What's so special about cranial osteopathy? what are the benefits?

We use Cranial Osteopathy extensively in our practice because we find it to be very effective at getting improvements in patients, often more efficiently than other approaches, it is also particularly good a creating long term improvements in people's condition because the changes are deeper, it gets to the root of biomechanical problems. 

The techniques are very gentle, so treatment can be very comfortable, pain free and relaxing. It is an approach that can be safely used on babies, children, frail or very sensitive people, where stronger techniques would not be appropriate.

Is cranial osteopathy just about treating the head?

No... this approach can be use any where in the body. The term 'Cranial' Osteopathy is largely due to historical reasons, these techniques were originally developed as a way of working with the craniofacial region. The term 'Osteopathy in the Cranial Field' was used to distinguish this approach from traditional Osteopathic ideas at that time. 'Cranial' Osteopathy seems to be the name for this approach we are forever stuck with but it refers to a whole treatment approach not just to treatment of the head.

Although it is a very useful way of treating the head, as discussed below.

what kind of problems is Cranial osteopathy good for?

All the problems usually tackled by Osteopaths! Cranial Osteopathy can be used effectively for back pain, joint problems, sports injuries and so on but there are some more specific situations where it is the Osteopathic treatment of choice such as when working in the craniofacial and upper neck regions.

In most cases we will use a mix of 'Cranial' and 'Traditional' Osteopathic techniques depending exactly the effect required.

is cranial osteopathy just for babies?

Definitely not...the term 'Cranial' Osteopathy has become firmly associated with the treatment of babies and young children because it is an ideal approach with that age group​ but it can be used on anyone, any age and for a huge variety of musculoskeletal problems.

what is cranial osteopathy?

'Cranial' Osteopathy is a specialised approach within Osteopathy, based on the same principles as Osteopathy but some what different in style and techniques, it requires specific additional training.  A Cranial osteopath will use a highly developed 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, then use gentle positioning, subtle pressure and movement to release tissue restriction. The style of Cranial Osteopathy is slow, subtle, gentle and relaxing. It can be used as a stand alone approach but is usually combined with some stronger more direct massage or manipulation during treatments.

I've had osteopathic treatment... it involved a lot of pulling about and joint clicking, i'd be worried about anything like that been done to a baby!

Don't worry... all techniques used on babies or children are very gentle, we make every effort to keep a child comfortable and happy throughout treatment, there would definitely be no 'clicking'.

I'm worried about my baby... will you know if there is a serious medical problem?

Osteopaths are Primary Health Care professionals meaning we are trained to evaluate patients and make diagnoses. This means we have to be sufficiently trained to identify medical problems which are not appropriate for Osteopathic treatment and refer on or advise on other types of management. A large part of our training involves learning to recognise serious problems and act appropriately, it is very important that any alternative therapy used is not replacing a more effective medical treatment. If we have any concerns over the health of a baby we will discuss this with you and help with referring on or liasing with GPs or other specialists.  

what sort of conditions do you treat?

Parents often want to bring babies in soon after delivery for a general physical check over, to see if there are any physical issues left from the birth process. About seven to ten days old is a  good age for an initial assessment although we can do effective work at any age.

Many babies are brought in because they show signs of discomfort. Once all the usual causes of unsettledness such as hunger, tiredness, bringing up wind etc. have been dealt  with, some babies still seem very uncomfortable. Osteopaths consider that this can often be due to some kind of physical discomfort and Osteopaths are trained to feel and treat causes of muskuloskeletal dysfunction and discomfort.

Toddlers are often brought in after injuries and falls or to deal with the after effects of illness.

We frequently see older children with sports related injuries or training problems.

Teenagers may be brought in with postural issues, strains from heavy school bags or head aches from stress related neck tension.

If you think Osteopathy may be able to help your child

call us to have a chat...  0208 313 0865

frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

cranial osteopath for babies and adults in bromley and chislehurst

Osteopathy for babies and children

Copyright © Turgoose & Turgoose Osteopaths. All rights reserved.


Turgoose & Turgoose Osteopaths specialises in the Osteopathic treatment of Babies and Children

​​Both Simon Turgoose DO, MSc(Paed Ost) FSCC and Tara Turgoose BSc(Ost) have extensive specialist training and experience in the Osteopathic treatment of babies and children, both have worked at least two years at the Osteopathic Centre for Children in London and Simon has gained a Masters Degree in Paediatric Osteopathy from the Osteopathic Center for Children (and the University of Bedfordshire). Both have attended many training courses in Cranial Osteopathy, mostly through the Sutherland Cranial College and Simon has completed the Sutherland Cranial College 'Pathway' program involving over 250 hours of supervised practical training plus written course work, he was awarded Fellowship of the Sutherland Cranial College in 2012.

Osteopathy for babies

​Why do babies need Osteopathic treatment? During their time in the womb, during the birth process, during the post natal period the body structure of a baby is uniquely vulnerable to stresses, strains, moulding and trauma. 

Before a baby is born its position in the uterus can affect its head and body shape causing moulding or restrictions of movements post natally, this may be a particular issue with babies in breech or oblique positions or where the head has engaged early. 

However a baby is delivered it will affect them. During a vaginal delivery enormous compressive forces have to be applied to the baby by the muscles of the uterus to squeeze them through the birth canal and their skull bones have to shift and overlap, changing the shape of the head to help it fit through. Some babies get stuck and require ventouse or forceps which may cause specific strain or trauma.

Being delivered by planned caesarian section does avoid these problems but can be associated with other issues, the lack of squeezing by the uterus means these babies may have more retained intrauterine moulding and positional problems as well as more difficulties with initial breathing and adjustment to the external environment, their transition into the outside world is very sudden.

During the immeadiate period post birth babies have to make huge physiological adjustments, getting used to gravity, breathing air, suckling, digesting food, releasing the compressions and strains from the delivery, all processes that are dependent on good alignment and function of their body structure.

All in all being born is one the most physically and metabolically demanding times in our lives...

Osteopaths are able to assess the physical balance, shape and symmetry of the whole of a baby's body and can advise on whether they have retained problems related to the neonatal period. Using the Cranial Osteopathic approach described above we can gentle release physical restriction and help their bodies make the best adjustment to the outside world. 

osteopathy for children and teenagers

Osteopathic treatment can be of great value throughout childhood and on into adolescence. This is a period of great physical change and growth, often a time when accidents and injuries occur, illness is frequent...all of which can affect the physical structure and function of the body. Damage or alteration to the body structure while someone is still growing can have lifelong effects. Osteopathy can be an effective way to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal and other physical problems during this time. 

Don't forget the mother!

​Being pregnant can be a wonderful time in a 

woman's life, one where your body 

undergoes many natural changes to

accommodate your growing baby. But for

​some expectant mothers, these changes, and

carrying the extra weight of their baby, can 

cause pain and discomfort, particularly in the 

back and pelvis. We can use gentle hands-on 

techniques to ease those aches and pains

associated with pregnancy and after giving

birth we can help your body recover and

return to your normal posture.