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Treatment with Cranial Osteopathy for Tinnitus, Sleep Apnoea and Knee Injury

by Camilla Murphy(more info)

listed in osteopathy, originally published in issue 210 - November 2013


Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment which works with the structure and function of the body. Maintenance of good mechanical function is essential for good health. Problems in the framework of the body can disturb the circulatory system or nerves to any part of the body, and affect any aspect of health. Osteopaths work to restore the structure and function of the body to a state of balance and harmony, so helping the whole person.

Camilla and Alan

Camilla and Alan

Cranial Osteopathy

Cranial osteopathy is a refined type of osteopathic treatment that releases the restrictions throughout the body, including the head. It is a gentle yet extremely effective approach and may be used in a wide range of conditions for people of all ages, from birth to old age.

Camilla Murphy’s Treatments via Cranial Osteopathy

Cranial Osteopathy enables me access all the layers and Viscera (internal organs) of the body.

It allows me to release the deepest structures directly, for example the central nervous system. It is very important to keep this structure released, as the central nervous system governs the functioning of the entire body. I have been fortunate in my professional experience to work with an array of conditions over the years, which has helped me to develop an individual style of Cranial Osteopathy that has enabled me to be successful in treating conditions and symptoms which are both challenging and diverse. I have a very orthopaedic approach to my assessment of clients and I combine these findings with Cranial Osteopathy.

As Cranial Osteopathy enables me to directly release deep structures, I am able to help with treatment of symptoms related to the digestive system such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Crohn's disease, and digestive complaints or symptoms related to post-operative procedures. I am able to unwind the aftermath of surgery which has caused scar tissue, which then causes restriction and, as a result, has an effect on the function of the body, whether it is helping the uterus to settle back into its correct position after a Caesarean Section birth, or even settling the breathing and rib functions after a triple bypass surgery, taking away restrictions of structures surrounding the heart to aid recovery and overall function.

I have also helped people by taking away any restriction after suffering with endometriosis and even peritonitis.

I treat babies who have had birthing difficulties, such as ventouse or forceps delivery or having the cord wrapped around their neck. I help babies who have restricted neck movements, babies who have difficulty latching-on to feed and babies who have osteosclerosis (when the skull fuses too early). I also have experience treating children with Asperger’s and hyperactivity disorder, glue ear, tummy pains and headaches.

I have a special interest working with women to prepare them for conception (including helping ladies on IVF programs), pregnancy and labour. I am able to work with women during pregnancy aiming to help support the changes of their body as their baby grows. My treatments can help prepare the mother's body for birth including helping the baby get into a better position for delivery (optimal foetal positioning). Common problems during pregnancy I can help with are lower back pain, pubis dysfunction and oesophageal reflux. There are specific stages of pregnancy which need specific guidance; I am there to support and guide.

In addition to this I commonly help people who suffer joint problems, disc injuries, lower back pain, osteoarthritis, osteopenia, neck pain and foot problems. The diversity of my Cranial Osteopathic treatment can help people who suffer from asthma improve their breathing mechanics by opening up through their chest, wind pipe (trachea), lungs and diaphragm. I have had patients who have needed less medication at longer intervals to control their symptoms of asthma. I have also had experience with helping to reduce heart palpitations successfully - literally taking away the uneasy feeling of fluttering of the heart. Tinnitus is notoriously difficult to treat and often dismissed as incurable by doctors. Sleep Apnoea (stopping breathing while as sleep), migraines, headaches and sinusitis are all problems I can help to overcome.

Case Study – Alan Powers

A former machinery worker with a perforated ear drum was told by an ENT specialist that his four year-old tinnitus was incurable - but has since found a ‘new lease of life’ after receiving cranial osteopathy. Alan Powers, 67, from Harlow, said he now feels ‘ten years younger’ after receiving the treatment, which he said has also helped a knee injury, sleep apnoea and loss of appetite due to treatment for oesophageal cancer 13 years ago.

He said: “From the moment I woke up in the morning, at its worst, the tinnitus would be like pots and pans crashing around me. I could hardly hear my wife talk and had to turn up the TV to full volume, which obviously could be very annoying for everyone else. I could hardly concentrate and it gave me severe headaches. In its very mildest form it was a ‘shushing’ sound, like the waves coming up on a beach.” Alan admitted that at one point he felt like banging his head against a wall and was nearly suicidal.

Mr Powers added that his GP could not say where the tinnitus had come from and he had also been turned down for treatment by some cranial osteopaths due to his perforated ear drum. He  had read about Camilla Murphy’s successful treatment of another tinnitus sufferer and decided to try her services, despite others being sceptical due to his ear problem.

At the first visit, Camilla realized that despite his perforated ear drum, she could probably help Alan. Camilla said: “It’s true that GPs tell you there are no pills to pop when it comes to tinnitus and that’s why many sufferers do feel suicidal and literally want to bang their heads against the wall to get rid of the noise, because they just can’t.” But after Alan’s second session with Camilla, the tinnitus had reduced from a level of ten, which is severe, to a level of one, i.e. - nearly gone.

Camilla went on: “Mr Powers has had other gains too. He has a history of cancer of the oesophagus. Since a large portion of his oesophagus was removed along with some of his stomach, he hasn't had a great appetite since its cure 13 years ago. I worked to release any restrictions caused by the surgery to his stomach, gut and oesophagus, which helped to increase his appetite. From doing this, Mr Powers has told me he is now able to clear his plate at dinner time. My treatment has also alleviated pain in his hips and knees".

Alan went on: “I’ve really got my appetite back. After the operation, the doctors told me I would only ever be able to eat a child's portion for the rest of my life and now I polish off all my dinner and have a pudding! Eating is fabulous, I now look forward to meal times and I am starting to put the weight back on. I can now also stand up straight and it doesn't pull in my abdominal area, where I had tightness from the operation.”

