What is CranioSacral therapy?
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a way of assessing and treating the whole body by using very gentle/ light touch or palpation. It is a safe, non-intrusive, but potent hands-on therapy. The light touch enables restictions at a much deeper level to release. Often these restrictions, absorbed from general life’s knocks, become so embedded we become unconscious of them. Yet we keep getting repetitive aches, discomfort and unease physically, emotionally and in our general well-being.
The treatment is done fully clothed, usually lying down on the couch. As the whole body/mind system is held by the practitioner in a safe and comfortable manner, you are in control at all times. The body is invited to relax which allows the whole body/mind system an opportunity to release, restore and integrate into healthy function.
Often the area that is treated can be different from the area where symptoms are experienced because the body adapts to everyday stresses in an individual way. So it’s important to always treat with an open mind and to follow the tissue restrictions.
This type of treatment is unique as the therapist doesn’t “decide” what the problem is but rather “listens” to the body by tunning in to the tissues.
CranioSacral Therapy can help with relaxation, which is when the healing processes are optimized. It can improve your health, immunity and function. It can help with various chronic problems where pain and discomfort are the main complaints. Also, it aids with de-sensitisation, when hypersensitivity has been established and ordinary touch is difficult to tolerate. This form of therapy is suitable for most people, from new born babies to the elderly. For more info on the Upledger CranioSacral Therapy, click here.
In more detail…..
Craniosacral therapy affects the Central Nervous System, which in turn affects the whole body system. Our brain and spinal cord is bathed and protected by Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) and enclosed within membrane sacks. This whole unit has a faint pulsing rhythm within the body, known as the craniosacral rhythm (named by Dr Upledger after extensive scientific studies (1975-1983) at Michigan State University.) This rhythm, which runs at a different speed to the breathing rhythm and the heart rate rhythm, produces a movement which can be felt with a very light touch. Any restrictions within this system affect the natural flow of the rhythm. This can be felt during a treatment by the therapist. If a rhythm is strong, clear and symmetrical, the body is healthy. Restrictions make the rhythm feel weak, unclear and sometimes asymmetrical. A therapist can treat the restrictions and improve the flow and rhythm of the CSF, which in turn can improve most bodily functions.
What does a craniosacral treatment consists of?
The client is fully clothed and comfortable, usually lying down on the treatment couch. The therapist will assess the client’s body for where there may be some restrictions. These are then encouraged to release by using some gentle techniques. The client may feel a sense of softening, relaxing, sometimes a release of heat or cold when this happens. This can take place anywhere on the body, whether it be the head, spine, torso, pelvis, or any limb. At times during the session we may talk about the what is happening during the treatment but also a session may not involve any talking until the end. Appointments last approximately 1 hour.
The principle of CST is that the body is perfectly able to mend and repair itself, the therapist merely facilitates this process. A client’s body shows the therapist what needs to happen for change. Often it is at a part of the body very different to the area where the client is experiencing any problems. The body can cleverly adapt and compensate to issues within it, creating patterns of restrictions which can ripple from head to toe.
How can it help me?
CST can help with a wide range of problems of pain, discomfort and dysfunction:
Do you have stress, anxiety problems and perhaps insomnia?
Perhaps you grind your teeth, have face and jaw pain, problems with your TMJ? Did you ever wear a brace?
Have you any post-surgery restrictions?
Do you have any hormonal problems?
Does chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia or post-COVID problems affect you?
Do you have respiratory issues or digestive problems? Asthma, emphysema, IBS?
Neck pain, back pain, headaches and migraines?
Our busy daily lives means that our body has to deal with many stresses and strains for which it makes compensations in order to carry on working. This often means that the tissues within the body become restricted, nerves are affected, which results in a distortion of the CST rhythm and restricts the freedom for the spinal fluid to move through the membranes. These distortions can cause tension to develop around the system, around the brain and spinal cord, and by extension anywhere within the fascial network of the body.
This treatment can also involve an area known as SomatoEmotional Release, which helps to rid the mind and body from residual effects of trauma. Negative memories from the time of a trauma can be stored within the body tissues. Often physical restrictions will not release and heal effectively until an associated emotional component has released. The body tissues can be worked with at the same time as careful dialoguing to reframe any associated negative memories. This is a very effective way to properly release any chronic restrictions, which may have persisted for years as niggling pain, restrictions or emotional issues. CST is a very effective way of helping with PTSD; stress and anxiety and sleeping problems.
How many CranioSacral Therapy sessions will I need?
After a session there is occasionally a short period of adjustment as part of the healing process, when you may become more aware of symptoms. Some people report relief after only one or two sessions. For long standing issues further sessions may be needed. Some people find they benefit from regular treatments, noticing an improvement in physical and/or emotional symptoms and increased self-awareness. Response to CST varies from individual to individual and condition to condition. Your response is uniquely your own and can’t be compared to anyone else’s, even those cases that may appear to be similar to your own.
CST complements and stimulates the body’s natural healing processes. It has an ability to bolster resistance to disease and many people have begun to use it on a regular basis as a preventative health measure.
I am a certified CranioSacral Therapist from the Upledger Institute, UK.
I discovered CST and it’s powerful effects just a few years ago and have been training in this practice ever since. I am constantly amazed at what it can do and achieve, and feel very priviledged and excited to be able to use this practice with my clients. With regular treatments myself, I find each time presents a new and interesting piece of the body’s jigsaw.