An area of osteopathy that involves a more gentle therapeutic approach is cranial osteopathy. This technique puts greater importance on the subtle strains and stresses affecting the whole body and uses gentle techniques which are well suited to children and babies although they can be equally effective for adults. The term cranial osteopathy suggests that it is only the head that is treated, but in fact the technique is therapeutic for the whole body.
Although often associated with babies, cranial osteopathy applies to the treatment of dysfunction in children and adults alike. This may be caused by the process of labour in a newborn, or in an adult a simple accident, resulting in a residual area of pain, and a dysfunction in biomechanical structure.