Cranial osteopathy is a practice based on the theory that proper structure in the body leads to better overall health and function. This practice gently manipulates a patient’s cranial and facial bones to treat specific issues, obtain realignment, and advance overall health. ALF (Advanced Lightwire Functionals) is an orthodontic treatment that uses these principles of cranial osteopathy to achieve several health and quality of life outcomes for patients. This non-traditional orthodontic treatment came into practice in 1983 when r. Darick Nordstrom introduced it to the orthodontic field.
Nordstrom did not intend for his appliance to be as beneficial to other health issues as it became. Soon after implementation he began to realize his patients were gaining relief from a variety of conditions he had not meant to treat. It became obvious that patient’s with impaired craniosacral motion saw the most benefit from the ALF Appliance. This motion can be limited due to head injuries, trauma from birth, poorly positioned jaws, tooth abrasion and tooth loss without denture replacements. Cranial strain results due to impaired craniosacral motion causing the body compensate in other ways. This compensation leads to problems in other areas. This is where the ALF Appliance is most beneficial.
ALF Appliance boasts in the ability to treat many common health conditions that are generally ignored yet disrupt quality of life. Fatigue, headaches, PMS, neck and back pain, vision issues, clenching or grinding teeth, allergies, digestive disorders, ringing or humming in the ears, and developmental delays are some of the most common health issues Nordstrom’s patients saw an improvement in and which patient’s still see improvement today.
With advances in research since the onset of this treatment physicians are able to use it to correct specific health issues. These include sleep apnea, TMJ disorders, teeth misalignment, swallowing issues, improper dental arch positioning, speech impediment, and cranial bone realignment.
Each patient seeing treatment with an ALF Appliance is fitted with a is a removable appliance that is customized to their anatomy and specific needs. The appliance is constructed of flexible wire and is generally worn for 1-3 years. It is a discreet and removable appliance that extends from one molar to the other.