Can Cranial Osteopathy Help Childhood Epilepsy?
Updated: Nov 19, 2018
If you had told me when I was at University that I would in the future spend my days cradling the little heads of children suffering with epilepsy I would have thought you had had one too many bacardi breezers at the student union!
Not in a million years did I ever think that training to be an Osteopath would lead me to the privileged position I now find myself in, caring for the health of innocent children.
The first time I treated a child with Epilepsy was while I was training at the Osteopathic Centre for Children on Harley Street in London. I had the incredible honour of being trained by Stuart Korth and Gabriella Colangelo - 2 of the most extraordinary Osteopaths I have had the privilege of working with.
James was 14 years old, and had been receiving treatment at the Osteopathic Centre for Children for 4 years. He came for treatment every single week, which initially, I thought was excessive, given that most of our patients would recover and be discharged within 3-6 treatments. But I had never treated a child with epilepsy before.
Gabby explained that when he started treatment he was seizing at least once a week, and was medicated with Gabapentin.
He had now not fitted for 3 years and was unmedicated.
My jaw nearly hit the floor.
How could that be possible?
How could cranial osteopathy POSSIBLY assist with the reduction and control of epileptic seizures?
The treatment we were trained to give an epileptic patient was very different to other conditions. Extremely gentle, (even more gentle than cranial osteopathy already is). "Don't touch this bone, don't do that technique, don't release this". I was left with the most minimal range of techniques imaginable to work with.
Gabby and Stewart were so experienced at treating epilepsy that it was as straight forward as breathing to them. The confidence in cranial osteopathy they had was palpable - a confidence that can only come from treating sheer volumes of patients, and seeing the results over and over again.
I have since gained the same confidence in treating this condition - through observing the inexplicable and yet undeniable results achieved by the techniques of cranial osteopathy - CONSISTANTLY.
Even I, as an osteopath giving the treatments and observing the consistant and repeatable results, cannot truly explain why cranial osteopathy achieves these results. But it does. And in the end, that is all that matters.
Cranial osteopathic techniques have the overall effect of relaxing the brain. This in turn, appears to impact epileptic seizures.
If you are reading this blog hoping for a scientific explanation for why cranial osteopathy is considered a plausable treatment for a child with epilepsy, then you will be dissapointed. I can't give you that. But if you are reading this looking for an answer to your question 'should I take my child to a cranial osteopath' then the answer is a resounding YES! You will not be wasting your time in booking your child a few osteopathic treatments. You will know very quickly if cranial osteopathy is going to help your child. In my experience, children who are going to respond to the treatment respond fast - within 2 or 3 treatments.
It is the parents of the children I have treated with epilepsy who have given me the confidence to be able to attribute the results to the osteopathic treatment. Parents have reported responses beyond the expected / hoped for reduction in seizures. They report improved sleep, improved / calmer behaviour, improved school reports and improved confidence and general well being.
Anything that relaxes the brain of a child with epilepsy is going to have far reaching benefits to the child's health.
My only advice to you is to try it and see if it helps your child. Cranial osteopathy is completely safe, and cannot harm your child. Your very worst case scanario is no change. Which personally, I have never seen.
Have a wonderful day and my best wishes to you and your beautiful child.
Paediatric Cranial Osteopath