Craniosacral therapy (CST) was developed in the 1970s by John Upledger, a doctor of osteopathy, as a form of cranial osteopathy.
Craniosacral Therapy is a non-invasive, hands-on therapy that aims to enhance the body’s own healing capabilities.
It consists of light manual manipulation of the bones of the head where there is a dysfunction/imbalance or injury. This technique brings the cranial bones, sutures, membranes or other soft tissue restrictions in the body to their normal mobility and function to relieve pain.
CranioSacral Therapy has proven to be a powerful complement to massage therapy in addressing chronic pain. While massage can effectively address abnormal somatic patterns through the musculoskeletal system, CST approaches somatic disturbances through the craniosacral, fascial and central nervous systems.
Cranial sacral therapy with osteopath Vadzim Siniauski
Through the gentle manipulation of the bones in the skull and spine the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the central nervous system can be normalized. As a result, “blockages” from the normal flow are removed. And this enhances the body’s ability to heal.
What is craniosacral system?
The craniosacral system consists of the membranes and fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord, as well as the attached bones. When there is an imbalance in your craniosacral system, your brain and spinal cord suffer.
In general, craniosacral therapy is based on the theory that there are subtle movements of the bones of the skull which are a direct reflection of the fluctuations of the cerebrospinal fluid. This movement extends throughout the entire body through the fluid pressure changes surrounding the central nervous system and all of its attachments to the skeleton.
In short, Cranial Sacral Therapy is a method of examination and treatment which has been devised to correct problems which affect this very important and vital system.
What conditions does craniosacral therapy address?
Cranial sacral therapy can be used for people of all ages. It may be part of your treatment for conditions like:
- migraines and headaches
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- disturbed sleep cycles and insomnia
- sinus infections
- neck pain
- recurrent ear infections or colic in infants
- TMJ syndrome
- trauma recovery, including trauma from whiplash
- mood disorders like anxiety or depression
- difficult pregnancies
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- orthopaedic problems
How does craniosacral therapy work?
Actually, there are many positive treatment effects of cranial massage therapy all aimed at improving mobility and reducing pain in the body. They include:
- Improving mobility of the bones and joints of the head, spine and tailbone
- Eases restrictions around nerves allowing them to move optimally
- Ensures proper myofascial mobility in the body (decreasing tension)
- Calms and balances the central nervous system
- Restores membrane mobility surrounding the brain and spinal cord
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 column. Craniosacral massage techniques are then used to release restrictions in any tissues influencing the craniosacral system.
What can I expect from a craniosacral therapy (CST) session?
The treatment session begins with a consultation with your trained therapist to identify troubled areas. Soft music and low lighting are often used to increase your state of relaxation.
The massage therapists use gentle pressure techniques to assess the existence of possible disruptions and/or restrictions in your fascial system. Light touch and fascial release may help your muscles and organs naturally relieve stress, which improves function. Other patients often report feeling a sense of deep relaxation.