The Occipital Bone – A Nod to the Body’s Total Health

Occipital BoneThe Occipital Bone is a part of your cranium, located in the lower, back portion of your skull.  Your occipital bone joins with the 1st vertebra (C1), also called the “atlas,” forming the atlanto-occipital joint.  This is how you can nod your head YES and shake your head NO to the many questions you face throughout your day, and this joining of the occipital bone with the vertebrae is the direct link between your skull and your spine. 

 In addition, the occipital bone plays a part in Continue reading

 protecting your body’s most valuable asset – your brain.  The occipital bone specifically protects your brain’s visual processing center.  It also houses the connecting pathway that connects the brain to the spine.

 Based on its location, the occipital bone can influence the body’s movements, flexibility, stability, and balance, as well as its sense of sight.  CranioSacral Therapists recognize the importance of the occipital bone as it relates to the body’s overall physical function and a person’s ability to see and interact with the world.

 When you are born, the occipital bone is not completely ossified.  It takes almost six years before the occipital bone becomes fully ossified.  Any problems with the development of this bone may lead to health issues that can, fortunately, benefit from the skilled hands of a CranioSacral Therapist. 

 If the occipital bone and the spine are misaligned, resulting in pain, CranioSacral Therapy can correct and eliminate your discomfort and restore fluid communication and movement to your body.  Additionally, if the occipital bone has not properly developed, CranioSacral Therapy can resolve many resulting vision defects you may be experiencing.

When your Occipital Bone is not functioning or moving optimally, a number of mental and physical symptoms can develop, including (but not limited to):


  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Neck and Back Pain
  • Painful and/or Limited Neck Movement
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Balance and Coordination Problems
  • Vision Defects
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Inability to see and/or discriminate between colors
  • Hallucinations
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Lowered Immune Functioning
  • Sensory Processing Disorders
  • Nervous System Problems

Much like the frontal bone, the occipital bone is sensitive to the birthing process and can also be damaged from trauma resulting from accidents and injurites, resulting in chronic health and mental problems. Modern medicine often recommends spinal surgery for pain and other conditions resulting from dysfunction of your occipital bone.  While surgery may be a necessity in some extreme cases, surgical procedures can potentially cause stress and dis-ease in your body. 

However, a skilled and experienced CranioSacral Therapist can, in many cases, offer a far safer and more effective alternative to surgical procedures and other, more invasive, therapies.

As a protector of the brain, the Occipital Bone plays an important role in your overall health and quality of life.  Investigating the cause of pain and other health issues beyond the normal medical paradigm could provide you with benefits far beyond the typical limitations and side effects of prescription drugs and surgery.

Live Life Fully,

Sandy Schell, ACST, LWC 

The Frontal Bone – Your Brain’s Protector

frontal boneThe Frontal Bone is a part of your skull’s cranium, extending from the top of your forehead to the tops of your eyes.  As a part of your skull’s cranial bones, the frontal bone gives your face the shape that you see in the mirror and present to the world.  The frontal bone also protects your body’s most valuable asset – your brain.  It connects to the parietal bone and occipital bone to provide full protective coverage of the brain.  Based on its location, the frontal bone can have an influence on Continue reading

your body’s energy and emotions, as well as your sinuses and vision.  Because the sensitive organ the frontal bone protects, it can also influence the development of mental disorders. CranioSacral Therapists recognize the importance of the frontal bone as it relates to one’s mental and physical well-being


When you are born, your frontal bone is not completely developed.  It takes almost two years before the frontal bone is fully ossified. The birth process is known to sometimes cause injury to a baby’s frontal membranes and cartilage in this fragile area, and this can manifest into a number of health issues if not addressed.   Studies have shown that even young children respond well to CranioSacral Therapy, which can help to reshape the frontal bone and act as a preventative measure from future health issues. If you did not have CranioSacral Therapy to repair any maternal injury when you were a baby, it is not too late to seek healing treatment.


When your Frontal Bone is misaligned or dysfunctional, a number of mental and physical symptoms can develop, including but not limited to:


  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Neck and Back Pain
  • Balance and Coordination Problems
  • Immune System Issues
  • Bladder Problems
  • Stomach Pain
  • Sinus Issues
  • Anxiety
  • Frequent Frustration
  • Inability to Focus
  • Insomnia
  • Autism (rare but increasing)
  • Seizures (rare but increasing)
  • Sensory Processing Disorders


You may have suffered from these issues for a very long time and not known that damage to your frontal bone during your birth could explain your symptoms.  Damage to your frontal bone may not have been recorded into your medical record during birth.  A CranioSacral Therapist will be able to assess any dysfunction of your frontal bone. Managing and possibly eliminating the dysfunctions of the frontal bone involve gentle pressure using CranioSacral Therapy.  If you are experiencing any of the above health issues, and your current plan of treatment is not helping as much as you’d like, consider CranioSacral Therapy as a complimentary healing alternative.


