Cranial Osteopathy: how it’s used in babies and children


Cranial Osteopathy seems to be making headlines.

Earlier this year, former Made in Chelsea star Binky Felstead and the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister, Pippa Middleton, spoke out about how they turned to this form of osteopathic treatment to help calm their newborns.

But this type of osteopathic therapy is nothing new.

The history of Cranial Osteopathy

The subtle form of Cranial Osteopathy dates back to the 1930s when American osteopathic physician Dr William Garner Sutherland conceptualised the cranial approach.

At the time, he discovered that if a baby starts life with a distortion in the cranium due to birth, the patten of distortion remains and may even become exaggerated.

Cranial osteopaths are trained to feel a very subtle, rhythmical shape change that is present in all body tissues. This is called Involuntary Motion of The Cranial Rhythm.

So, what exactly is Cranial Osteopathy?

Using hands-on techniques, Cranial Osteopathy involves the extremely gentle, coaxing response from the tissues rather than using strong techniques to force a response.

Osteopath, Denise Callaghan is a Cranial Osteopathy specialist who has been working in the field for more than 20 years.

Denise says: “Osteopaths believe that the healthy balance and function of the musculoskeletal framework is essential to whole body health. And this principle can be applied across the whole spectrum, whether it’s a baby, child or adult I am treating.

“After Cranial Osteopathy treatments, patients can expect an alleviation of their symptoms and will commonly feel significantly more relaxed and energised. Patients may also notice an improved sleeping pattern.”

What can Cranial Osteopathy help with?

Many babies have problems due to retained birth trauma and the extreme stresses of birth.

Osteopaths can treat a wide range of children’s problems that originated from birth trauma to help them become more content and settled.

Osteopaths not only treat the symptoms, but they also treat any structural imbalances in the body to help it function more efficiently.

Therefore, Cranial Osteopathy can help with several ailments. This includes:

  • Sleep problems
  • Recurrent infections
  • Learning difficulties
  • Colic – Infantile colic is often described as a behavioural condition. The main symptoms of colic include: poor sleeping, lots of wind and crying.
  • Club foot – which is also known as talipes. This is the deformation of the foot present at birth.
  • Headaches – gentle massage and manipulation to loosen the joints of the back, neck and thorax can relieve the build-up of muscular tension.

Cranial Osteopathy testimonials

Denise has treated hundreds of babies and infants with the use of Cranial Osteopathy.

Natalie Trent took her new-born to see Denise after her baby was suffering from digestive difficulties.

She said: “I was recommended by a friend who had seen Denise previously. I was unsure of what to expect but now there is no doubt that my baby is now a different child – so calm and happy.”

While mum Danielle Taylor turned to Denise after her traumatic birth with Joel. She said: “I took Joel as a friend had recommended me to do so after the traumatic birth experience both he and myself had been through.

“He had been struggling with reflux and colic and I knew (as he was my second) that his digestion wasn’t as it should be.

“After only one session of 30 minutes with Denise I noticed a difference. After six (or however many times I went) there was such a difference, he was such a happy baby and all the problems I had had with him had disappeared!

“He was sleeping well and content. It was lovely to have a happy bouncy baby. I was nervous to start with as I didn’t know what cranial was but it was a lovely calming experience for both of us.

“I always went at a feed time so that I could bottle feed Joel whilst he was worked on and he would just relax and lie there enjoying milk and the massage I am sure! He would then sleep all the way home and again at bedtime perfectly.

“There is nothing to be scared of even though the name can sound a little overwhelming. If I had known about it with my first, I would have been there in a shot! I am convinced Joel would not be the content kid he is without the help of Cranial.”

If you think Cranial Osteopathy could be used to treat your baby, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Denise to book in your consultation and/or treatment today.


If you would like to book an appointment with Denise please call