What is Craniosacral Therapy ?
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. It was pioneered and developed by Osteopathic Physician John E. Upledger after years of clinical testing and research at Michigan State University where he served as professor of biomechanics.
Using a soft touch which is generally no greater than 5 grams – about the weight of a nickel – practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and it’s effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.
How Does CranioSacral Therapy Work?
Few structures have as much influence over the body’s ability to function properly as the brain and spinal cord that make up the central nervous system. And, the central nervous system is heavily influenced by the craniosacral system – the membranes and fluid that surround, protect and nourish the brain and spinal cord.
Every day your body endures stresses and strains that it must work to compensate for. Unfortunately, these changes often cause body tissues to tighten and distort the craniosacral system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord resulting in restrictions. This can create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with.
Fortunately, such restrictions can be detected and corrected using simple methods of touch. With a light touch, the CST practitioner uses his or her hands to evaluate the craniosacral system by gently feeling various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord. Soft-touch techniques are then used to release restrictions in any tissues influencing the craniosacral system.
By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct, CranioSacral Therapy is able to alleviate a wide variety of dysfunctions, from chronic pain and sports injuries to stroke and neurological impairment.
What Conditions does CranioSacral Therapy address?
- Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury
- Migraines and Headaches
- Chronic Neck and Back Pain
- Stress and Tension-Related Disorders
- Motor-Coordination Impairments
- Infant and Childhood Disorders
- Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
- Chronic Fatigue
- TMJ Syndrome
- Central Nervous System Disorders
- Learning Disabilities
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Orthopedic Problems
- And Many Other Conditions
Craniosacral Therapy is becoming a treatment of choice in areas of pain, rehabilitation and neurology. Also called CST, or cranial osteopathy, it is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on technique, developed by an American osteopathic physician almost one hundred years ago.
CST theory and practice is based on understanding the continuous subtle movements of the cranial bones, which result in a rhythm of approximately six to twelve cycles per minute. This rhythm is understood as a response to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fluctuations within the spinal cord and brain environment. The subtle movement extends outward to the entire body, in response to the fluid pressure changes around the Central Nervous System.
A therapist gently works with the whole body including the spine and the skull, and its cranial sutures, diaphragms, and fascia. By using the hands as fine discriminating tools, Craniosacral therapists are able to detect disturbances in the cranial sacral rhythm to help them identify areas of dysfunction, such as cranial, sutural, membrane and other soft tissue restrictions in the body.
Clients remain clothed during a treatment and treatments generally are one hour long.
A treatment works in the following ways:
- Helps restore normal cranial mobility
- Releases abnormal myofascial restrictions and tensions in the body
- Releases abnormal restrictions in the head
- Eases restrictions of nerves
- Optimizes cerebrospinal fluid movement through the central nervous system
- Helps restore misaligned bones to their proper positions (assisting troubles associated with the head, back, neck, hips, shoulders, arms, hands, knees and feet)
Mike integrates craniosacral therapy into many of his treatments in which includes but is not limited to concussions whiplash or neck injuies.