The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

21.10.2021 Cranial Osteopathy and Animals

“To find health should be the object of the doctor. Anyone can find disease.” A.T. Still MD, DO Philosophy of Osteopathy

What better way to spend my weekend that learning? In September 2021, I attended an online CPD course in the anatomy of the craniosacral system, hosted by the College of Craniosacral Therapy. Craniosacral therapy has it’s roots in osteopathic medicine, and is a modality I’ve been interested in for many years. Clearly an online weekend course only scratches the surface of this fascinating subject, and here I give some links on where you can find more information about cranial osteopathy in humans and horses.

A good friend of mine, Alison O’Dochartaigh, is a registered Osteopath and a Fellow of the Sutherland Cranial College of Osteopathy (SCCO). The Sutherland Cranial College of Osteopathy answers the question ‘What is Cranial Osteopathy’: “Cranial osteopathy is not different to osteopathy, it is the name given to a subtle and refined approach to osteopathy that follows all the principles of osteopathy, but that includes the anatomy and physiology of the head. Cranial osteopaths use a highly trained sense of touch to feel subtle changes of tension and tissue quality in the living anatomy of the whole body, and to diagnose areas of strain or dysfunction…”.

I went on a four-day equine craniosacral therapy course almost ten years ago, and have included that knowledge in my treatment of horses since that time. My son Philip was lucky enough to receive several treatments from Alison within the first few weeks of his life. As a baby who didn’t really ‘do’ sleeping, I can still remember the time that he slept for a full five hours after Alison had treated him! Like so much else, there are varying levels of course quality, since ‘craniosacral therapist’ is not a protected title. To find out if a therapist is a registered Osteopath, you can look them up on the General Osteopathic Council.

In the equine field, you can find a practitioner using Physiotherapy, Chiropractic or Osteopathic techniques on the Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners (RAMP). The MSc Animal Manipulation (Osteopathy) programme run by the McTimoney College of Chiropractic is the only Masters level programme in Europe teaching osteopathy for animals. Designed for qualified Osteopaths who wish to extend their practice to animals, this programme is accepted by RAMP as an Accredited Education Provider, meaning that graduates are automatically able to register with RAMP.

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2021

Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion