An introduction to Cranial Facial Release
To fully appreciate how Cranial Facial Release (CFR) technique works, we must first discuss a few important pieces of information. First it is important to understand that the skull is not a solid bone. It is actually made up of 22 separate bones that move every time you breathe – or at least they are supposed to. Just like the heart pumps blood to supply nutrients to your entire body, every bone in your skull moves in its own direction to pump cerebrospinal fluid to coat the brain, pituitary gland, cerebellum, and spinal cord with the necessary nutrients they need to function properly.
The next thing to note is that many people have various traumas to their head throughout their lives that can cause several bones in their skull to fixate and not move properly. When numerous bones in the skull stop moving correctly the cerebrospinal fluid is not able to suitably circulate around the brain, pituitary gland, cerebellum, and spinal cord. This does not allow fresh cerebrospinal fluid to invigorate these tissues with nutrients. It also doesn’t allow for the toxic waste materials to be removed and pushed through the lymphatic system. This might not seem too significant, but it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!!! In fact, the effects are felt on every function of the body. This is why CFR can help with so many conditions and symptoms.
How common are Cranial Fixations?
Unfortunately, deviations to the cranial structure are more common than you think. You would be surprised at how easily the bones in the skull can be disrupted. Excessive force during the birthing process, bumps to the head or face, drug use, and whiplash type injuries can all cause the bones in the skull to fixate, stick, and not move properly.
Our body tries to make the best with what it has. Sadly, when the skull is not in proper alignment or functioning properly, the rest of the body suffers. Any time there is a problem with cranial movements, abnormal pressure is exerted on the brain and spinal cord, which can be quite harmful. After all – we don’t have to stress the significance of brain function for your wellbeing.
Two systems that are affected with cranial fixations is the nervous system and the endocrine system. These two systems control the entire body, so any problems to these systems have widespread consequences. If cranial fixations are not corrected, the problem is aggravated, giving rise to chronic disease.
The sphenoid bone is the common structural component to these two crucial systems in our body. The master gland of the body, the pituitary gland, sits on top of the sphenoid bone and the brain sits on top of that. Allowing for proper sphenoid movement and thus proper cerebrospinal fluid flow to surround the brain and pituitary gland, have far-reaching effects to the whole body. On the other hand, any irregularity to the function of these regions can have drastic effects of the whole body, thus giving rise to many diseases.
When the bones in the skull are moving properly, they are able to move in and out in a rhythmic fashion. Like the way the heart pumps blood to circulate throughout the body, the skull pumps cerebrospinal fluid around the brain, cerebellum and pituitary gland. Here you can see the skull bones moving in and out in an orderly fashion.
When bones in the skull become fixated, they are unable to move the way they are supposed to. Here you can see half the skull bones moving properly and half not moving at all. This can cause too much pressure to build up around these non-movable bones and brain.
Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH)
One condition called Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) involves an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain’s ventricles or cavities. This can occur if the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid is blocked in some way. This causes a lot of pressure to be placed on the brain.
Symptoms of Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus may include dementia, problems with walking and impaired bladder control. Because these symptoms are like those of other disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, the disorder is often misdiagnosed.
The person also may move slowly or may complain that their feet feel “stuck.” Many cases go unrecognized and are never properly treated. Cranial Facial Release treatment can return the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid by releasing the fixated bones in the skull.
What Can I Expect in a Treatment?
The process is quick and straightforward. You will encounter a sensation like one would feel jumping into a swimming pool and getting water up your nose. It feels like an extreme amount of pressure in your nasal passages, but it doesn’t last long. The whole process is completed within a matter of a few seconds. A series comprises of 5 sessions spread over a few days.
Cranial Facial Release involves the use of a medical balloon affixed to a blood pressure bulb. This medical balloon is lubricated and placed between the nasal turbinates (the bones located along the side walls of the nostril). Once the balloon is in place, the patient will take a deep breath and hold it. The opposite nostril is gently squeezed to prevent air from escaping. Next, the doctor will inflate the balloon – causing it to widen. It’s left inflated for a real brief moment, then deflated. The procedure is then repeated in the other nostril. Inflating the balloon inside the nostril pushes the bony structures surrounding it apart and enables them to move once again. Bones of the face, cranium and nose are once again mobilized with cranial facial release. Eventually, after a few treatments, all six passageways will be opened up.
How does the treatment work?
Cranial Facial Release technique is a systematic treatment that is designed to induce movement in the cranial system while unlocking the cranial fixations at the same time. The most important objective is targeting the sphenoid bone. The inflated balloon presses outward against the bones lining the breathing passages and adjusts the sutures of the face and skull, particularly the sphenoid sutures. This ultimately releases any impingements in the cranial sutures that came from forces which penetrated the skull. The method tries to facilitate normal respiratory function to the skull bones allowing cerebrospinal fluid to bathe the pituitary gland, brain and cerebellum with nutrients while removing waste products from brain cells.
List of Conditions that respond favorably to Cranial Facial Release:
- Breathing disorders
- Neck Pain
- Sleep apnea
- Congestion or Fullness, Nasal obstruction, or blockage
- Deviated nasal septum
- Loss of Smell
- Cerebral Palsy
- Ear infections and hearing impairments
- Anxiety/Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)/Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Headaches/Migraines, head pressure
- Vertigo (Dizziness, Loss of Balance, Ringing in the ears, Hearing loss)
- Facial pain (Trigeminal Neuralgia)
- Facial paralysis (Bell’s palsy)
- Learning Disorders (Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), dyslexia, hyperactivity)
- Down’s Syndrome
- Emotional Disorders/Phobias/Neurosis
- TMJ disorder/Orthodontic stress and bruxism
- Post-Concussion Syndrome/Head Traumas/Whiplash
- Poor concentration and focus
- Dystonia, Tourette’s syndrome, tics, torticollis
- Osteoporosis of the weight-bearing skeleton
- Plagiocephaly, microcephaly, and oddly shaped heads
- Relationship difficulties
- Sciatica, kyphosis (hunchback), lordosis (swayback), scoliosis (spiral spine), military spine, and other back problems
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Low energy, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue
- Glaucoma, double vision, and other vision problems
- Parkinson’s Tremors
- Other neurological disorders
Frequent causes of cranial traumas – head traumas, birth trauma, grinding of teeth, TMJ Disorders
Who is Cranial Facial Release Technique for?
Typically, individuals who opt for this treatment method are people who have tried every possibility to relieve their symptoms without success. They are looking to treat their condition without having to have surgery or be dependent on medications. Indeed, Cranial Facial Release Therapy provides them with much-needed relief. It’s a treatment that is cost effective with minimal side effects.