What is CranioSacral Therapy?
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system.
The craniosacral system maintains the environment in which the central nervous system functions. It consists of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord, extending from the bones of the skull, face and mouth (which make up the cranium) down to the tailbone area.
The role of this system in the development and performance of the brain and spinal cord is so essential that an imbalance or dysfunction in it can cause sensory, motor and/or neurological disabilities.
Craniosacral Therapy works by helping the body's natural healing force release the negative effects of stress on the central nervous system. Using a soft touch, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.
Dr. William Sutherland, Cranial Osteopath, wrote:
"Within the cerebrospinal fluid there is an invisible element that I refer to as the Breath of Life. I want you to visualize this Breath of Life as a fluid within the fluid, something that has potency as the thing which makes it move. Visualize a potency, an intelligent potency, that is more intelligent than your human mentality. It is something you can depend on to do the work for you."
While Craniosacral Therapy focuses on helping the cranial rhythm flow freely through the head, spine and pelvis, it is effective in relieving painful or restricted conditions anywhere in the body and is used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease.
"Only after the cerebrospinal fluid current is established, is there a beneficial reaction to any application of therapy. It is the energy current which does the healing."
-Dr. Randolph Stone, founder of Polarity Therapy
The deeply relaxed feeling that many people experience when receiving a craniosacral treatment provides the perfect opportunity for them to access clarity and a sense of well-being within themselves. This deep connection to ones self empowers people to move into their life in a new way, in a clear and hopeful way, a stress-free and relaxed way.
In simple terms, if the cranial bones are not in their proper position, then the brain and central nervous system cannot be in their proper position. The hormonal system cannot perform optimally. Even though the cranial bones move only half the thickness of a sheet of writing paper, the human head is so delicate and so suffused with vital nerve pathways, that even slight deformations of a bone movement or position can produce physical or psychological symptoms, and often both.
When the cranial wave is distorted it also consumes or diverts a disproportionate amount of energy, lowers the strength of the immune system, and increases the likelihood of chronic states like depression becoming intractable. When the cranial rhythm or wave is optimized, we feel whole, we feel wonderful.
In addition, this core place within your body is a place where your soul can be heard and responded to. Having a Craniosacral Therapy session with a skilled practitioner is a gently facilitated inner journey to the deeper, often mysterious realms of your self, the home deep within you. The session can become a place where you, the client, are honored, deeply respected and heard ~ by yourself as well as by the practitioner. By connecting to your deepest heart, your soul will remember itself and fill you with a new vitality. This creates healing.
While your central nervous system does its job of releasing stress, and your spine is bathed in a healing ocean of craniosacral fluid, you are reconnected to your divinity. Connecting to this part of ourselves in everyday life is the most sacred gift we can give our self. This is a journey into the body where we listen to its story, its wisdom, and bring back the messages from our deepest self to integrate and heal on a physical and emotional level.
How does CranioSacral Therapy work?
Like the pulse of the seasons, the oceans' tide, our breath, our deepest heart, the craniosacral system has a rhythm that can be felt throughout the body. Using a very gentle touch, a skilled practitioner can monitor and evaluate this rhythm at key listening stations in the body to discover the source of a restriction in the system. Once a source has been determined, they can assist the natural movement of the fluid and related soft tissue to help the body self-correct. This simple action is often all it takes to remove a restriction.
What conditions can CranioSacral Therapy help?
Because of its influence on the functioning of the central nervous system, CranioSacral Therapy benefits the body in a number of ways. It strengthens overall health and resistance to disease and alleviates a wide range of specific physical, mental and emotional conditions.
Among Craniosacral Therapy's largest patient groups are those suffering chronic symptoms that haven't been aided by other approaches. In particular, those with head, neck or back injuries have found great relief. The extremely light touch involved in the application of this therapy makes it a safe approach, as well, for children, infants and newborns with early traumas, including birth trauma. They especially can benefit from the timely identification and release of restrictions in the craniofacial system, thereby preventing future difficulties such as learning disabilities or hyperactivity.
Another area of principal effectiveness is with stress-related dysfunctions:
Temperomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)
Other conditions for which Craniosacral Therapy has shown to be effective are sensory disorders such as:
Eye-motor coordination problems
Loss of taste or smell
Craniosacral Therapy is a valuable way of treating Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is highly effective in assisting the return of mental clarity and vital energy after a life-crisis.
It is also sought out by those who are perfectly healthy as a meditative and calming experience.