Cranial Osteopathy

A gentle Osteopathic treatment that uses the body’s own self-corrective abilities and natural elasticity to heal and relieve pain without using force. Though commonly used on children and babies, it is highly effective on all age groups. People are surprised at the efficacy of their response to treatment.

What is Cranial Osteopathy?

Cranial Osteopathy is so named because the work often begins with gentle focus on the movements of the cranium, but we apply its principles all over the body and for all conditions.
It started as a realisation that the bones of the head moved and ‘breathed’ and that this movement had a major impact on health. This developed into an understanding of the interconnectedness of every element of the body and how this was explicit in the breathing movement of the whole being.
Even light touch, if tuned in to the body’s natural process, could make profound differences in functioning. Many Osteopaths today (and Cranio-Sacral Therapists, who do similar work, but are not as fully trained) use these techniques to treat structural and health problems in every age group from babies to the elderly and frail.

How it can benefit you!

Whilst treating the same problems as more conventional manipulative Osteopathy, it offers greater scope for working with the patient’s health. The relaxing nature of the treatment is especially effective against stress related conditions. We see patients with back and joint problems as well as headaches and migraines, working with them as part of the tension pattern of the patients’ body.

Many pregnant women find the treatment helpful, not just for the rebalancing and relieving effect it can have on their pelvis and diaphragm, but also for its ability to relax the body and rebalance hormones, (see our work with babies and children on the next page). It is highly effective in treating head injuries, including concussion and the accompanying neck traumas, whiplash injuries or even following trips to the dentist. With stress being at the heart of so much ill health, we see many people with digestive problems as well as issues with fatigue. It is always worth discussing with us whether we might be able to help you.

The Cranial Experience

Although the patient may be asked to remove their clothes for examination, during treatment the patient nearly always lies fully clothed on their back or side. The practitioner may start work at your head, your feet or anywhere. Sometimes we work on the part under our hands, sometimes a part further away and sometimes both.

At first nothing may seem to be happening, usually though patients start to feel themselves relax. Some people feel nothing and some a lot, but this does not influence the effectiveness of the work. Some patients fall asleep, some feel heavier on the couch as though gravity has increased or turned to one side even though they have not moved.

The intention is not just to fix a part of the body, but to bring it back into working harmoniously with the functioning of the whole being. Through the gentle quietness, new injuries and old strains can heal. Some people find it helpful for their emotions or resolving old traumas.

When we tune in to the body’s movement, we are following it in 3 dimensions, so are working on the fascial honeycomb that holds the entire organism in balance. As the body responds to this attention, some will experience this as a change of tone, length, shape or even motion in their body, and as the tension patterns that the practitioner is working on resolve, they may feel a spreading tingling or warmth.

There can be many healing experiences. Some problems take longer than others to resolve, but ultimately, the aim of treatment is to leave you in better health and less discomfort.

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Biodynamics

Biodynamic Osteopathy sees the body as an organism that still behaves as though it were a single cell, with currents and tidal movements that influence and affect physiological processes. The experiential study of these natural forces over generations has brought an understanding of how they work and how we can influence them to support and re-create health.

This work, begun by William Sutherland in the first half of the 20th Century, and developed by many senior Osteopaths, was linked by Dr James Jealous with the work of the anatomist and embryologist Erich Blechschmidt, who described the growth of the embryo in terms of spatial dynamics and ‘fluid fields’, created out of the interaction of the different growth processes.

Dr Jealous called the understanding of Osteopathy that arose from this fertilisation ‘Biodynamic’. This is not a set of techniques but a practice of cooperation with the natural processes of the body that support and generate life. Using the tidal movements of the body, treatment occurs without force to any of the body’s systems. At all times the functioning of the whole is respected, and the experience brings us closer to our true nature.

What our customers say

I first came to see Ben with symptoms diagnosed as ME that I had been struggling with for 2 years. Very quickly these symptoms became controllable and within a few months most had been eliminated. I am ever so grateful for Ben’s caring and understanding yet informative approach to Cranial Osteopathy. It really has been life changing and I would thoroughly recommend him to everyone.

Eleanor Rowbotham

I have benefitted from treatments myself, particularly at times of physical or emotional stress. Most of these have been to do with maintaining health, but I also got rapidly better after a prompt treatment following a fall down some stairs. I am always left feeling more balanced, breathing better and able to cope. I have recommended Phil to those with and without children for a variety of different reasons.

SL – Bourne End

My back has gone from strength to strength and I have even been able to take up gardening, something I never imagined my back could endure. I have introduced a number of friends to Ben for back and hip issues and they are all delighted by the results of his treatments. We all have a huge respect for Ben’s ability as a Cranial Osteopath as well as really appreciating him as a wonderful and kind person.

