Cranial FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Endonasal Cranial Adjusting

How long have doctors been performing cranial adjustments?

The use of a balloon in endonasal cranial adjusting came about in the 1940’s. Cranial adjusting itself, however, has been practiced for centuries.  From India to ancient Egyptians to the Paracus culture in Peru (2000 BC to 200 AD) many cultures around the world have seen the value to cranial adjusting.  Even Hippocrates (400BC) wrote of the skull bones misaligning at the joints or sutures.

In 1947, an individual by the name of Janse J. published the first known version of a balloon assisted cranial adjustment describing the pressurized Nasal Specific Technique. In 1951 and again in 1954,FinnelFLpublished work that described the operation and function of the nasal balloon.

The practice and awareness of Bilateral Nasal Specific was further developed by Dr J. Richard Stober from the mid 1950’s until his passing in 1988. Dr. Stober was based in Portland, Oregon USA, he taught the affect and practice of Bilateral Nasal Specific at both the Western States Chiropractic College and the National College of Naturopathic Medicine.

One of Stober’s students Dr. Dean Howell has taken the practice of Bilateral Nasal Specific to the next level and practices today using the same method as the base for his treatments. Howell calls this Neurocranial Restructuring or NCR and is based out of the state ofWashington,USA.

Aren’t the skull bones fused after childhood?

One of the world’s leading researchers and teachers of cranial movement is John Upledger, DO. In the mid 1970’s Dr. Upleger and his research team at Michigan State University studied recently deceased individuals using radio waves, electron microscopes, and the new cinematographic x-rays to prove the theories that the bones of the cranium actually do move. If there is a lack of movement it is actually a pathological condition.

Dr. Upleger proved, through science, that the bones of the skull have movement.

Recently, original research on live monkeys and sections of human skull (containing sutures) demonstrated objectively that the cranium moves in a rhythmical manner. Additionally, the sutures in a healthy adult, when viewed under high powered microscopes, rather than being fused and filled with calcified tissue are patent or open and contain connective tissue, nerve tissue and blood vessels.  If they are calcified and closed it is a result of injury and leads to decreased brain function and many conditions.

There are 22 bones in the skull (not including the jaw or the bones of the ear). They meet at the suture lines or joints.  At birth the bones are not fully formed and are in fact quite far apart from one another. As a baby is squeezed through the birth canal, the bones slide over one another and re-expand afterwards to resume their normal positions.  As the bones gradually grow to approximate one another they remain in constant motion. This movement keeps the sutures patent (open). The amount of movement is very tiny, 1/100th of an inch.  Yet misalignments can be much greater than this.  This is seen in faces with asymmetries such as one eye higher than another, a jaw jetting over to one side, an unusually narrow face, etc..

For further on this see our cranial research section.

What are neurotransmitters and how can that play a role in my healing?

A neurotransmitter is any of several chemical substances, as epinephrine, serotonin, GABA or acetylcholine that transmits nerve impulses across a junction or synapse to another nerve, muscle, gland, etc.  In the brain neurotransmitters help nerves talk to one another. These chemicals flow across the gap between adjacent nerves as well as circulate through the cerebrospinal fluid.

As an example of neurotransmitters in the pharmacological industry, people with depression are treated with drugs that increase the neurotransmitter serotonin. This can provide a temporary bridge over a troubled time.  However, the problem is that bombarding an incredibly delicate and well balanced system with external chemicals on a long-term basis is bound to create unpleasant side effects.  Besides weight gain, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, violent behavior and suicide, the person is often more apt to an increase in the depression that they started with.

Is it possible that these people may just have a problem distributing the neurotransmitters that they already have in their brains?  In fact, with endonasal cranial adjusting pressure is relieved from the brain and cerebrospinal fluid is allowed to transport chemicals to where they are needed.  The proper distribution pattern is gradually brought back to where it was when the skull was much younger.  The results I have had in my office helping people with depression, memory, psychosis, stress relief, learning disorders, anxiety and many others speak to this outcome.

Is there anything I can do to make my treatment more affective?

Drink Plenty of Water- During this treatment you will have an endonasal balloon inside your nasal cavity.  The amount of water in your system will affect the hydration of your mucosal lining.  This hydration will result in the inside of your body being more lubricated an receptive to the treatment.  It should follow that coffee, tea and alcohol should be avoided as much as possible as they are diuretics and will take water out of your body leaving your linings, joints, muscles, etc. dehydrated.  A good formula for proper water consumption is as follows:

Take your body weight in pounds and divide that number by 2.  That number in ounces is good for a daily intake of water.  So, if you weigh 100 pounds you should shoot for 50 ounces of water per day.

