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Cranial Manual Therapy
Nasal Release Technique

It is generally accepted that facial and cranial trauma which can include birth trauma leads to dysfunction of the brain and related systems. There are fortunately emerging treatment strategies to help with this trauma. One is Cranial Manual therapy (CRAFTA) and another is Nasal release Technique.  

Cranial Manual Therapy is the use of sustained manual pressure to specific cranial bones to induce movement in those specific bones. The Skull is not just one bone but i made of many bones that come together forming the head. The skull has 6 major joints where the bones come together. There are also several minor joints in the anterior face. The plates of the skull are connected with sutures. These act as a hinge between the bones. The “hinge” allows the skull to expand and contract as we breathe, chew, wear hats, and even allows for accommodation of trauma to the skull. Pressure changes from both outside and inside out head are accommodated through these hinge joints. By applying a slow maintained force throughout these joints we can improve the motion of “compliance” of the skull bones thus improving the mechanical interface of structures around and running through these joints and bones. This can have profound effects in reducing symptoms of craniofacial pain as well as past concussions. 

Picture of nasal release.  Illustration of inflation bulb with ballon being inserted into sinus.


The nasal release technique has many other names, such as bilateral nasal specific, nasal ballooning, cranial facial release, endonasal technique, and neurocranial restructuring. NRT is another form of treatment that can improve cranial compliance and reduce symptoms in patients with craniofacial pain, headaches and TMD.  A small balloon attached to a bulb is inserted into the nasal turbinates and quickly inflated and deflated. It's done eight times – both lower, middle, and upper turbinates, and then the lower turbinates again. Each time the balloon is inflated it puts pressure on different cranial bones, creating space and allowing slight movement in the cranium, which can help many conditions. This is the treatment of choice when CRAFTA technique has been exhausted or when a more rapid treatment is needed. 

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