Functional Cranial Release

Functional Cranial Release

Functional Cranial Release (FCR) is the art and science of restoring normal brain and nervous system function by using Functional Neurology along with NeuroCranial Restructuring to improve the brain’s ability to function better. FCR was created by Dr. John Lieurance who currently practices in Sarasota, Florida. Dr Timothy Lim was personally trained by Dr John Lieurance and now offers FCR or Functional Cranial Release in Singapore. We have clients who fly in from all over the South East Asia and Oceania regions just to receive FCR treatment.

What is FCR

Functional Cranial Release‘s (FCR) unique system improves the body’s function in the following ways:

  1. Restores the brain’s ability to oxygenate itself through both improving air flow through the nasal passage and also the normal pumping action inherent in cranial rhythm that moves nutrients such as oxygen and neurotransmitters that bath the central nervous system keeping it healthy.
  2. Utilizes neurological testing to determine which pathways and brain centers are either firing too much or too little by testing the following; Examination of your eye’s movements and reflexes, your muscles or motor system, the autonomic nervous system, your circulation, your sensory system, the vestibular system (or) your ability to balance [repeatedly using a computerized balance platform]. Adjusting those pathways through the specific use of various modalities including one or more of the following; Very Specific Chiropractic Adjustments of the spine, extremities, and cranium, Soft Tissue or Massage, Eye Pattern & Eye Exercises,  Canalith Repositioning (or) Eply’s, Vestibular Rehabilitative Modalities or VRT, and many others too numerous to list. The modalities used depend on the specific needs of each patient.
  3. A series of Cranial Releases are performed where the connective tissues that surround your brain and spinal cord called the Dura Mater are specifically released using endonasal balloon inflations. This is done in combination with the above mentioned functional neurologic modalities to provide the therapeutic effect to balance and normalize brain function. This normalization results in healing.
How It Works

How does Functional Cranial Release (FCR) Work?

Functional Cranial Release targets the unstable, dysfunctional areas in the body and cranium and stabilizes those areas through manipulation of the sphenoid bone. Through optimal placement of the sphenoid bone, the rest of the body in turn becomes optimally balanced. The joints in your skull, face and jaw – of which there are over 30 – are innervated by pain fibers. That means that whenever a joint becomes compressed or locked, you may feel pain. You may feel the pain locally in your head, or it may radiate down your neck or into your face. What FCR tries to accomplish is to decompress and unlock the joints in the face and skull, thereby releasing the pain. This unlocking allows the connective tissues (including the meningeal system) to release their stored tensions and move the bony structures incrementally back towards the body’s original design.

An optimal, balanced head shape means that the head sits optimally on the spine, enabling the spine to retain its optimal shape instead of a distorted one. A straight spine with excellent posture means that areas for trigger points, muscular spasm, tightness and subluxation are greatly diminished if not eliminated.

Our brain and spinal cord are bathed in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This fluid acts as a cushion and a buffer to the brain and spinal cord, protecting them from injury. Cerebrospinal fluid is connected to our immune and lymph systems and it also removes waste products, drugs and other substances from the brain. In addition, CSF helps to transport hormones and neurotransmitters to different areas of the brain. If there is a compression or distortion in the skull, the flow of CSF can be compromised, leading to a buildup of metabolic waste products or a lack of neurotransmitters or hormones needed in a crucial area. Many symptoms can result, ranging from fatigue and brain fog to anxiety. In some cases, depression and anxiety may not be an issue of insufficiency of particular hormones but actually a distribution issue, especially if accompanied by asymmetries in the skull and face. If we are able to create an optimal, round head shape by manipulation of the sphenoid bone, the flow of the CSF will be optimized, facilitating optimal waste removal and distribution of neurotransmitters.

FCR Video


How does FCR care represent a new paradigm shift in healing?

In traditional natural medicine, the emphases in healing are placed on detoxification of metals, chemicals and toxins, hygienic living and removal of infective organisms. Except for recovery from accidents and injuries, the physical medicine techniques like massage, physiotherapy and manipulation are used for pain relief.

With Functional Cranial Release (FCR) care, long-term changes are the normal response, and the eventual result is an optimization of nervous system functions. What I have found is that many conditions thought to be biochemical, developmental or infective in nature have a previously unknown, correctable structural component. This means that conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, migraines and scoliosis have a new approach in treatment.

What does Functional Cranial Release (FCR) do besides relieving conditions and their symptoms?

At first, symptoms of pain and obvious dysfunction leave. Later other beneficial changes are experienced as the nervous system and musculoskeletal systems optimize. This is the time when people note profound transformations in their personalities and in the way they think, feel and move and even look.

How does Functional Cranial Release (FCR) care affect my mental and emotional status?

The brain develops the feelings a person has. The concept of separation of the mind and body, developed by Descartes in the seventeenth century, is not accurate. If this were so, ingesting drugs could not alter mental state. This is why counseling is used only for minor psychiatric maladies, and the severe psychiatric states are treated with drugs. With a severe psychiatric state, the brain does not work right! This is not a situation a person can be talked out of. This is also why tense, anxious people look forward to a cup of tea or a glass of wine or beer after a hard day. Do you know anyone who needs coffee in the morning to lift his or her morning depression? All of these examples are indications that the mind is a part of the brain/body function. Although it sounds more spiritual to keep it separate, in reality the spirit is housed in the body/mind. So changing mental function makes a person different in ways individuals cannot comprehend without experiencing it themselves. This can be accomplished through life experiences, both good and bad, both traumatic and euphoric, and created dependably through changing the shape of the head/skull with Functional Cranial Release (FCR) work.

