Answers to Questions

These questions and answers are intended as general guidance and cover some of the points about which I am often asked.

Q. How do I find out if this therapy is going to be useful for me?
Q. How many treatments will I need?
Q. What frequency of treatments is best?
Q. Is there an age limit?
Q. What are the contra-indications for cranial work?
Q. What happens in a treatment?
Q. What am I likely to feel during a treatment?
Q. What am I likely to feel after a treatment?
Q. I came in with a headache and you have hardly touched my head?
Q. What conditions do people come to you with?
Q. So you have to be ill to benefit?
Q. How does it work?
Q. Is there any proof of this?
Q. What is the difference between Craniosacral Therapy and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy?
Q. What is the difference between a Craniosacral Therapist and a Cranial Osteopath?
Q. How long does a treatment take?
Q. Is this always sufficient time?
Q. How much do you charge?
Q. How do I book a treatment?


Q. How do I find out if this therapy is going to be useful for me?
A. Things that might help you decide:

  • read the information on this site
  • find out if any of your friends or acquaintances have ever used this therapy and see what their experience was
  • phone or email me for more information
  • book in for just one session and try it out/check me out. If this therapy or the way I work does not suit you, I am very happy to refer you to another practitioner or some other therapy.


Q. How many treatments will I need?
A. The usual answer to this is that the longer one has had a condition, generally the longer it takes to clear. An equally sweeping generalisation, might be:

  • babies – between 2 and 8
  • children – between 4 and 12
  • adults – between 5 and 20

These figures are provided only as a very general guideline as each person is a unique individual with a completely different health history and varying levels of vitality. And occasionally, a single treatment is all that is required.


Q. What frequency of treatments is best?
A. Weekly is best for most people, as that allows time to integrate the work from one treatment and keep a level of continuity of treatment which our bodies appreciate. Again this is not a hard and fast rule. Some people come to see me fortnightly and others only occasionally.


Q. Is there an age limit?
A. Definitely not. I have worked very successfully with babies a few hours old to people in their eighties. In fact, because the treatment is so gentle, it is a good form of therapy for people at both ends of the age spectrum.


Q. What are the contra-indications for cranial work?
A. Very few if the practitioner is following the needs of the client’s body. The main concerns are where there has been a recent fracture or a current injury, particularly to the head; where there is a tendency to internal bleeding especially in the head and brain; when there is very high blood pressure or increased fluid pressure in the head.  There are certain techniques that are avoided during the first three months of pregnancy. In general, it is important to check this out with your practitioner.


Q. What happens in a treatment?
A. First we will discuss what your wishes are for the treatment. I will take your case history. A more complete physical examination may be necessary if you have a structural problem. The main treatment usually takes place with you lying, lightly (but fully) clothed on a treatment couch. I will make light contact using my hands, mainly on your head, feet, spine and back of your pelvis. Other areas of the body may be contacted depending on the treatment required. I will communicate with you about this as we go along.


Q. What am I likely to feel during a treatment?
A. This varies. It is very gently work indeed. Sometimes it just seems like you are resting on my hands. Some people feel nothing at all and are unconvinced that anything has happened at the time but then feel the therapeutic effects over the succeeding few days. Most people feel relaxation, an easing of old tensions and pains, a settling in their body, warmth or lightness. Sometimes people feel a short intensification of symptoms prior to their resolution.


Q. What am I likely to feel after a treatment?
A. Usually people feel relaxed, refreshed and lighter than when they came in. You are likely to experience an ongoing improvement in your condition and energy levels over a course of treatments.  The body will continue to process for about 48 hours after a treatment. During this time there may either be more resolution or discomfort followed by ease. I will endeavour to tell you if I expect you to have any particular after effects from any given treatment.


Q. I came in with a headache and you have hardly touched my head?
A. The body is a highly integrated system and sometimes discomfort experienced in one part of the body may have its origins in another part altogether, strange as this may seem. I will encourage you to be aware of your own body to determine for yourself whether the treatment is making a difference.


Q. What conditions do people come to you with?
A. A large range. For example in a typical year I would see : – infants with a variety of symptoms resulting from difficult births or from being in a difficult position in the womb; people with after effects from accidents, infections and surgery; conception difficulties; support in pregnancy; conditions associated with ageing; conditions resulting from stress and trauma; recovery from long-term ill-health; breathing problems; backache and other painful conditions.


Q. So do you have to be ill to benefit?
A. Not at all. I also see people who are simply trying to improve their health. Throughout life we come into contact with conditions which have taxed our bodies; through stress, accidents, operations, difficult births (either as the child or the mother) or dealing with difficult conditions including social, mental or emotional. Craniosacral treatment can help us reduce the ongoing burden of carrying the resulting physical compensations. These compensations are actively maintained by our bodies and it can occupy a lot of our vital energy in doing so. When this vitality is freed up it is then available to us for our present day life.


Q. How does it work?
A. The therapist endeavours to provide the conditions which your body requires in order to marshal its own recuperative powers to affect a change towards greater health. This is achieved through a variety of ways. From very gentle support of your body where your body needs it, through helping areas of contraction and strain to resolve, to active reduction of stress on areas which are under pressure. All this is done in the context of an awareness of a subtle whole-body movement which takes place in the very core of our bodies. This movement continually tries to re-establish the best state of balanced health possible for us at all times. This movement is called the Primary Respiratory Mechanism and is described in the craniosacral section.


Q. Is there any proof of this?
A. Some of the research which is available on-line is described in the cranial research section.
My own clinical experience in 2001 for example was roughly:

  • 30% complete or substantial improvement in condition(s)
  • 39% mild to significant improvement in condition(s)
  • 22% difficult to evaluate (e.g. one-off treatments)
  • 9% no clear improvement


Q. What is the difference between Craniosacral Therapy and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy?
A. Very broadly speaking, it is the difference between “the therapist evaluating what needs to change in the client and making those changes” and “the therapist listening deeply to the clients body, appreciating its inherent ability to make the required changes itself and facilitating a therapeutic environment which helps those changes to take place”.


Q. What is the difference between a Craniosacral Therapist and a Cranial Osteopath?
A. Both work with what has been called the “cranial concept”.  A Craniosacral Therapist belonging to the CranioSacral Therapy Association has had a minimum of one year’s postgraduate training specifically in cranial work. Being postgraduates, they will already have been a health care practitioner with knowledge of anatomy and physiology.  A Cranial Osteopath is someone who has had an Osteopathic training with some additional training in the cranial approach.  It is a good idea to ask your practitioner about what training they have had and what professional body they belong to.


Q. How long does a treatment take?
A. A typical treatment takes an hour. This includes time for greetings, initial information exchange and farewells.


Q. Is this always sufficient time?
A. An hour is sufficient for most people, most of the time, but everyone’s pacing is different. Longer treatment times can be arranged and some people prefer an hour and a half or even two hours.  Those who opt for longer treatments find the additional time can provide a valuable added spaciousness to the treatments.


Q. How much do you charge?
A. For adults I have a set hourly charge. For babies, children and pregnant and postnatal women I charge on a sliding scale. See my contact pages.


Q. How do I book a treatment?
A. To book a treatment with me, go to the contact section. To find a Craniosacral Therapist in your area, go to the cranial resources section.