CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a light-touch manual approach that enhances the body’s natural healing capabilities. For nearly 30 years is has been shown to be effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and loss of function. CST is useful as both a primary treatment method and combined with other traditional or complementary techniques.
The CranioSacral Therapy practitioner works with the patient to assist the body’s self-correcting mechanisms. Generally using about five grams of pressure, or about the weight of a nickel, the practitioner evaluates the body’s CranioSacral system. This system plays a vital role of maintaining the environment in which the central nervous system functions. It consists of the membranes and fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord as well as the attached bones – including the skull, face and mouth, which make up the cranium, and the tailbone area, or sacrum. Since the brain and spinal cord are contained within the central nervous system, it is easy to see that the CranioSacral system has powerful influence over a wide variety of bodily functions.
The CranioSacral Therapy practitioner essentially helps the body release restrictions – which it has been unable to overcome on its own – that inhibit the body’s normal, self-correcting tendencies. Rather than deciding how these changes should be made, the therapist follows cues from the body on how to proceed. When the therapist follows this gentle approach, the method is extremely safe and effective. The few contraindications to CST are aneurysm, intracranial hemorrhage, and other conditions where altering intracranial fluid is not recommended.
CST has been shown to alleviate a wide range of conditions, including traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, migraine headaches, chronic fatigue, motor-coordination impairments, chronic neck and back pain, scoliosis, central nervous system disorders, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), stress and tension-related problems, and orthopedic problems. While the focus of CST is to uncover the source of the problem, symptom relief also is achieved. The length of time and number of sessions needed is extremely variable and depends, among other factors, on the complex layers of injury and trauma that may mask the original cause of the problem as well as the body’s defense mechanisms. Due to its gentleness and effectiveness, many people include CST as a component in their personal wellness programs. They report having more energy, sleeping better and being sick less often.
CranioSacral Massage Therapy is an integration of CranioSacral therapy, gentle massage therapy, and osteopathic techniques. Depending on what your body is presenting, a session may address restrictions within the CranioSacral system (dura, cranium, and spine), ligaments, joints, fascia, muscles, and viscera.