FAQ’s about Osteopathic Medicine and Cranial Osteopathy

FAQ’s about Osteopathic Medicine and Cranial Osteopathy

Dr. David Johnston, DO, is an Osteopathic Doctor. He is a board-certified Osteopathic Physician who practices Cranial Osteopathy and integrated medicine in our Fairfield, CT office. At Whole-Body Medicine, Dr. Johnston offers another level of care for our patients by using a very subtle and gentle hands-on approach to the treatment of the whole body. Experience holistic osteopathic care for managing your pain and improving your health.

Below are some of the Frequently Asked Questions that our patients at the Breiner Whole Body Health Center have asked about Cranial Osteopathy and Osteopathic Medicine.

FAQ’s about Osteopathic Medicine and Cranial Osteopathy

Q: What is Cranial Osteopathy?

A: Cranial Osteopathy examines not only the complex structure of the head in detail, but it also evaluates the considerable influence the head has on the health of the whole body via its connection to the spine. A Cranial Osteopath has an understanding of the relationship of the central nervous system and the surrounding cerebrospinal fluid, the connective tissue covering the brain and spinal cord, and a mechanism called “primary respiration”. Dr. Johnston uses his hands to gently and precisely diagnose and treat the body’s muscles, joints, soft tissues and fluids to restore circulation, proper alignment and function.

Q: What types of conditions does Cranial Osteopathy treat?

A: Many health conditions improve from this hands-on technique. Headaches and migraines, sports injuries, TMJ, neck and back pain, sinus infections, sleep disorders, ear problems, head trauma, as well as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and ADHD have been helped with Cranial Osteopathy.

Q: Who can benefit from Cranial Osteopathy?

A: Children, from newborns to adolescents, as well as adults, including pregnant woman and the elderly can all benefit from Cranial Osteopathy.

Q: Can Dr. Johnston treat chronic health conditions, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease, and Fibromyalga?

A: Yes. Through his studies of osteopathy, integrative medicine and nutrition, Dr. Johnston has learned to diagnose and treat chronic disease. A comprehensive patient history and physical exam, as well as specialized laboratory testing will help in determining the cause of your symptoms and a course of treatment will be determined to get you back to your ideal health.

Q: What will I experience during a Cranial Osteopathy session with Dr. Johnston?

A: At your initial visit, your history of injuries, past medical concerns, and current symptoms will be discussed. Dr. Johnston will review test results and x-rays, if available. After a comprehensive physical and structural exam, you will lie on the examination table. Using gentle and precise application of force, your limbs, spine and cranium will be evaluated for restricted movement. Specific manual techniques are used to release compressed bones or joints, restoring normal tone to muscles and promoting movement of fluid within the body. Each treatment is unique to the finding of that day’s evaluation. Patients often experience a sense of deep relaxation, tingling, fluid flows and relief of pain. Emotional releases may occur as well. Your body has a natural tendency towards health, and Cranial Osteopathy will improve the body’s structure and function, while supporting the body’s natural healing processes.

Q: Is there difference between an MD and a DO?

A: Both MD’s and DO’s are trained and licensed physicians, and essentially can offer the same care to patients. However, Osteopathic physicians receive additional training in musculoskeletal health, and, in general, view the body in a more holistic manner.

Q: What is the difference between a Cranial Sacral Therapist and a Cranial Sacral Osteopath?

A: A Cranial Sacral Osteopath is a trained medical physician, and if necessary, can prescribe medications, order blood testing, etc. Not all Osteopaths have the specialty training in cranial sacral treatment. Dr. David Johnston has received extensive post-doctoral training in this area, and in fact, is now a teacher of this specialty.

Q: What is “primary respiration?”

A: Primary Respiration is a concept observed by Dr. William Sutherland, DO back in the early 1900’s. While he was a senior student at the American School of Osteopathy (ASO), Dr. Sutherland found a discarded skull. His unique thought process led him to observe that the skull, with its beveled articulations (cranial sutures) reminded him of the movements possible by the beveled“gills”of a fish. He had an idea that the bony cranium, just like the fish gills, was capable of respiratory movement. Dr. Sutherland spent many years of research and study to bring “primary respiration” to the forefront of cranial osteopathy. In fact, research has proven him correct! In short, the brain and the spinal cord undulate rhythmically and can change shape with inhalation and exhalation. As the spinal cord undulates the spinal fluid rhythmically moves from the head to the sacrum (tailbone). It is this restriction of both fluid flow and cranial movement that is addressed and corrected in Cranio-Sacral Osteopathic treatment.

In the hands of a skilled practitioner a healing therapeutic response is produced.

Learn more about Dr. David Johnston