NeuroCranial Restructuring® UK
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The central bone of the skull, the sphenoid is coloured red above.
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The central bone of the skull is called the sphenoid. This bone is a butterfly shaped bone that sits directly behind the nose and extends out to both sides of the head. This bone is considered to be the cornerstone of the human skull because it articulates with 19 of the 22 bones. The only 3 bones it doesn't connect directly to are the lower jaw, the mandible and the 2 nasal bones. Because of its position within the cranial complex it is very difficult to access. The greater wings can be felt with the fingers close to the temple regions but the main body can only be engaged by entering the top of the throat or nasopharynx through the nasal passageways. The sphenoid bone is incredibly intricate with many holes, tunnels or foramina that allow nerves, blood and lymph vessels to pass through. It also has a small depression called the sella tursica which is where the pituitary gland of the brain sits.
There are six nasal passageways or meatii, 3 on each side, upper, middle and lower. Each passageway is separated from the adjacent ones by a bone called a turbinate. Each passageway leads directly into the top of the throat where it delivers air when we breathe in. Going back as far as the early 1900's cranial therapists used to attempt to manipulate the sphenoid bone using their fingers in a technique refered to as "finger technique". This was unsurprisingly painful and often resulted in nose bleeds and sometimes broken bones! By 1930 they thankfully discarded that technique in favour of small endonasal ballons that could be inserted into the top of the throat and briefly inflated to manipulate the sphenoid bone and therefore move all the other cranial bones that articulate with it.
The human skull is made up of 28 interlocking bones. There are 22 cranial bones and 6 bones in the inner ears. The skull is divided into two sections, the cranial vault which houses the brain and the cranio facial bones which house and support the eyes, nose and teeth in the jaws. Despite what is written in old anatomy text books, the joints or sutures between the bones in an adult head are not fused. They are in fact expansion/contraction joints and allow micromotion to accommodate changes in intercranial pressure. This phenomenom was first observed by an osteopath, William Sutherland D.O at the turn of the 20th century. It was proven beyond any doubt by an anatomy researcher named Viola Fryman D.O in 1962 when she recorded the movements of the skull bones during chewing, breathing and swallowing using sensors placed on the head. The sutures allow movement to accommodate changes in intercranial pressure, allowing the fluid that bathes the brain, the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) to flow freely and to dissapate any forces that may be applied externally to the head. They are analogous to the structures that architects and engineers build into skyscrapers and suspension bridges to allow sway. The Empire state building in New York actually sways several feet in high winds to prevent it collapsing!
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