About Osteopathy

Is your faith in the medical system shattered? Has your wallet been emptied by over confident therapists? Have you been on the emotional roller coaster, rising in hope that each new approach is going to work, and then crushed when it doesn’t? Have you tried everything and still not got the results you wanted?

Take heart, you’re not alone. In fact you’re like so many of the people who have come to cranio sacral therapy for help and got it.

Hello, my name is Alan Canon and I’m going to explain a bit about cranio sacral therapy but before I do, I want to tell you about myself so you can put what I say in context.

I am a Doctor of Osteopathy I’ve practiced cranio sacral therapy for 18 years.

My success rate averages 85-90%. Meaning 85-90% of the people who come to see me get the result they were looking for.

Let me start off by telling you what I’m NOT going to do. I’m not going to make any claims that cranio sacral therapy is going to work for you. You see, here’s the thing, if a therapist tells you they can guarantee that you’re going to get better or that they are going to heal you, well – …they’re kidding you and probably themselves too. We would all like guarantees but when it comes to health, there are none. When you come right down to it, what we look for is an approach that has the most likely possibility of working.

An executive from the pharmaceutical giant Glaxo Smith told Britain’s, ‘The Independent’ newspaper in 2003. ‘I wouldn’t say that most drugs don’t work, I would say that most drugs work in 30 to 50 per cent of people.’ 30 to 50%!!

My success rate averages 85-90%

How do I arrive at that figure? It is very technical. I go through all my patient records and add up all the successes. What constitutes a success? When someone first comes to see me I ask them what they want me to help them with.

‘I want to stop having chronic back pain. I want to stop being depressed. I want my child to improve at school to the point where they don’t need special assistance. I want to stop feeling so anxious. I want to get off my anti-depressants.’

If- at the end of their treatment programme, they have what they wanted at the beginning, I consider that a success.

I know that’s not very scientific. I’m not going to try and convince you of the scientific validity of cranio sacral therapy. Let’s face it, if a scientific approach was going to help you it would have done so by now and . . . well, you wouldn’t be reading this.

At best cranio sacral therapy is acknowledged scientifically as having, ‘A substantial amount of anecdotal evidence in its favour.’ Which is an academic way of saying, -’Lots of people are saying this thing is really good.’

Cranio sacral therapy is not much to look at and when you’re having it done it doesn’t feel like much is happening but it gets results and that’s what people talk about.

It takes the wacky approach that your body knows how to fix itself better than the therapist does.

Let me explain. If you fall and bruise your elbow, do you have to think about how to fix it? Me neither. Some part of us just knows how to do it. It knows because your body is designed to fix itself and it manages to do this very well most of the time. It is part of the balancing act your body is continually engaged in. The technical name for this is homeostasis.

A bit like cycling a bike, your body is continually adjusting itself to the external changes it finds itself in. You run up a hill, you’re heart rate increases and you start to sweat. You have a big meal and your body puts all its resources into digesting the food and you feel sleepy.

When you look at the workings of your body in this way, ‘healing’ is part of the same balancing act. You bruise your elbow, your body fixes it. You get an infection – your body kills it off by raising your temperature. What we call ‘healing’ is just another part of the balancing act your body is engaged in.

You only run into a problem when, for some reason, your body has to over-compensate to maintain balance. It would be like trying to ride the bike with a lot of baggage hanging off the side. You may be able to keep going but the effort, over time would be draining and eventually you would crash.

Our body fixes itself on a daily basis with things like bruises or infections etc., which would be small bags. A big bag would be trauma.

Let’s say a person is in a car crash and they hit the steering wheel at 70kph. That is obviously a lot more serious than a bruised elbow. The impact will put a deep imprint in their body. The broken bones and lacerations caused by the accident will heal within a matter of months, but the physical after-effects can go on for years – causing anything from headaches to depression or worse.

Our bodies never stop trying to release the deeper residual patterns of trauma. If the imprint is too intense it overwhelms our body’s repair mechanism. The prolonged effort of trying to release a traumatic imprint that is stuck is exhausting and after years of trying your body can feel very low in energy.

Birth Trauma

One of the most common causes of trauma is birth. Modern birth is often mismanaged from the outset. Labour then becomes a frenzy of ‘emergency procedures’ which often leave the baby with deep physical trauma.

Even with a natural, problem free labour, if a baby gets stuck and distressed during delivery, even briefly, it can put substantial restrictions into the baby’s system that may not show up for years. I have treated hundreds of babies for a wide range of symptoms that all originated from birth trauma.

It’s not just babies, unreleased birth trauma can remain trapped in our bodies for years. 71 years is the oldest birth trauma I have treated.


This doesn’t just apply to physical trauma – emotional trauma is just as devastating in your body as physical trauma.

So how does cranio sacral therapy help?

It helps by following the movement of repair. It’s a bit like the movement of breathing or the movement of blood pumping around your body. The difference is the movement of repair is very subtle. It takes years of practice to be able to feel this movement. Being able to feel the movement of repair is crucial to knowing where a body is getting stuck in the process of repair.

When you understand that cranio sacral therapy helps trauma release from your body, then it makes sense that once restrictions are released in this way, they are gone for good. So when you’re done, you’re done. It’s as simple as getting a big piece of cellophane and scrunching it into a ball and then assisting it to unravel itself. Once it has unravelled itself, there’s no need to ‘maintain’ its state of unravelled-ness. So you don’t need any ‘maintenance’ treatments to keep your health. What you spend having treatment is finite and has a very definite end.

Cranio sacral therapy is a very gentle approach. There is no pushing, adjusting or manipulating your body into a set or ‘correct’ position. There is no intrusive probing into your past. The contact is very gentle and people often fall asleep during treatment. Because of this gentleness it is ideal for children and people in a lot of pain.

Most people feel the benefits immediately. If it takes longer you will generally see enough improvement after 4 weeks to know that it’s going to work.

There are many approaches that will give you complete reduction of your symptoms. The trouble is the reduction only lasts for a short period of time and then you have to return from more treatment. Eventually this kind of approach makes your body dependent on the treatment. Cranio sacral therapy works with the root cause of the problems. This has the effect of causing lasting relief of symptoms.

In years I have never had anyone return for treatment for the original problem they came to me with.

Not one.