Craniosacral Therapy is becoming much better known these days. It is based on a number of discoveries about the body’s subtle physiology made by osteopaths in the USA more than a 100 years ago. These discoveries show that every cell in a healthy body expresses a rhythmic movement that is fundamental to life. This has been called craniosacral motion. At the core of the body, the cerebrospinal fluid, which bathes and cushions the brain and spinal cord, expresses this motion in a tide-like ebb and flow, while bones, organs and other structures in the body each follow their own particular pattern of movement.
This motion is so subtle that it is barely measurable with instruments, but the hands of a trained therapist are able to perceive it. Craniosacral Therapy gradually developed as the implications of these findings were realised during the first thirty years or so of the last century. Since then the therapy has been refined and further developed into the subtle, deep healing process that is available today.
Craniosacral Therapy is a ‘hands on’ therapy. You will usually lie on a treatment table and experience the very light touch of the therapist’s hands. You may feel a deep sense of relaxation and become aware of heat, tingling, pulsations or other sensations.
The therapist uses their hands to sense what is going on in your body and in this way both identifies and relieves any pains or tensions held in the body.
Craniosacral Therapy is client-led. Your body will set the pace of work, so you will remain comfortable, in control and able to integrate the changes that occur. Since it is your body (rather than your mind) that sets the priorities, you may find that the reason you came for treatment is not what changes first. Also, some people find that it can take a few sessions to get used to what they are feeling. Therefore, you may need to consider having a series of treatments to gain the full benefit of Craniosacral Therapy and its cumulative effects.
How does Craniosacral Therapy work?
The body’s tissues contract in response to physical knocks or emotional stress. Sometimes, particularly when the shock is severe or occurs within an emotional situation, the tissues stay contracted. Any stresses, strains, tensions or traumas that have been “stored” in the body in this way will restrict its functioning and may give rise to problems over the years. The effects may be both physical (such as back pain, migraine or digestive disorders) and emotional (such as anxiety or depression).
Restrictions in the body’s functioning show up in the way craniosacral motion is expressed. Craniosacral therapists are trained to feel this subtle motion in the body and can use it to identify areas where there is congestion or restriction. In this way they can identify the possible origin of a problem. Then, using their hands to reflect back to the body the pattern it is holding, the therapist provides an opportunity for the body to let go of its restrictive pattern and return to an easier mode of functioning. As well as releasing the body’s tensions, this frees the energy the body was previously using to hold itself in contraction. Thus, one of the benefits of the therapy is an increase in the level of energy available.
Can Craniosacral Therapy help me?
Craniosacral Therapy is so gentle that it is safe and suitable for people of all ages, from babies to the elderly, and also in fragile or acutely painful conditions. Indeed, it is often appropriate when other therapies may be unsafe, for example during pregnancy, after an operation, accident, fall or injury and for small babies. As a whole body therapy, Craniosacral Therapy may aid people with almost any condition by raising the vitality and enabling the body’s own self-healing processes to be utilised. But you don’t have to be ill or have any particular symptoms to benefit from Craniosacral Therapy. The alleviation of life’s stresses and the increased sense of vitality and well-being that Craniosacral Therapy can bring are welcome to most of us at any time.
Craniosacral Therapy and Emotional Release are effective in the treatment of:
- Myofascial pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Fibromyalgia and other connective-tissue disorders
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Women’s health issues
- Pelvic and menstrual problems
- Acute and chronic pain
- Chronic neck and back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ)
- Restriction of motion
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Post-surgical dysfunction
- Stress- and tension-related problems
- Attention deficit disorders
- Repetitive strain and sports injuries
- Orthopaedic problems
- Neurological dysfunction
- Central nervous system disorders
- Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries
- Infantile disorders
- Learning disabilities
- Emotional difficulties
- Neurovascular or immune disorders