Hello from down a rabbit hole! I have now officially taken ten post-graduate courses in a manual therapy approach to assessing and treating the body called osteopathy. Specifically, I have focussed on two techniques called visceral and neuromeningeal manipulation (NM). Visceral manipulation (VM) refers to the use of my hands to treat fascial restrictions around organs that may be causing physical restrictions to blood flow, movement, alignment and posture, while Neuromeningeal manipulation is the act of treating the nerves, membranes and brain itself by means of light touch.
I recently just completed a course called NM4 where I learned all about the role of the cranial nerves and how to affect them with my hands to help my clients. Your cranial nerves extend out of the base of your brain and branch to provide the electrical wiring to your face, eyes, head and organs. They are kind of important to your daily life, but largely fly under the radar until they get annoyed for one reason or another. They can be responsible for headaches, eye pain, ringing in the ears and even referred sensitization and irritation into the body due to their connection to numerous organs through the vagus nerve.
As a person who has woken up with a headache every day for two years since my eye injury, I found this class fascinating. My empathy for people with head and face pain is substantial so I tried to learn as much as I could from this class to help my clients and hopefully myself.
There are twelve cranial nerves:
III- Oculomotor- eye movement
IV- Trochlear- eye movement
V- Trigeminal- movement & sensation to your face, tongue, nose, ear
VI- Abducent- eye movement
VII- Facial- facial expressions & taste
VIII- Vestibulocochlear- sound & balance
IX- Glossopharyngeal- swallowing, speech, taste
X- Vagus- control heart, lungs & digestion
XI- Accessory- neck muscles
XII- Hypoglossal- tongue muscles
Don’t bother trying to remember them all, but just consider that every movement, sensation and process that happens in your body is somehow connected to your brain and nervous system. Read More