What is CranioSacral Therapy?
Craniosacral therapy takes a whole-person approach to healing. The interconnections of mind, body, and spirit are acknowledged, as well as how the body reflects experiences and retains the memory of trauma. It is a highly effective form of treatment for a wide range of illnesses, helping to create the optimal conditions for health, encouraging vitality and facilitating a sense of well-being in the body. CST is suitable for people of all ages, including babies, children and the elderly, and can be effective in acute or chronic cases.
A Natural Approach
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. It’s effective for a wide range of health issues including:
- Migraine Headaches
- Chronic Neck and Back Pain
- Motor-Coordination Impairments
- Central Nervous System Disorders
- Orthopedic Problems
- Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
- Infantile Disorders
- Learning Disabilities
- Chronic Fatigue
- Emotional Difficulties
- Stress and Tension-Related Problems
- Fibromyalgia and other Connective-Tissue Disorders
- Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
- Neurovascular or Immune Disorders
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Post-Surgical Dysfunction
Where it all Began
The presence of a subtle rhythmic motion in the body was discovered by osteopath Dr. William Garner Sutherland about 100 years ago. After he had a remarkable insight while examining the sutures of disarticulated cranial bones. Contrary to popular belief, Dr. Sutherland realized that cranial sutures were, in fact, designed for movement. He undertook many years of research during which he demonstrated the existence of this motion and concluded that it is produced by the body’s inherent life force, which he called the Breath of Life. Dr. Sutherland realized the motion of cranial bones is closely connected to an integrated network of tissues and fluids at the core of the body that includes the motion of cerebrospinal fluid, the brain and spinal cord, the membranes surrounding the central nervous system and the sacrum.
CST was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger following extensive scientific studies from 1975 to 1983 at Michigan State University in Detroit, where he was a clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics.
However, the body becomes patterned according to how our intrinsic resources of health are able to deal with any stresses that we may experience. Any unresolved tensions, strains, and traumas create sites of inertia in the body which may accumulate over time. These sites affect the natural expression of primary respiratory motion and so hinder our ability to function. Common causes of inertia are physical injuries, emotional and psychological stresses, birth trauma and toxicity. The body thus becomes a unique expression of our health, history, and conditioning. As a result of unresolved inertia, events are imprinted in the tissues like video tape which may keep replaying whenever stimulated.
Through the development of subtle palpatory skills, the CranioSacral practitioner can read the story of the body by sensing the patterns and qualities of primary respiratory motion. The intention in CranioSacral therapy is to help free any areas of inertia so that the ordering forces of the Breath of Life find expression in the tissues. When this happens, it is marked by the restoration of balance and symmetry in primary respiratory motion and a return to normal functioning.
A Gentle Approach
CST is a hands-on approach that involves “listening with the fingers” to the body’s subtle rhythms and any patterns of inertia and congestion. The emphasis of treatment is to encourage and enhance the body’s own self-healing and self-regulating capabilities, even in acute resistances and pathologies.
CST treatments are very gentle and non-invasive. Subtle suggestions are introduced through the practitioner’s hands to help restore balance in areas that have been affected by inertia by releasing restrictions in the CranioSacral system. It improves the functioning of the central nervous system and assists the body in resolving patterns of disorder.