What Is CranioSacral Therapy?
CranioSacral Therapy (or CST) is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system — comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.
By complementing the body’s natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction, including Migraine Headaches, Chronic Neck and Back Pain, Chronic Fatigue, Stress and Tension-Related Problems, and some Spinal injuries and degenerative conditions.
How Does CranioSacral Therapy Work?
Few body systems have more influence over your health and well-being than your central nervous system. And few body systems have more impact on your central nervous system than the CranioSacral system – the soft tissues and fluid that protect your brain and spinal cord. Every day your body absorbs the stresses and strains that are part of modern life. But your body can only handle so much tension before the tissues begin to tighten, eventually affecting the brain and spinal cord, which can compromise the function of the central nervous system. That can impair the performance of nearly every other system in your body.
CST releases deep tensions to allow the entire body to relax and self-correct. By freeing the central nervous system to perform at its best, CST naturally eliminates pain and stress, strengthens your immune system, and enhances your health and well-being. CranioSacral Therapy can help relieve pain, release restrictions in movement, and provide lasting relief from emotional distress to improve overall quality of life. This gentle, yet profound, treatment addresses the central nervous system, which in turn affects the rest of the body’s systems, soft tissues and the body’s energy fields.
CranioSacral Therapy improves your body’s ability to take better care of you. It helps relieve a full spectrum of pain, illness, and dysfunction, including:
- Migraines and Headaches
- Chronic Neck and Back Pain
- Stress and Tension Related Disorders
- Motor-Coordination Impairments
- Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
- TMJ Syndrome
- Central Nervous System Disorders
- Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
- Learning Disabilities
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Orthopedic Problems
- And Many Other Conditions
What should I expect during my CranioSacral Therapy Session?
CranioSacral Therapy is a subtle but deep therapy. You will lie, fully clothed, on a massage table, while your practitioner works both over and under your body, providing gentle pressure, gentle traction and subtle movements to release tensions deep within your body. Most of the work will be on your head, neck and sacrum. Your therapist will use delicate manual techniques to release tensions and improve the form and function of your central nervous system. These techniques include gently “sandwiching” your body, and gentle pressure and traction to your head and your sacrum. Your therapist will integrate your system with gentle motions involving both sacrum and cranium.
A CranioSacral Therapy session can last up to an hour or more. It can be used alone, or integrated with other therapies to create powerful effects. What you experience from your own session is highly individual. but every sessions is deeply relaxing.
The changes you experience during your session are only beginning. Things may continue to continue moving and shifting for 24 hours after the session. Drinking plenty of water will facilitate the process.
What is it that CranioSacral Therapy is Affecting?
Dr. John Upledger and a team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists and bioengineers developed CranioSacral Therapy after the discovery that there is a pulse in the cerebrospinal system, and that human cranial bones are not, as previously thought, fused.Upledger learned that the pulse in the cerebrospinal system is caused by the cyclic increase and decrease in the amount of cerebrospinal fluid in the system. That cycle creates a cycle of expansion and contraction of the skull.
When tensions in our bodies get severe enough, they begin to impact the connective tissues in our brains, restricting the skull’s ability to expand and contract naturally. This, in turn, affects the nervous system in a myriad of ways. CranioSacral Therapy releases restrictions in those tissues, allowing the skull to move freely.