prove beneficial to your condition, your practitioner will discuss them with you first.
Side-effects of the therapy can include a slight soreness or headache
and a feeling of tiredness
. This should pass after a day or so but should it persist consult your cranial osteopath. After your session, the cranial osteopath will discuss any further sessions you'll need and may give you dietary or lifestyle advice.