What is craniosacral therapy?
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a bodywork that helps relieve compression in the bones of the head, spinal column, and sacrum or the triangular bone located in the lower back to stimulate and enhance the body's own natural healing processes. CST uses gentle pressure on the craniosacral system to relieve the pain and stress caused by compression. In addition, it can be used to help treat some conditions.
CST was developed by osteopathic physician John Upledger in the 1970s as a form of cranial osteopathy.
What is craniosacral therapy used for?
CST has been used to help address various physical and psychological conditions. The movement of the spinal fluid is believed to create a vital body rhythm which is important to good health and general well-being.
It is thought that the gentle manipulation of the bones can help normalize the flow of cerebrospinal fluid within the central nervous system. This eliminates the blockages from the normal flow and improves the ability of the human body to heal.
The Upledger Institute, a healthcare resource center, has listed the various conditions that are suitable for treatment with CST:
- Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia
- Central Nervous System Disorders
- Chronic Fatigue
- Chronic Neck and Back Pain
- Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Emotional Difficulties
- Fibromyalgia and other Connective-Tissue Disorders
- Infantile Disorders
- Learning Disabilities
- Migraine Headaches
- Motor-Coordination Impairments
- Neurovascular or Immune Disorders
- Orthopedic Problems
- Post-Surgical Dysfunction
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Stress and Tension-Related Problems
- Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
What happens during Craniosacral therapy
CST is a non-invasive therapy that works with the entire structure, physiology, mind and spirit. During a CST session, the client usually lies on a massage table and the therapist will work through light clothing. CST is very gentle and profoundly relaxing and typically lasts between 40 to 60 minutes.
The practitioner uses five grams of pressure and will gently hold the client’s feet, head, or sacrum to listen to their subtle rhythms. If they identified that it’s needed, the practitioner may gently press or reposition the client to normalize the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid.
During the treatment, the sensations felt by people receiving it are different. Some of these include:
- Falling asleep
- Sensing pulsations
- Feeling deeply relaxed
- Having a numbing "pins and needles" sensation
- Having a hot or cold sensation
Health benefits of craniosacral therapy
CST helps boost general well-being, improve the quality of sleep, reduce stress, increase energy, and improve the overall functioning of all the organs in the body. Additionally, it can be used to benefit people who are suffering from hyperactivity, cerebral palsy, dyslexia or stress related problems.