One of my clients recently asked me to contribute to her blog as a wellness resource. You can check out her site at: http://www.pamelasimon.com
I decided to share this as a summary of some of the information on both my website and the internet.
What is Craniosacral Therapy?
Craniosacral Therapy is a very gentle hands-on technique used to encourage calming of the nervous system. The craniosacral system includes the brain, spinal cord and surrounding tissues, all bathed in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
This system is a semi-hydraulic pump, from the brain to and from the sacrum at the end of the spine. Variable rhythms of the CSF can be observed, monitored and regulated, encouraging the body to relax and heal.
Craniosacral Therapy facilitates an improved resting state for muscles, tissues and the nervous system.
Improving the fluid nutrition of the brain and spine helps to increase energy and mobility. Craniosacral therapy helps the patient heal from the inside out, leading to significant improvements in all aspects of life.
Who can benefit from Craniosacral Therapy?
Craniosacral Therapy is beneficial for a variety of clients, from ‘Welcome to the World” visits for newborns to help them settle with any birth issues to End of Life visits.
The following are examples of conditions commonly treated using Craniosacral Therapy:
During most treatments, you will be lying on your back fully clothed. Comfortable clothing is recommended for the sessions, and pillows and blankets are provided for your comfort. Your therapist may cradle your head, shoulder, spine or other tissues to support them and allow an improved quality of the fluid flow along with tissue release.
Neck, back, jaw or other generalized pain
Neurological disorders, including ADD/ADHD, MS, stroke, autism, Parkinson’s
Hormonal and Auto-immune conditions
Colic, digestive problems, sleep difficulties, developmental delays in babies
What can I expect during my CST session?
You may also roll to your side for some releases. You may move around during the sessions as your tissues release. Some patients feel an urge to laugh or cry as a release. The most important thing is that you feel safe and well supported in your healing process. After sessions, you will want to drink extra water to encourage the release of toxins. Some patients report feeling very relaxed, and some report feeling very energized. These are your sessions, and stating your intentions can help achieve your goals in healing.
There are variations in Craniosacral Therapy techniques, originally based on work by osteopathic physicians the early 1930’s. These early doctors discovered movement in the cranial bones and used forceful manipulations to change structural restrictions in their patients’ heads.
Style and History of Craniosacral Therapy
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy
Wm. Sutherland, D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) developed another approach, and gradually used gentler, less invasive techniques to facilitate slowing and stillness in the client’s nervous system. His reverence for this gentle work led him to use descriptions like ‘the heart of the bird’ to describe stillness. His work began the branch of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy in the community of osteopathic physicians and later to other healthcare practitioners.
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy techniques accommodate the internal movement of the body’s fluids related to the organizing and ordering movements within the embryonic development.
In Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, the therapist facilitates slowing and stillness in the clients through a very slow rhythm in the cerebrospinal fluid. This 50-second cycling rhythm is also called Primary Respiration, the Deep Tide or The Breath of Life.
Biomechanical CranioSacral Therapy
Osteopathic physician John E. Upledger developed the Biomechanical Model of Craniosacral Therapy, typically performed by licensed massage therapists, Physical and Occupational therapists, chiropractors and osteopathic physicians.
The discovery of the Dural Pulse by Dr. John E. Upledger was the foundation for the groundbreaking work that he would later coin as CranioSacral Therapy. The development of this therapeutic approach earned Dr. Upledger recognition in TIME magazine as one of America's "Next Wave of Innovators" for his proven clinical applications of this therapy.
From 1975 to 1983, Dr. Upledger was a professor of biomechanics at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University. While he was there he led a team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists and bioengineers who performed and published the clinical research that formed the basis for the Biomechanical Model of CranioSacral Therapy.
In 1985, after decades of research, Dr. Upledger founded Upledger Institute International to teach people worldwide about the value of this effective approach. Today, the Institute is one of the most respected training venues in the world, with more than 100,000 alumni. Dr. Upledger also founded the Upledger Clinic the same year to provide treatment to individuals suffering from pain and dysfunction, and to continue his groundbreaking research in a clinical setting.
Using a soft touch — generally no greater than 5 grams, (the weight of a nickel) practitioners feel for the pulse of the spinal fluid between the cranium and the sacrum and release restrictions in the bones and soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. Through these releases, the fluid flows more effectively, helping the body to function more effectively.
Visionary Craniosacral Therapy
Visionary Craniosacral Work® (The Milne Model) blends anatomy, physiology and an inner spiritual journey without judgment. Shamanic healing methods may be included in this style of work.
Is CST covered by Insurance?
Some therapists may be able to bill for or provide invoices for you to submit to your insurance using Manual Therapy codes. This would be on a case by case basis for medically appropriate diagnosis.
I hope this information has helped you to understand a little more about the combination of experience, intuition, luck and a little magic that I bring to my therapy practice.
Thank you for sharing your journey with me,