Why does Functional Cranial Release (FCR) care help so many diverse conditions?

Like any natural solution, it is the body that has the innate capability to heal itself. Functional Cranial Release (FCR) technique optimizes the function of the brain and body. It treats the cause of many conditions. If you have chronic pain in the musculoskeletal system, the pain can go away by optimizing the musculoskeletal system. If you have a problem with brain function, Functional Cranial Release (FCR) care can help by optimizing the mechanical function of the skull/brain.

How many treatments of FCR do I need?

  1. For instance, some people seek care because of a specific pain or area of trouble in their bodies. For them, they will stop treatment as soon as their problem becomes less apparent. With simple conditions like sinusitis, as few as 4-8 treatments may stop the sinus problems. With other conditions, like dystonia or severe spinal problems, treatment could last sixty treatments without exhausting the potential for continued optimal improvement.
  2. Some have larger, less concrete goals when they receive therapy. If a person wishes to optimize their bodily functions (as I do) or they have serious or complicated conditions affecting their health, treatment can be more of an open-ended situation; they can get treatments over the course of a longer time period. This is neither right nor wrong. Either of these plans can be right for the individual. Some people may even change their concepts as treatment progresses, and this is fine too. The nature of Functional Cranial Release (FCR) treatment, with its typically long lasting results, allows a person to stop treatment at almost any time (after the completion of each treatment sequence)
  3. A person’s  body changes at different rates–No two persons have the same identical body type. This is because people have different genetic forms and different life experiences. By the time people come to me for treatment, they are unique, individual structures. In a way, people are like puzzles for me to untangle. Some puzzles are easier to solve than others, and some people’s bodies change more quickly than others. I never know how fast a person will change. I never know how much a person will move from a single treatment. I never know what tomorrow’s treatment will cause or require. I simply, continually release the obstructions in a person’s mechanical structure that prevents them from moving towards the ideal structure their body was designed to have, free of deformity of life’s traumas.

How long does each FCR treatment take?

Functional Cranial Release (FCR) is scheduled to last about 15-30 minutes each treatment.

Should I eat before an FCR treatment?

It is best to eat only lightly before treatment. Sometimes treatment can feel very powerful, and it is more comfortable not to be full at that time.

What does FCR treatment involve or feel like?

Endonasal balloons are inflated in the nostrils for a few seconds and deflated. Basically, the endonasal balloons are inserted through the nostril into the top of the throat through one of the six passageways one at a time. The patient breathes through the mouth during the inflation. The inflating bulb is squeezed, pumping air into the balloon, and it puffs up in the nostril. As the air pressure in the balloon becomes greater, it presses outward against the bones inside the nose and upper throat. Eventually the pressure becomes great enough that the balloon forces its way into the top of the throat. At that instant the bony joints of the head are gently shifted and adjusted open for a moment, and the tensions stored in the connective tissues surrounding those areas are released. The bone structures of the head now shift. The treatment unlocks the binding pattern in the skeletal system (rather like creating an earthquake), and the body begins shifting its pattern of stabilization.

How does moving my sphenoid bone move all the other cranial bones?

Many are surprised to learn that there are separate bones of the skull. And they move!

In the cranial structure, the sphenoid bone sits in the center. It is in contact with almost all the other bones of the skull through its contact suture points, which interlock but are not supposed to be locked. It is impossible to move any single bone of the skull without moving the bones adjoining it, eventually affecting them all; this is like a rippling effect when you throw a pebble into a still pond. The sphenoid bone is the strongest, the most difficult to get manual contact with, the most difficult to move, the most resistant to change; it is placed deep into the skull and is well protected as it allows the brain to sit above it. Without moving the sphenoid bone, no other cranial bone movement can last. It is only by moving the sphenoid bone that all the bones of the head can be moved because of the sphenoid bone’s central location. And it is only by moving the sphenoid bone in a pattern that is correct, that the sphenoid bone can be moved in a lasting and meaningful way.

Why is there a specific neuromuscular bodywork before the balloons are used?

We may correct any spinal imbalance or use vibration to correct any structural or fascial restriction to enhance the FCR treatments.

Functional Cranial Release (FCR) care is a therapy technique that changes the entire structural system, including the bones and muscles. By using specific techniques, the tone of the muscular structure can be changed to allow a simpler skeletal alignment pattern. However, the bodywork alone is not sufficient to create long-lasting changes, because it treats only the muscles, and the balance pattern of the bones is the final factor in determining the chronic muscle tension and postural patterns.

Is there anything that might impede my progress with Functional Cranial Release (FCR) care?

Please avoid potentially traumatic activities and extremes in emotions or fatigue.

Any common daily activity that stresses the muscles or bones in an unusual manner can change the postural pattern, and before stability is achieved (after a treatment sequence) damage can occur. For example, if you are not a furniture mover, don’t begin moving furniture just after completing a series of treatments. If you normally walk three miles daily, then walk three miles daily—don’t decide to walk more because you’re feeling so good. Stay consistent so that your body can adapt easily.