What is CranioSacral Therapy?
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle form of manual therapy that uses a hands on technique to engage and support the bodies self healing mechanisms, improve resistance to dis-ease, relieve pain and improve whole body vitality and health. Extremely gentle yet profoundly powerful, this healing process can influence holding patterns of dis-ease which accumulate throughout life and release areas of tension; this includes addressing physical injury as well as psychological stress.
Craniosacral therapy (CST), also known as cranial osteopathy or cranial therapy is one of many osteopathic manual therapies; its concepts originated from American osteopath Dr William Sutherland and were further developed by osteopathic physician, John E. Upledger after years of research at Michigan State University.
This manual therapy is becoming increasingly in popularity for assisting pain management, rehabilitation, trauma and neurology through the gentle engagement of the bodies homeostatic mechanisms. Very light touch (generally no more than 5 grams or the weight of an American nickel) is placed on the skull, cranial sutures, membranous tissue, body diaphragms, fascia, sacrum and spine to detect imbalances with the cranial sacral rhythm, identify areas of tissue restrictions and release tension in the soft tissues surrounding the spine and central nervous system.
The practice of cranial sacral therapy is based on assessing the amplitude, character and rhythm of the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) fluctuating within the brain and spinal cord at approximately six to twelve cycles per minute. Dr. Upledger describes the craniosacral system as functioning like a hydraulic system, with all components working together to regulate the pressure of these fluids on the brain. The cranial bones and entire body are influenced by fluid pressure changes around the central nervous system. By using hand palpation, a cranial osteopathic practitioner can ‘listen’ and sense restrictions, lack of motion or weak motion and then facilitate a release of tension so the body can experience improved cerebral spinal flow and a return to optimal functioning.
The subtle touch of craniosacral therapy engages the bodies self correcting mechanisms and allows space for the body to realign, reset and re establish its natural vitality on its own accord. In the words of Dr William Sutherland Craniosacral therapy “allows the physiological function within to manifest its unerring potency, rather than the application of blind force from without”.
Craniosacral therapists and Manual Osteopathic Practitioners do not diagnose disease or practice medicine. If you have health symptoms requiring further investigation, please visit your medical doctor for a full diagnosis.
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