Nurture Integrative Health

The body and mind are inseparable and actually just single facets of a single, unified being.  -Dr. John Upledger, DO

Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy (CST) can be used to address many complaints including symptoms from brain injuries. Other conditions that benefit from CST include migraines, insomnia, stress, neck pain, fibromyalgia, PTSD, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, or depression. 

Craniosacral Therapy involves relieving compression on the head, neck, or back by treating the cerebral spinal fluid rhythm and the protective network surrounding the brain and spinal cord. This protective network of connective tissue is called the dura. The craniosacral practitioner works with these rhythms to gently remove tensions, blockages, or restrictions restoring flexibility and fluidity to this system.

The History 

Craniosacral therapy developed out of the work of Dr. William Sutherland, DO (1873-1954), the Father of Cranial Osteopathy. Dr. Sutherland was fascinated by the bones of the cranium and noticed that the skull expressed motion that was physiologically important. He discovered the primary respiratory mechanism of the craniosacral system, which he called the “breath of life”. Dr. John Upledger and Dr. Fraklyn Sills carried on Dr. Sutherland’s and developed the Craniosacral therapy practices used today.

Research on Craniosacral Therapy and Brain Injuries

Several Osteopath Doctors performed a case series to evaluate the effectiveness of craniosacral therapy (CST) on patients with traumatic brain injury. They chose a patient pool of 11 retired professional football players diagnosed with post-concussive syndrome. Each patient received morning and afternoon treatment sessions of CST, visceral manipulation, and neural manipulation for a specific time period. 

The study found improvement in overall pain levels, cervicogenic–neck-related headache pain levels, reaction time, memory, and cervical range of motion. 

Beyond the Research 

The research backs what those of us who provide craniosacral therapy know that this is powerful medicine. 

Patients often feel very relaxed throughout their treatment. Some patients may experience: 

  • Pulsations sensations

  • Hot or cold sensations

  • Pins and needles sensation

  • Deep relaxation

  • Falling asleep

  • Emotional release 

Your craniosacral practitioner is trained to support you through your personal healing process. Normally, patients report feeling relaxed and more connected to their bodies after treatment. I find this therapy to be an invaluable part of my approach to treating the pulsing breathing nervous system that nourishes our lives. 

PMID: 28874926

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