Perform Self Massage- Facial massage can be a great adjunct to cranial adjusting and you will receive specific soft tissue work on the days of your treatment.  Getting a head start on this can include massaging your temples, above your eyebrows and on either side of your nose.

Move your body-  If it is feasible, participate in activities which move your body.  The skull and brain are not the only parts of your body that will be affected from endonasal cranial adjusting.  Your posture including pelvis alignment, feet alignment, spinal positioning and the overall balance of the body will be more optimal.  To gain the maximum benefit try to walk, do yoga, go to the gym, take a Pilates class or just rock in a rocking chair if that is all your body affords.  Movement is your friend and is your partner in optimizing your treatment.

 How often do I need treatments?

Research is showing that it is optimum to receive a series of visits that are close together.  This way the benefit gained on the first visit will be held open and taken even further on the second visit, etc.  Generally, that means that you will be seen 4 or 5 days in a row, take two weeks off and come in for a follow up.  That is one series.  After these treatments it is nice to have a two week rest from endonasal adjusting. Often, people have good results with one or two series of care.  To continue at a rapid rate of change and for cumulative improvements, series can be continued at this rate.

For those of you who are coming in from out of town and can only be here for three days we may do two treatments in one day.  Please see our “Coming in from out of Town?” section for local hotels and airport information.

You can continue care until you feel you are resolved or you can continue care until Dr. Fields has thoroughly tested your cranial bones and nervous system to be optimal.

Does the process hurt?

The first part of the work is deep tissue massage.  This can be quite uncomfortable but by giving Dr Fields feedback along the way, the pain can be minimized will efficacy maintained.

When the endonasal balloon is inserted into your nasal passageway, there may be a slight discomfort.  It is more likely, however, that it just feels strange.  Most likely, you have not had something like a balloon up your nose but you will make peace with that feeling very quickly. Some have described the placement of the endonasal balloon into the nostril as getting water up the nose. As ambiguous as it may sound, I think it just feels weird.

When the finger cot/balloon is inflated, it fills up the nasal passageway pushing on the nasal walls to open up the airways. As the pump device used to inflate the balloon is squeezed the endonasal balloon enlarges and moves its way through the nasal passageway.  When this is going on there can be popping, clicking and cracking sounds coming from your skull. (Each inflation takes approximately 3 seconds) These are from the plates shifting and in most cases there is no pain at this point. In rare cases there will be pain.  However, the dominant feel is surprised followed by relaxed.

Please note that each visit will be easier and easier to handle and you will be rewarded with better breathing and greater health.  For patient testimonials on the procedure please go to our cranial video.

If I recently fractured my nose can I still receive treatment?

I recently fractured my nose can I still receive treatment? Many injuries are diagnosed as fractures but may be displaced nasal bones.  X-ray confirmation is needed for a definitive diagnosis.  If the bones are displaced rather than fractured then cranial adjusting is indicated immediately to set the nose into a proper alignment.  However, in the event of a fracture a light treatment to set the fracture can be indicated but for the full series I recommend waiting six to twelve weeks before care.

How young can one be and how old is too old for treatment?

The birth process can be very traumatic for the newborn.  More than 30 percent of births in theUnited Statesare performed by c-section.  Many also use forceps and vacuum extraction methods to aid in delivery.  Vacuum extractions can double the rate of intracranial hemorrhage as compared to a normal vaginal delivery.  Forceps deliveries also increase the risk of injury during the delivery.  Cranial and spinal misalignments can follow and impair a newborns ability to function at 100%.  Thus, a careful cranial treatment on a child may be indicated and may help them considerably.

On the other side of the age spectrum are senior citizens.  Seniors have had a lifetime of possibilities for cranial misalignments.  They often have what has been called “senior moments”.  Many suffer from sleep apnea and many other conditions that could be helped by well moving cranial bones and a brain that is being nourished by cerebrospinal fluid.  I have performed and seen results by performing endonasal cranial adjusting on people up in their eighties and nineties.  This may not be the case for everyone but one woman had not said a coherent sentence in 6 months due to severe dementia and had some very clear communication post treatment.  Before accepting you maladies as just “old age” come in and have your cranial bones checked for misalignment.  You may be well amazed by your positive results.