Laurie's Blogs.


Sep 2021

Craniosacral Therapy as a Treatment Adjunct

Laurie Edge-Hughes, BScPT, MAnimSt, CAFCI, CCRT


This week, I want to tell you a story about a patient, a quick conversation I had with the owner, AND a recent research article all pertaining to osteopathy and craniosacral techniques.


On Saturday, one of my receptionists came to me and asked if I would consider staying late after my last appointment to see a vestibular dog.  I only work half days on Saturdays and we have a major soft spot for the vestibular dogs, so I said ‘sure’!  


So, at the end of my morning, in comes a female geriatric German Shepherd cross and her stressed out owners.  The ‘dad’ is a surgeon and knew about the human vestibular techniques.  He had done them in the past with his mother for a vestibular incident. So, he asked around and was directed to our clinic website, found information that made sense to him, and called in.


Fast forward, I used the side lie technique and Semont maneuver to treat, did the head & eye movement coordination testing / training, blind folded balancing, and finished off with a little bit of craniosacral to the temporal bones.  Just before I placed my hands to assess her craniosacral rhythm of the temporals, I said to the owner, “Okay, now I’m going to do a little bit of voodoo.  It’s an osteopathic technique called craniosacral.”


His reaction shocked me.  He said, “Oh, I’m good with that.  I work with physios and they do all sorts of stuff that I don’t understand, but it works!”



Then, when I was reading a selection of blogs to be be inspired for this blog, I found an interested one about a research paper that looked at using craniosacral therapy for patients with dizziness and balance due to peripheral vestibular pathology.


Atay F, Bayramlar K, Sarac ET. Effects of Craniosacral Osteopathy in Patients with Peripheral Vestibular Pathology. ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 2021;83(1):7 13. 


So, they took 30 patients with peripheral vestibular pathology. Half of them received cranial osteopathy once a week for 6 sessions, and half of them received the medication dimenhydrinate (Draminate, Dramamine, and Gravol) as a control. The individuals were evaluated in terms of dizziness and balance. A visual analog scale was used to evaluate dizziness. Balance was evaluated using the Berg balance scale and the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence scale.


Results? Significant improvement was noted within each group in terms of dizziness and balance (p < 0.05). When the groups were compared with each other, it was observed that craniosacral osteopathy was more effective than dimenhydrinate treatment for dizziness and balance (p < 0.05).


The paper concluded that in individuals who have resistant and chronic vestibular pathology, craniosacral osteopathy should be evaluated among the treatment choices.


Well, when I decided to use craniosacral therapy, and the surgeon-owner not only knew what it was but had seen it work well, AND I found a paper on the subject while trying to find a blog inspiration, I knew it was something I had to pass along.


So, when the world calms down a bit, invite me to your part of the world to teach my craniosacral therapy course!!! (It’s not a technique that can be adequately taught online…)  It’s a nice adjunct to a lot of other therapies we use… and research is backing it up as well!  


On that note, stay safe out there, and I’m hoping to see more of you ‘live’ in the future!


Cheers,  Laurie