Benefits of Craniofascial Therapy

Posted 10/15/13 by Malcolm Hiort and filed under:

Craniofascial is used to loosen the fascia, or connective tissue, in tight restricted areas of the body.
Some areas that resist treatment with other approaches can respond, for example the sacral release technique for the lower back and pelvis, or the cranial base release used to mobilise the junction of head and neck are very effective.

The general treatment aim is to normalise the tensions of the body; reconnecting, integrating and balancing restricted areas for relief of symptoms and improved wellbeing.


The particular benefits of Craniofascial compared to other bodywork modalities include:

Cranial function
Headache syndromes,
Jaw, neck and mouth pain,
Tinnitus, Vertigo, Recurrent ear infections (glue ear),
Loss of smell (Anosmia), loss of taste, Bell’s Palsy,
Eye symptoms: Myopia, Astigmatism, Strabismus, Nystagmus,
Swallowing, throat, speech issues.

Fascial function
Sacrum and cocyxx strain,
Chronic lower back ache and stiffness,
Cosmetic asymmetry of face and head (scoliosis capitus),
Posture, gait, flexibility related to short leg syndrome.

Other issues
Chronic stress, chronic pain, stiffness, numbness,
Geriatric, palliative and midwifery applications,
Some emotional, developmental and neural symptoms,
Physical pediatric and adolescent development issues.


Normalising mobility to restore function and symmetry is the foundation concept involved.
The connective tissues of the body, called fascia here for convenience, respond best to light progressive traction and pressure.
It is a whole-body approach including the signature feature of a structural and functional focus on the head.

The sense organs of the head are housed in this structural environment.
For example, if the central sphenoid bone of the cranium loses mobility significantly, via tension in the soft-tissues that attach to it, it is likely to remain restricted, having an adverse effect on head and sense organ functions.

Sometimes a dramatic response is achieved, involving neural and circulatory elements, perhaps because the appropriate techniques had not been employed previously.
The cranial base release can allow a key passage for nerves, arteries and veins (the jugular foramen) to and from the head to function without strain.


For a discussion of CFT compared to craniosacral and other approaches in the cranial field see Comparison with Craniosacral, Biodynamic, SOT

Other methods that treat the head include scalp massage, encountered rarely in clinics but plentifully in hair salons.
There is acupuncture, where needles inserted in points on the head are used in treatment, but this is not structural.
There are also various systems using remotely located ‘reflex’ points and zones of no practical benefit in thoroughly mobilising and balancing each individual part of the cranial system.

It is only the manual cranial therapies that view the head as being composed of subtly moving, structural elements that may get restricted and require mobilisation to restore health. Using the analogy of the cranium being like an 3-D jigsaw puzzle may help to make this point.