Functional Cranial Release



What is Functional Cranial Release (FCR)?


FCR is a combination of functional neurological assessments and treatments as taught by Dr. John Lieurance, DC. These assessments and treatments can be used to help determine the cause of certain ailments (especially those relating to the sinuses, jaw, teeth, eyes, brain and dizziness) and assist in resolving them.


What types of assessments are done?


FCR testing is gentle and non-invasive. Tests involve different eye movements (e.g. looking back and forth between different points to look for eye movement irregularities), balance tests, gait analysis, and cranial (skull) bone assessments.


What types of treatments are used?


  • Eye Exercises: these will be taught in the office and you can repeat them at home. This helps to build new nervous system pathways to improve brain health and overall neurological function.


  • Neuromusculoskeletal work: release of tight muscles, realignment of displaced cranial bones and stimulation of the peripheral nervous system is done in office.


  • Endonasal balloon adjustments: small balloon is inserted into a specific location in the nasal cavity and slowly inflated. The pressure of the balloon realigns the sphenoid bone (the “keystone” bone of the skull) into proper position. This treatment is the most direct acting component of FCR therapy.



What is FCR treatment doing for my body?


FCR treatments can achieve several goals:


  • Improved blood flow to the brain which can help memory, reduce brain fog, promote learning and facilitate healing of the nervous system.


  • Correct cranial structure misalignments. Cranial misalignments can put undue pressure on structures in the brain, contribute to head pressure/headaches, promote sinus and dizziness issues and potentially throw off skeletal alignment in other parts of the body, especially the neck.


  • Build new neural connections in the brain through the eye exercises. These can “wake up” unused or under used parts of the brain, allowing for better cognitive (“thinking”) function overall.


Are the balloon adjustments safe? Uncomfortable?


Endonasal balloon adjustments are generally safe if performed by a trained doctor on appropriate patients. Not every patient is a good candidate for FCR, so screening questions and testing are always done before an adjustment is made.


The endonasal balloon adjustments are not comfortable to experience. A good deal of pressure builds up in the nose before the release occurs, however once the adjustment is over (takes 10 seconds or less) the discomfort quickly recedes. FCR treatments are always started with a mild adjustment (meaning less pressure) to ensure they are being tolerated.


What conditions is FCR beneficial for?


Anyone with a human brain might benefit! Indeed generally healthy patients often report feeling better cognitive function, brighter vision and overall improved sense of well being. Pathologies that might benefit include:




-sleep apnea

-chronic/recurring sinus issues



-neurological disorders (Parkinson’s, MS, ALS, Alzheimer’s, etc.)

-brain fog

-dental misalignments

-neck pain

-traumatic brain injury (TBI)

-post-concussion syndrome


To learn more, please visit Dr. Lieurance website at



© 2012 by Dr. Bryan Rade ND and Dr. Taryn Deering ND