CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. Using a soft touch – practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. CST is increasingly used as a preventative health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and its effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.
How is CranioSacral Therapy Performed?
CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive manipulative technique. Seldom does the therapist apply pressure in excess of five grams or the equivalent weight of a British 20p piece. Examination is done by testing for movement in various parts of the system. Often, when testing is completed, the restriction has been removed and the system is able to self-correct. Trained therapists are able to palpate the motion of the craniosacral system anywhere on the body.
The Therapeutic Value of the CranioSacral System
We are all familiar with the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Like them, the craniosacral system also influences many body functions. An imbalance in this system can adversely affect the brain and spinal cord which can result in the sensory, motor and intellectual dysfunction.
The name craniosacral is derived from the system’s associated bones. Included are those of the skull, face and mouth – which make up the cranium – and of the spinal column which extend down to the sacrum. Membranes enclosing a hydraulic system connect the craniosacral system.
For 20 years, osteopathic and surgeon Dr John Upledger was the chief proponent of using the craniosacral system to evaluate and treat medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction. His reseach and clinical work with the craniosacral rhythm led to the development of CranioSacral Therapy, a ligh-touch manipulative approach which has been effective with poorly understood dysfunctions, chronic pain, lowered vitality and recurring infections.
The positive effect of CranioSacral Therapy relies to a large extent upon the patients natural self corrective physiological activities. The therapists light, hands-on approach assists the hydraulic forces inherent in the craniosacral system to improve the internal environment.
Because of its influence on many body functions, CranioSacral Therapy is used by a wide variety of healthcare professionals including osteopaths, doctors, physiotherapists, chiropractors, dentists, psychologists, psychotherapists, massage therapists and acupuncturists.