WHAT CONDITIONS DOES CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY HELP?
A craniosacral therapy enhances overall vitality and encourages the body’s own natural abilities to restore health and balance in a gentle way. A wide range of conditions can often be helped, including: Headaches/Migraines/Neck and Back Pain Vertigo and Tinnitus/Chronic Pain Syndromes Orthopedic Problems/Chronic Sinus Infections Stress Management/Brain & Spinal Cord Injuries TMJ Dysfunctions/Learning Difficulties Post Traumatic Stress Disorders/ Pre and Post Surgery Healthy Baby/Healthy Mother
WHY CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY HELPS BABIES AND CHILDREN
Since craniosacral therapy has a direct impact upon the smooth functioning of the brain and spinal cord, its ability to alleviate restrictions and tensions in these areas can create an environment for motoric, sensory and neurological wellness in babies and children which can have life-long benefits. Research has shown that womb positioning, the birth process, infections, and vaccinations can have a strong impact on soft tissue which then affects the central nervous system. Carried out in the delivery room or within weeks of birth, CST can reduce a wide variety of problems, many of which may not be noticed in conventional medicine until children reach their school years. Even problems with head shape and skullbone overrides can be corrected with the skillful use of craniosacral therapy. School age children will benefit greatly from regular craniosacral sessions. Autism Learning Difficulties Emotional Problems Seizures Cerebral Palsy Colic Torticollis Down’s Syndrome Hyperactivity Motor Problems Pylorospasm Erb’s Palsy Failure to thrive syndromes Strabismus Dyslexia Aphasias Facial Asymmetries Spasticity and many others
WHAT IS CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY?
Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, natural, hands-on therapy that utilises the body’s own self corrective abilities to restore balance and wellness in the soft tissue which affects the nervous system. Originally, when osteopathic physicians (D.O.’s) practised manual manipulative medicine, the emphasis was on creating balance in the musculoskeletal system and the CST was just one of the many techniques in the osteopathic field. Muscle energy, counterstrain, visceral manipulation and myofascial release were all part of the foundation of osteopathic medical education. Using a gentle touch, the therapist works with the soft tissue or fascia that connects and integrates with all other structures of the body. Using the cranial tide/rhythm and determining the degree of free mobility of fascia, the therapist can identify areas of dysfunction and immobility. Musculo-skeletal strains are often not observable though conventional medical evaluations until disease begins to appear. The therapist’s goal is to enhance craniosacral and fascial motion to free up restrictions in the body which relieves stress, decreases pain and improves overall health. A properly functioning fascial system assists the central nervous system in becoming more relaxed, capable, and resilient for the individual throughout life. As clients discover that there can be relief for their chronic aches and acute pains, feelings of frustration, discouragement and confusion are often relieved as well.
HOW CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY IS PERFORMED
A typical CST session has the client fully clothed lying on a treatment table; this may last anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours. Pillows may be used where appropriate. Using a gentle touch, the therapist evaluates the client using a number of standard CST techniques, including the rhythm or tides, arcing fascial glide and the core link/dural tube. Even initial evaluations can be beneficial for the individual. Once the therapist evaluates objectively, the client is asked for subjective feedback, prior medical history, hospilizations, medications, lifestyle habits etc. This ensures the therapist is not influenced by prior information or suggestion. During the session, a multitude of CST techniques are used, based on the evaluation phase of the work. Techniques include v-spread, diaphragms, and core link/dural tube for the sacrum/tail bone and frontal, parietal, sphenoid, temporals, and temporal mandibular joint techniques, facilitated segment for the spine and local unwinding techniques for the limbs may be introduced as well. It is encouraged that prospective clients receive at least four to six sessions before making a decision on CST’s effectiveness for them and their health
THE ORIGIN OF CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY
Craniosacral Therapy has its origins in osteopathy, which was developed in America in 1874 by Dr.Andrew Taylor Still (1827-1917). A Civil War medical steward, Still experienced first hand the limitations of medical care of his day, after his wife and children died of spinal meningitis. Still had doubts whether the disease itself or the mercury based medicine led to their deaths. Looking for a new approach to medicine, he focused on health and grounded his theories on disturbances in the musculoskeletal system being the origin of dysfuction and disease. He believed the body to be integrated and functional with the ability to self-regulate and self-heal. His drugless system of medicine focused on soft tissue restrictions and bony mal-positions as the primary cause of pain and disease. With his keen mechanical mind, an extensive knowledge of anatomy, and his focus on health, Dr. Still used manual therapy with great success on many of the sick and otherwise hopeless cases in his practice. Many patients were relieved from unnecessary surgeries and a life reduced to living on opiates and alcohol to control chronic pain. By 1892, Dr. Still opened the first American School of Osteopathy in Kirksville, Missouri and at the time of his death, there were over 3000 trained osteopaths. Today there are over 20 osteopathic medical schools in America and 6% of all physicians are osteopaths. Dr. William G. Sutherland (1873-1954) applied Dr. Still’s concepts to the skull and discovered an innate motion in the cranium which he called ‘tides’ or rhythm. He realised that the motion of the tides affected the health of the central nervous system, the membranes of the skull and the through cerebrospinal fluid, the sacrum. Dr. Sutherland is credited as the developer of Cranial Osteopathy, now known as Craniosacral Therapy. Dr. Sutherland began teaching his cranial concepts in the 1930’s and within a decade his work was offered as a post-graduate course at the American School of Osteopathy. By 1947, the Cranial Academy was established as a resouce forum to share ideas and by 1953, the Sutherland Cranial Teaching Foundation had begun to formally set up guidelines for training other physicians. Some of Dr. Sutherland’s famous alumni include Drs. Harold Magoun, Rollin Becker, Viola Frymann, Robert Fulford, Randolph Stone, Beryl Arbuckle and Bertrand DeJarnette who have influenced thousands of practitioners throughout the world. A student of Dr. