Nasal Cranial Release

nasalNasal Cranial Release is a powerful physical technique that adjusts the bones of the skull. This was developed by Dr. J. R. Stober of Portland, OR in the 1930s. The procedure uses a small finger cot affixed to an inflatable device and inserted into the nasal passages. The balloon inflation presses outward against the bones lining the breathing passage and adjusts the sutures of the skull, particularly the sphenoid.

This ultimately relieves the forces that have gone into the skull by releasing any impactions in the cranial sutures. Adjusting these bones of the skull re-establishes the flow of cerebral spinal fluid to the brain and spinal column.

One of the confusions of this therapy are the multitude of names for it—Endonasal Technique, Nasal Release Technique, Bilateral Nasal Specific Technique, Functional Cranial Release, and Neurocranial Release. These have all been used to describe the procedure.

How does the procedure work?

Our body is in constant search for balance. When a concussion occurs or other traumas, the bones of the skull are impacted by force. When the skull is not in proper alignment, the rest of the body will attempt to compensate by changing the way we move. This can create poor posture, breathing, chronic pain, and even depression. Placing the bones in better alignment allows for optimal blood flow to the brain and spinal cord and neuro-transmitter activity throughout the central nervous system.

What can I expect from a treatment?

Nasal Cranial Release consists of 5-10 balloon insertions into the six nasal passages. A finger cot is tied to a blood pressure bulb to inflate the cot. The bulb has a trigger to release the inflation. The finger cot is lubricated, and then placed into the nostril. The patient breathes out through the nose while the cot is placed in the nasal passageway. The nostril is lightly compressed against the valve of the pressure bulb so that no air can escape. The patient takes a deep breath and holds it. The finger cot is then gently inflated, making its way through the nasopharynx, widening it. The finger cot is inserted into the lower portion of the nose on both sides, then the middle portion, then the upper portion. It is then repeated in the lower portion again to balance the procedure (the lowest is usually the tightest one).

The process is not usually painful, because only one inflation of the balloon in the passageways is performed the first time. When this is tolerated, more inflation is performed. With the procedure, pressure is felt in the nose and inside the head. Many times clicks and pops are felt in the bones of the head.


  • Concussion and other head injuries.

The longer concussions continue without being treated, the more symptoms crop up, the more pain the person is in, and the longer it takes to resolve in treatment later. It is imperative that athletes, military servicemen, and other jobs that make the head susceptible to injury be treated in a timely fashion with Nasal Cranial Release.

  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Glaucoma, double vision and other vision problems
  • Headaches, head pressure, migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Low energy, Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue
  • Muscle spasms, neck and shoulder pain
  • Poor concentration and focus
  • PTSD
  • Seizures
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • TMJ (mouth, head and jaw pains)
  • Vertigo and other balance problems
  • Whiplash Syndrome

Symptoms that may respond to Therapy

  • Headache or facial pain/pressure
  • Congestion or fullness
  • Vertigo
  • Balance Problems
  • Snoring or Sleep Apnea
  • Seizures
  • Breathing Problems
  • TMJ (mouth, head and jaw pains)
  • Nasal obstruction or blockage
  • Loss of smell
  • Types of Sinusitis
  • Neck Pain
  • Ringing in the Ears


  1. Caution should be taken with patients who might have “bleeding disorders” or taking anticoagulant mediations, and they might not be a good candidate for this procedure
  2. Patients with prior nasal or facial bone surgery, especially with modification of the turbinates are not good candidates for nasal specific because the integrity of the structures is unpredictable.
  3. There has been at least one case reported where an asthma attack was initiated by the nasal specific procedure. [S. Oliver noted this from his private practice experience] It was suggested therefore as a precaution; the clinician should be assured that the patients with a history of asthma have their inhaler with them when they are going to undergo this therapy.

The therapist performs an extensive medical history check before attempting this procedure and will refrain from it, if any contraindications are present.

Possible Side Effects

  1. Epistaxis, or nose bleed, can result from the Nasal Cranial Release
  2. Minor soreness over the maxillary-zygomatic or inter-maxillary articulations, tenderness of the nasal passage regions, a tingling feeling in the central maxillary incisors, and mild soreness of the gums is possible. In some cases, these mild symptoms persist, though diminishing, for up to several days. Infrequently, a patient might experience a headache after treatment.
  3. Throat irritation due to increased drainage from sinuses may also happen following Nasal Specific Technique although this is temporary and goes away in a short time. Draining of the sinuses is a common side effect from this procedure, and we haven’t found these other possible side effects in our patients. Some people are very tight and feel uncomfortable during, but all have reported feeling better afterwards. The therapist attempts to gradually open the nasal passageways with multiple treatments to prevent a traumatic Nasal Cranial Release experience.

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