Most practitioners just call it CS. The C, cranio, refers to the cranial vault also known as the skull. The S, sacral, refers to the sacrum; the triangle-shaped bone at the end of the spine. The cranium and sacrum are bones, but the focus of CS therapy is the nervous system protected by those bones. If the nervous system isn’t happy, no “body” is happy!
Bone doctors, or osteopaths, discovered that the bones of the skull never fully fuse. In between the bones are the sutures where blood supply and nerves have been found in connective tissue. These sutures not only allow for small movement, but use the movement to cue the production of cerebral spinal fluid. The fluid is produced in the cranium and flows through the Dural tube – which encases the spinal cord – to the sacrum, and then back up to be reabsorbed and reproduced which creates a rhythm. To trained hands, this rhythm can be felt anywhere on the body. It is this rhythm and the movement of soft tissues under the CS practitioner’s hands that inform and guide the therapist to treat areas that are limited in flow. When there is limited flow, then the nervous system is affected and even brain function can be impaired. The typical things that can cause limited flow and disruption of the rhythm are falls involving the pelvic bone (falling off a horse, or down stairs), migraine headaches, concussions, car accidents, surgeries of the spine or brain, or some neurological issues.
A gentle, noninvasive form of alternative medicine that deals with the movement of the fluid surrounding the skull and spine. The technique includes very light pressure and manipulation of the bones of the head working down the spine to the sacrum.
This is not to be mistaken with any kind of chiropractic maneuvers. There is only 5 grams of pressure used. The less pressure the better. This therapy improves the functioning of the central nervous system which is the very core of our bodies.
By complementing the body’s natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction, including:
- Migraine Headaches
- Chronic Neck and Back Pain
- Emotional Difficulties
- Chronic Fatigue
- Stress and tension related problems
- Fibromyalgia and connective tissue disorders
- Immune Disorders
- Post surgical dysfunciton
CranioSacral Therapy is the product of research begun in the 1970’s by Dr. John Upledger which continues today at the Upledger Institute. This therapy uses a light touch to achieve deep results. CranioSacral (CS) works to restore nervous system function throughout the body. By improving nerve communication, well-being is promoted. A good CS practitioner can feel the rhythm of spinal fluid flowing from the cranium (skull) to the sacrum (bottom of the spine) and back again. The quality of this rhythm informs the therapist where there is weakness or restrictions to nerve functionality. Impaired nerves can create pain like sciatica or organ problems like irritable bowel syndrome. Nerve input can be too much in autism or sensory sensitivities and PTSD or too little as in neuropathy and limited mobility. People have used craniosacral therapy to improve balance, learning and focus, symptoms of autism, asperger syndrome, sensory processing disorders, anxiety attacks, damage to the spinal cord from injury, surgery, spinal taps, epidurals, concussions, traumatic brain injuries, chiari malformation, cerebral palsey, parkinsons disease, chronic pain, headaches, sciatica, TMJ, and the list goes on. For a CS session, wear comfortable clothes, allowing movement and touch.