Mr Powers has been seeing Camilla now for the last six weeks and has received five treatment sessions. He added: “The tinnitus is no longer in my head, I feel so much better. There are days when I really have to strain to hear it and think it may have gone. Camilla’s treatment has turned back the clock 13 years to before I had cancer. Before, the tinnitus would stop me concentrating and now I can concentrate. Also, I have hardly had any trouble with the sleep apnoea. “I feel like I have a new life and another chance.”

Alan's case is a clear example of how diverse treatment with Cranial Osteopathy can be. It also demonstrates how often clients will present with one complaint, but the practitioner will be treating many complaints that we discover in the case history that are all having effects on each other. In Alan's case, his presenting complaint was mainly for help with tinnitus. However, Camilla discovered other health issues which she addressed. After having most of his oesophagus removed and part of his stomach, this caused excessive tension and the restriction of his digestive tract. This restriction meant that Alan could eat only small portions of food. This caused his posture to suffer. The restriction of his oesophagus and gut caused a tugging sensation in his lower abdomen and contributed to his upper body to bend over forwards.

Camilla started to help Alan's digestion by taking away any tension from his cranium (skull) down his neck, where the oesophagus attaches (to the lower neck), down through the oesophagus itself and into the gut and diaphragm, taking away any residual tension from the scaring from the operation. She also released through his spine, ribs, pelvis and central nervous system, which aided flexibility generally. This then released his digestive tract, enabling Alan to have more space for the passage of food and therefore helping him to eat larger meals.

Due to the shortness of Alan's oesophagus after the operation, this meant he couldn’t lie on his back without quite a few pillows propping him up. Without this support he would suffer from very bad acid reflux and a very uncomfortable burning sensation in his chest and throat. The treatment has enabled him to lay flatter for longer and relieves these problems. The treatment overall has also enabled Alan to have a much more upright posture.

Alan's original presenting complaint of tinnitus has virtually gone and he no longer suffers from any symptoms of his sleep apnoea since having treatment with Camilla.


  1. Professor/Dr Brian A Rothbart said..

    A paper was published (October 2013) in The Journal of Craniomandibular and Sleep Therapy validating (via serial radiographs) that frontal plane divergencies in the cranial bones and atlas can be the result of abnormal foot motion observed in the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity). Below is the abstract of that paper:

    The purpose of this Series of Case Studies was to determine if the frontal plane position of the cranial bones and atlas could be altered using dental orthotics, prescriptive insoles, or both concurrently.
    Methods: The cranial radiographs of four patients were reviewed in this study. Three of the patients were diagnosed as having a TMJ dysfunction and a PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity. The fourth patient was diagnosed as having a TMJ dysfunction, a PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity and a Class II Sacral Occipital Subluxation.
    Each patient had a series of 4 cranial radiographs taken using a modified orthogonal protocol. The first cranial radiograph was taken with the patient using neither the dental orthotic nor proprioceptive insoles were used (baseline measurement). The second cranial radiograph was taken with the patient using only the dental orthotic. The third cranial radiograph was taken with the patient only using the proprioceptive insoles. The final cranial radiograph was taken with the patient using both the dental orthotic and proprioceptive insoles concurrently.
    The degree of change in angle between the various specified cranial landmarks and atlas were measured directly off of these radiographs and compared to one another.
    Results: In two patients, improvement towards orthogonal was achieved when using both prescriptive dental orthotics and prescriptive insole concurrently. Improvement towards orthogonal was less apparent when using only the prescriptive dental orthotic. And no improvement or a negative frontal plane shift was noted when using only the prescriptive proprioceptive insoles.
    In the third patient, the frontal plane position of the cranial bones and atlas increased (away from orthogonal) when using the generic proprioceptive insoles alone or in combination with a prescriptive dental orthotic.
    In the fourth patient, the frontal plane position of the cranial bones improved using the dental orthotic. However, the proprioceptive insoles when used alone, or in combination with the dental orthotic, increased the frontal plane position of the cranial bones and atlas.
    Conclusion: This study demonstrates that changes in the frontal plane position of the cranial and atlas bones can occur when using proprioceptive insoles and/or dental orthotics.

    Rothbart BA 2013. Prescriptive Insoles and Dental Orthotics Change the Frontal Plane Position of the Atlas (C1), Mastoid, Malar, Temporal and Sphenoid Bones: A Preliminary Study. Journal of Cranio Manidibular and Sleep Practice, Vol 31(4):300-308.

  2. Angela said..

    I have been diagnosed with Meniere's Disease, suffering from dizzy spells which occur more frequently in late summer early fall. That is not to say that they don't happen during other times of the year.
    Do you think that this treatment is something that could help?

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About Camilla Murphy

Camilla Murphy BSc Hons Ost runs Posture Dynamics in partnership with Daren Fletcher. She  qualified at The British School of Osteopathy in 1999 with a BSC Hons degree in Osteopathy and founded the Abbots Langley-based clinic in 2011. Camilla uses the Cranial approach to identify and correct mechanical disturbances and limitations both in and around the joints of the skull, in the muscles, membranes and central nervous system throughout the entire body. Camilla has a very holistic approach so diet, lifestyle and exercise are all taken into consideration. She also helps individuals with post-operative surgery issues including tension, scarring and altered positioning of organs from conditions leading to surgery of the gut and lungs, to conditions leading to gynaecological surgery or caesarean surgery. Camilla has a special interest working with women to prepare them for conception, pregnancy and labour, helping to prepare the body for birth, help the baby get into a better position for delivery and  support the changes of women’s body as their baby grows.  To contact Camilla Murphy and for more information about her practice Posture Dynamics, please Tel: 0207 828 6888;

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