Cranial Sacral Massage Therapy
What is Cranial Sacral Massage Therapy and What are the Benefits?
Cranial sacral therapy (also known as craniosacral therapy) is a gentle, noninvasive, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. It addresses the bones of the head, spinal column and sacrum. The goal is to release compression in those areas which alleviates stress and pain. This allows the cerebral spinal fluid to flow more freely bringing relief to the body.
Cranial sacral therapy seeks to restore the natural position of the bones and can decrease stress from chronic injuries as well as provide relief from migraine headaches, neck and back pain, temporomandibular joint disorder also known as TMJ (the inflammation of the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull) and more.
CST is noninvasive. It uses gentle pressure on the head, neck, and back to relieve the stress and pain caused by compression. Practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and it's effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.
Another part of the Cranial Sacral Massage Therapy is a scalp massage, which can be extremely relaxing and help move the lymph that is stuck in the scalp, thus bringing sinus relief. Many people don't realize we have muscles on our scalp. These muscles are responsible for making our facial expressions, and there can be a lot of tension there, especially when staring at a computer all day or when we are under a lot of stress. Not only that, but the scalp tends to get ignored on a daily basis. It's tension we're not usually aware of. Many people feel that tension melt away when their head is massaged.
CST was pioneered and developed by Osteopathic Physician John E. Upledger after years of clinical testing and research at Michigan State University where he served as professor of biomechanics.
It can, as a result, help to treat a number of conditions.
How does CranioSacral Therapy (CST) Work?
The central nervous system is heavily influenced by the craniosacral system - the membranes and fluid that surround, protect and nourish the brain and spinal cord.
Every day your body endures stresses and strains that it must work to compensate for. Unfortunately, these changes often cause body tissues to tighten and distort the craniosacral system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord resulting in restrictions. This can create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with.
Fortunately, such restrictions can be detected and corrected using simple methods of touch. Soft-touch techniques are then used to release restrictions in any tissues influencing the craniosacral system.
By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body's ability to self-correct, CranioSacral Therapy is able to alleviate a wide variety of dysfunctions, from chronic pain and sports injuries to stroke and neurological impairment.
What conditions does CranioSacral Therapy address?
- Migraines and Headaches
- Chronic Neck and Back Pain
- Stress and Tension-Related Disorders
- Motor-Coordination Impairments
- Infant and Childhood Disorders
- Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
- Chronic Fatigue
- TMJ Syndrome
- Central Nervous System Disorders
- Learning Disabilities
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Orthopedic Problems
- And Many Other Conditions
Is there any condition for which CST shouldn't be used?
There are certain situations where application of CST would not be recommended. These include conditions where a variation and/or slight increase in intracranial pressure would cause instability. Acute aneurysm, cerebral hemorrhage or other pre-existing severe bleeding disorders are examples of conditions that could be affected by small intracranial pressure changes.
How many CranioSacral Therapy sessions will I need?
Response to CST varies from individual to individual and condition to condition. Your response is uniquely your own and can't be compared to anyone else's - even those cases that may appear to be similar to your own. The number of sessions needed varies widely - from just one up to three or more a week over the course of several weeks.