Temporal Bone Dysfunction and Vertigo & Migraines – Are They Linked?

temporal boneStudies have confirmed that the Temporal Bones play a part in many types of headaches and vertigo.  The temporal bones are the bones behind the ears; they attach at the jaw as well.

A report by Dr. Magoun in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association states “Physicians knowledgeable about osteopathic theory and procedures in the cranial field have found it possible Continue reading

to relieve many conditions that result from abnormalities in the position and motion of temporal bones. …deviations of these bones may be responsible for migraines, vertigo…”

Having a Migraine, with the associated pounding pain, nausea, and visual and sensory issues is debilitating.  I know.  My mother used to have Migraines.

Thankfully she doesn’t recall ever having Vertigo with a Migraine.  She had some pretty bad attacks that kept her in bed for days, curtains drawn, with urgent visits to the bathroom.

Imagine for a moment, feeling like you’d rather die than endure another moment of that pain…and on top of all that hell having the world reeling and keeling around you…even while lying still.

Nausea is one thing, and it’s terrible combined with debilitating pain.  Having Vertigo with a Migraine has to be, in my opinion, a form of h*&l.

People who suffer from Vertigo aren’t able to drive, or walk, or even sit up or move in many cases, depending on the severity.

One type of Vertigo occurs when the crystals in the inner ear canal get displaced and stuck in the wrong position.  Another type of vertigo can occur from debris lodged in the inner ear canal, typically from some type of head trauma.

In my clinical experience, I have seen many, many patients with Migraines, and many patients with Vertigo.  And along the way, I’ve seen patients exhibiting both sets of symptoms together.

While I’m not a research scientist, I do have a “laboratory”, known as my office.  I’m happy that the medical journals have been documenting what I’ve observed in my own “lab”.  Temporal bone dysfunction relates to both Migraines and Vertigo, and that by releasing the dysfunction, allowing the temporal bones to return to optimal functioning, Migraines and Vertigo can be a thing of the past.

If you have Vertigo and/or Migraines and medications are not completely relieving your symptoms, or the medications help, but the symptoms return at other times, then you are a good candidate for CranioSacral Therapy.

Just Cut Off My Head!

migraineThere are close to 30 million reported Migraine sufferers, and they have it pretty bad.  The pain is described as booming and all-consuming.  Add severe nausea, extreme sensitivity to light and sound (a whisper sounds like someone is shouting), balance issues, visual disturbances and feeling “sick beyond sick” to the debilitating pain.  It then becomes easy to understand why Migraine sufferers would be willing to have their heads cut off to escape from their pain and suffering.

Then imagine having to go through this Continue reading

 once every month for 3-5 days at a time.  And worse yet, some people have 2 or even 3 Migraines each and every month!

While debates continue about what causes them, many of the people I’ve worked with who suffer from Migraines seemingly have some things in common:

1.  They have tension in their low back or tailbone area

2.  They have tension in their upper chest and upper back areas.

3.  They have tension in their neck.

4.  They have tension where their head meets their spine, otherwise known as the Cranial Base.

5.  Much of the tensions outlined in #1 -4 above are present in the dural membranes along the spinal canal and/or  in the membranes inside the head.

6.  They tend to have tight jaw muscles.

Though not all of these are present in every person that suffers from Migraines that I’ve met or worked with, these are some areas, that once released, give way to less frequency and less intensity of Migraine suffering.

For those of you who suffer from Migraines and are reading this, know there is hope.

The vast majority of clients that I’ve worked with over the years have reported the following:

a.  Their Migraines don’t occur as often.  (And many report being migraine-free.)

b.  If they do occur, the intensity and pain are much less, and the symptoms do not last nearly as long.

c.  Many who came in for CranioSacral Therapy while suffering a full-on Migraine reported their symptoms being markedly decreased or nearly gone by the end of the session.

d.  The vast majority reported that their quality of life has greatly improved in many ways, from having better overall health, more energy and stamina, improved relationships with family and friends, more satisfied with their  jobs, more enjoyment of daily life, better sleep, more freedom to live their lives as they desire, without the disabling pain and sickness of Migraine headaches.

So, before you opt for cutting off your head, you may want to consider CranioSacral Therapy as a way out of Migraine pain and suffering.

Live Life Fully,

Sandy Schell