MG – Oxon

We “found” Phil when my second son was an intolerable, crying baby and I was at my wits end. I was undecided as to whether Phil offered help to my son or a placebo to me but was happy that things were improving.   I returned when a subsequent pregnancy left me barely able to walk. I remember staggering into his consulting room and pretty much skipping out. Following this I felt ready to explore how cranial osteopathy could help in managing my family’s well-being.

Heather Ashby-Rose

I have a long history of back pain with severe congenital scoliosis and I have sought out the very best Cranial Osteopaths in London and Bath. I was anxious when I had to move to Oxfordshire but I was amazed and delighted to find Ben Colyer. Ben is one of the best Cranial Osteopaths I have ever been lucky enough to work with.

Madeleine

Ben uses gentle techniques and is always calm and positive. He has treated me during and post-pregnancies and also had sessions with my babies and now children. We have all noticed great improvements and the children very feel comfortable going to the practice. Over the years, I have recommended Ben to a number of people who have mentioned benefiting from his treatments. We are lucky to have him and the practice in Prestwood!

Karine Lipinski

Phil has such breadth and depth of knowledge, I find many of his treatments so growthful – not just physically, as you might expect, but emotionally and spiritually too. His understanding and implementation of the holistic approach for his patients is something I don’t receive anywhere else! Phil has been a tremendous support over the years and I trust him implicitly as he helps me navigate this long and rocky road to good health!

Zoe LLoyd

Following a riding accident which resulted in severe whiplash, I found Ben and was intrigued by this gentle form of treatment, in particular that there is no “pulling and pushing”! After only two treatments, which were completely non-invasive, the pain and stiffness in my neck was hugely improved and I had far more movement than I thought possible.  Ben also worked on realigning my shoulders and pelvis, after which I noticed when riding my horse that I could lengthen my right stirrup by a hole.  I would highly recommend Ben’s gentle and skilled treatment to anyone.”

Martina

I have benefitted from treatment myself, particularly at times of physical or emotional stress. Most of these have been to do with maintaining health, but I also got rapidly better after a prompt treatment following a fall down some stairs. I am always left feeling more balanced, breathing better and able to cope. I have recommended Phil to those with and without children for a variety of different reasons.

Sue Lack

My twins were born naturally, the first with venteuse and the second with forceps.  Cranial osteopathy was recommended to relieve any pressure the girls had experienced from the lengthy labour and birth.  The results were incredible.  Asha has been struggling to breast feed and after a single treatment she was able to widen her jaw making breast feeding much easier for her and more comfortable for me.

Vicki

Ben is a skilled and intuitive osteopath with a sensitive approach to his clients and a focused approach to his work.  I am amazed at how much he can perceive through his light touch treatment and how effective the results can be.  Asha now tells me when she wants to see Ben because she has ‘hurt legs or feet’.

Vicki

We “found” Phil when my second son was an intolerable, crying baby and I was at my wits end. I was undecided as to whether Phil offered help to my son or a placebo to me but was happy that things were improving.   I returned when a subsequent pregnancy left me barely able to walk. I remember staggering into his consulting room and pretty much skipping out. Following this I felt ready to explore how cranial osteopathy could help in managing my family’s well-being.

H A-R Beaconsfield

Your Cranial Osteopaths

Osteopathy in the cranial field, as the profession calls it, is the fruit of countless hours of Postgraduate study and experience.

Philip Allen

BA (Hons) ND DO MSCCO; (Clinic Principal)

Philip qualified from the British college of Osteopathy and Naturopathy in 1993 and is also a qualified Naturopath. He has worked with the gentle technique, known as ‘Cranial Osteopathy’ or ‘Biodynamic Osteopathy’ for over 25 years, completing extensive post graduate study. His approach is holistic, looking at the many factors in a person’s life that influence their health. He enjoys treating babies and children as well as the aches and pains of adult life and is particularly interested in complex or chronic health problems and their relation to the physical structure.

Antonietta D’Angelo

BA (Hons) M Ost

Antonietta has completed extensive post-graduate studies, including courses on Lumbar disc problems, Tennis Elbows, Ergonomics, Hypermobility and visceral manipulation. She has also studied the Perrin Technique for Chronic fatigue, completed courses in ‘tongue tie and infant feeding’ and many others. She is a trained Sports Masseur as well as an Osteopath and works with a variety of techniques, including Manipulation and Massage, as well as gentler processes, including Cranial Osteopathy, that she tailors to the individual’s needs.

Ben Colyer

BSc (Hons) Ost DPO MSTAT

With more than 15 years’ of wide-ranging experience, Ben’s postgraduate studies in Cranial, Biodynamic and Paediatric Osteopathy (at the Osteopathic Centre for Children), have been a tremendous asset to our Osteopathic team in Prestwood. He concentrates on the gentler work of Cranial Osteopathy bringing a great deal of skill and sensitivity to his treatment of everyone, from babies and children to adults and the elderly. His work is enhanced by his understanding Alexander Technique, which he also practices and teaches at the college in Reading.

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