What is Craniosacral Therapy?
Craniosacral therapy, or CST, is a gentle hands-on method that helps realign the body tissues, the bones, fascia, and muscles and helps the body to heal. The beauty of CST is that it is very gentle; it enables tensions and structural imbalances to unwind and drop away, allowing the body to heave a sigh of relief. The technique was developed by the late Dr John Upledger, osteopathic physician.
The cranial bones and underlying membranes move in relation to the production and absorption of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that surrounds and bathes the brain and spinal cord. CSF is produced in the ventricles of the brain and reabsorbed back into it.
This cycle of CSF production and reabsorption creates a palpable motion of the cranial bones; the subtle rhythmic flow of this fluid is a little like the breathing rhythm or cardiovascular rhythm. This tidal pulsing affects the lining of the vessel containing this fluid (the meninges), as well as the delicate nervous tissue housed within it (the brain and the spinal cord).
An important part of this approach (that is completely borne out in practice), is that it is the person’s body that knows exactly what to do in order to straighten out the above-mentioned kink itself, and all we are really doing is listening to what it needs, and helping it to do that!
The idea is to avoid trying to figure out what is wrong and then trying to fix it. This can mean that the area we treat is sometimes different from the area in which symptoms are experienced, as our bodies can be very clever in how they adapt to stresses and strains
What is different about the approach of practitioners in Upledger CST ?
Compared with other bodywork approaches, the main differences are that the touch/pressure used is much gentler, and that we do not aim to diagnose or fix anything from what our ‘head’ thinks needs to happen—or even where our clients say their problem is! Rather, we simply (it is, in fact, far from simple!) do our very best to ‘listen with our hands’ to a person’s body tissues and invite them to show us what they need to do. Osteopathic traditions have always believed that the body has an inherent self-healing mechanism, and we do our best to honour and access this at all times.
Who is Craniosacral Therapy for ?
For anyone who is looking for another direction from previous treatment they have had. The list is endless, but includes:
- Lower back pain
- Sacrum pain
- Tail bone issues
- Pelvis issues
- Post surgery
- Post-head injuries, concussions
What is a Craniosacral Therapy session like?
Treatments are done on a clothed body, with the receiver usually lying on their back on a treatment couch. If this is not comfortable, there may be an adaptable couch; they can turn on their side or even sit, if necessary. We may start at the feet or the head with our evaluative techniques, and this will help to figure out where the body needs us to start.
Receiving craniosacral therapy tends to be very relaxing and positively pleasurable (as is giving treatments!). Ignored or hidden problems are resolved as often as those for which help was initially sought.
Treatments usually last 45 minutes to an hour, although there are occasions when you may organise longer sessions with your therapist.
I am not taking on any new-born babies or any children under 10 years old for this work. I recommend you refer to CST Upledger for a trained professional who treats specifically new-born babies and young kids, especially if you want someone who specialises in cranial therapy.
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