Cranials and Daily Focus

This week is our wonderful Practice Manager Raquelle’s Birthday, and our wonderful docs are thirsty for cranials and gratitude.

Dr Em has been seeing lots of kids and stressed out people grinding their teeth this week and believes that cranial work is an important part of the holistic Chiropractic approach to care.

A lot of people associate cranials with Osteopaths. Not all Chiropractors do cranials but it is under the Chiropractic umbrella because the spine and cranium are connected and the tension in the cranium can influence movement through the upper cervical spine and the rest of the body. The function of the cranial is vital to the body. The jaw joint has proprioceptors within the joint that fire up to the brain on movement to let the brain know where you are in space.

It is the proprioceptive system that the Chiropractic adjustment stimulates. Proprioception represents 1 of your 5 vital senses  – smell, hearing, sight, touch and position sense/proprioception. Proprioception allows you to know where all your joints are in space so you aren’t falling over ankles or running into walls. The difference between smell, hearing, sight, touch vs proprioception is that unless you are really clumsy and unbalanced, you may not know there is a problem with this sense in the initial phase of dysfunction. This is why we believe that Chiropractic care should be a regular part of a healthy lifestyle.

As Chiropractors, we always look at the different areas of the skull, looking for jaw movement and tension/jamming through the sutures. Your skull is made up of 22 bones and Dr Emma’s favourite is the sphenoid. It is a butterfly shaped bone that lies behind your sinuses and acts as the keystone of the cranials. If the sphenoid is not moving, this can affect the rest of the cranials system, the upper cervical spine all the way down to the pelvis. All of the Chiropractors at Northcote Chiropractic assess and adjust cranials – as we believe this is an essential part of caring for our youngest clients as restriction through the cranial system from birth or head position can impact changes in head shape aka plagiocephaly (sometimes seen in newborns).

Your cranial bones actually move when you breathe! This small pumping movement works with your sacrum to pump the cerebrospinal fluid that nourishes your brain and spinal cord. Your brain also changes shape when blood is pumped into it – check out this MRI 

Stress can increase tension through your cranials due to clenching of teeth, grinding of teeth or even the postural changes associated with sitting at a desk. As your head moves forward in front of your shoulders and your shoulders round forward this puts tension on the muscles and fascia that attach into the cranium which can creates cranial tension.

We have a new Chiropractic Assistant who has started at Northcote Chiro, the lovely Ellie, and she has inspired Dr Dem this week to be more grateful. At Northcote we start each day with a team focus to get everyone working towards a common goal and stay connected as a team regardless of whether we are interacting in person or not. Having a morning focus also helps to bring everyone back into the room and to the focus when you are feeling challenged. As humans we are notorious for having busy minds going at a million miles an hour, day to day and by having a daily focus or daily affirmation to continually reflect on during the day brings your mind back to the present.  Sounds pretty similar to mindfulness doesn’t it? And we know some of the benefits of mindfulness include – reduce stress, reduce pain and improved wellbeing.

Challenge for this week: Pick a focus on Sunday to use for the week. Take note of how it feels to reflect on this periodically throughout each day when you are feeling challenged, uninspired or want to be more present – if it is something that feels good for you why not incorporate it into your day to day 🙂


Dr Dem & Dr Em x