Cranial Osteopathy

Cranial Osteopathy


Cranial osteopathy is a refined and subtle type of osteopathic treatment. It uses very gentle manipulative pressure to encourage the release of stresses throughout the body and head. It can be effective in treating a wide range of conditions in people of all ages: from new born baby onwards.

At Brixton Therapy Centre our therapists who offer Cranial Osteopathy are also fully trained state registered Osteopaths, who have undertaken post-graduate training, specialising in Cranial Osteopathy.


During pregnancy osteopathic treatment can help to relieve aches and pains as the mother’s body tries to accommodate the growing baby. It can help with:

  • lower back pain
  • sciatica
  • hip and pelvic pain
  • neck and shoulder tension
  • nausea, indigestion, heartburn
  • SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction)
  • post-natal coccyx pain

The osteopath may also advise on posture and exercises to benefit health during and after the pregnancy.

Children & Babies

Because of the gentle nature of the treatment it is especially beneficial for pregnant mothers and newborn infants after a difficult delivery. It has been found to be calming for distressed infants and children.

Cranial osteopathy is offered to babies to help overcome the powerful process of birth as they pass down the birth canal. Birth strains from labour, forceps and ventouse assisted deliveries can lead to retained moulding and compression of the skull in a baby or child. This can display as problems such as feeding difficulties, sleeping disturbances, irritable babies, head scratching and banging as well as unusual head shape.

Osteopathic treatment can be of great benefit in helping premature babies; both during their early and most vulnerable time, and as they grow later on.
A baby is never too young to be treated and cranial osteopathy may also be effective when dealing with toddlers.

What problems may occur in Older Children?

As the child grows, the effects of retained moulding could lead to other problems. The following are the most common, but it is by no means an exhaustive list.

Infections: Retained moulding and birth stresses take their toll on the body’s reserves, and also deplete the immune system. This leaves children more vulnerable to all types of infection.

Ear infection: Recurrent ear infections, gradually becoming more frequent. May lead to ‘glue ear’ and some temporary loss of hearing. Retained birth compression within and around the bones of the ear impedes fluid drainage from the ear with partial or complete blocking of the Eustachian tube. Infections may never fully clear, leaving a vulnerability to the next infection and a depleted immune system.

Sinus and dental problems: Persistent mouth breathers, constantly blocked or runny nose, impaired growth and drainage of the sinuses and bones of the face due to retained moulding compression. Later, this increases the chance of dental overcrowding.

Poor concentration, constant fidgeting, difficulty sitting still, hyperactivity, continuation of the restlessness as a young baby. Retained moulding compression makes them uncomfortable in one position for too long which becomes habit forming.

Headache, aches and pains (headaches may begin from age 7-8). Growing pains, vulnerability to sprains, or other aches and pains. Retained moulding may focus areas of pressure in the skull, as the bony joints of the skull fully form at around the age of 7-8 years. Patterns of tension retained in other areas make the body more vulnerable to strain and fatigue.

Breathing problems: Vulnerability to chest infections, aggravation of all degrees of asthma from mild to severe. Retained moulding compression can aggravate a tendency to asthma. General lowered immunity leads to more chest infections. After infections, the chest remains tense and the ribs do not return to full function, aggravating an asthmatic tendency. Osteopathic techniques to release birth stresses and help to improve chest function are often beneficial in reducing the breathing problems.


Teenagers have to cope not only with rapid growth and postural change which often causes aches and pains, but also with sports injuries, hormone imbalance, mood swings, orthodontics (braces), educational demands and exam stress.
An osteopath is trained to help teenagers cope with these demands.

What can cause an upset baby?

Crying, screaming, irritability. The baby may be uncomfortable, with a constant feeling of pressure in the head. This may be made worse by the extra pressure on the head when lying down.

Feeding difficulties. The baby takes a long time to feed and one feed merges into the next. They may be a ‘windy’ feeder. Feeding is difficult and tiring due to mechanical stresses through the head, face and throat. The nerves to the tongue may be irritated as they exit from the skull, which makes sucking difficult.

Sickness and wind. Regurgitation of milk between feeds, bouts of prolonged crying due to pain and wind, often worse in the evening. The nerve to the stomach may be irritated as it exits from the base of the skull, which can impair digestion. The diaphragm between the chest and the abdomen may be stressed or distorted, which further compromises both digestion and the ability of the stomach to retain its contents. Stress from a difficult or fast birth can leave the digestive system in tension trapping wind. Any strain through the umbilical cord, for instance if it was around the baby’s neck, can add to strains in the abdomen.

Sleep disturbances. The baby sleeps for only short periods, and may sleep little during the day (or night!). They wake to the slightest noise and are 'jumpy'. The tension on the bony and membranous casing of the skull keeps the baby’s nervous system in a persistently alert state.


“I would definitely recommend Cranial Osteopathy. I took my two week old into Brixton Therapy Centre because he was crying a lot, colicky and generally grumpy. He has changed into a calm, happy, thriving 5-week old. It has been hugely beneficial. They were so kind and supportive, which was just what I needed as a worried, fraught, tired new mum! It has made such a difference to the whole family.”

Alex, new mother, Battersea.

£70 initial consultation & treatment (child £60) | £60 follow up sessions (child £50)

We are easily accessible from the surrounding areas such as Brixton Hill, Streatham, Clapham, Herne Hill, Tulse Hill, Peckham, Camberwell, East Dulwich, Kennington, Oval, Vauxhall and Stockwell, covering the postcodes SW9, SW2, SW4, SW8, SW16, SE24, SE15, SE5, SE22, SE11, SE1.

Cranial Osteopaths