The first time I heard of craniosacral therapy, I was working at a local gym. One of my co-workers had an adopted son who had been a shaken baby. This caused him to be blind and autistic, among other things.
Because of his conditions, he was always moving and shaking. As an observer, I felt exhausted just from watching him! His body was never still. He was never at rest!
One day, one of the gym members stopped to talk to my co-worker. The member was a massage therapist who practiced craniosacral massage. She talked to my co-worker about it, and they decided to meet up to see if my co-worker’s son would respond to the therapy.
After only a session or two, my co-worker noticed that her son had more stillness and calmness. The craniosacral massage offered a way to relax and restore his central nervous system, even if just for a short time.
Since this initial experience, I have read of other parents who have successfully used craniosacral therapy to help their autistic children. That being said, it does not work for everyone.
It is important to note that many alleged benefits of craniosacral therapy have not been scientifically verified. Please consult your doctor before beginning any new health program or starting new treatments.
What is craniosacral therapy?
In the 1930s, Dr. William Garner Sutherland, D.O. created cranial osteopathy. He discovered that the small bones that make up the skull have a slight amount of movement at the joint. This discovery inspired Dr. John Upledger, D.O. to create craniosacral therapy (CST) in the 1970s.
Craniosacral therapy is a type of bodywork where gentle pressure is applied to the skull, spine, and sacrum (tailbone) to generate small adjustments.
“Craniosacral therapy is intended to increase and normalize the flow of cerebrospinal fluid through the bones of the head, the spine and the pelvis, thereby restoring health to sufferers of a range of health conditions. Like traditional Chinese medicine, the healing method aims to remove blockages in healthy flow, which result in the manifestation of disease. However, instead of working energetically, craniosacral therapy works with the tissues and fluids surrounding the central nervous system.”
Benefits of Craniosacral Therapy
Craniosacral therapy can:
- alleviate stress and pain in the head, spine, and sacrum.
- decrease stress from chronic injuries.
- help relieve migraines.
- improve TMJ pain.
- reduce neck and back pain.
- help improve sleep.
- reduce depression.
- improve chronic fatigue.
While many of these benefits don’t have scientific backing, some do. In a 2009 study of individuals with fibromyalgia, participants noticed a significant improvement in pain, quality of life, sleep quality and anxiety after 25 weeks of craniosacral therapy. Another study of individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) found that regular craniosacral therapy relieved the lower urinary tract symptoms and improved the patients’ quality of life considerably.
Craniosacral Therapy Video
Here is a video explaining and demonstrating craniosacral therapy.
Have you ever had craniosacral therapy done? If so, what did you think? Let us know in the comments below.
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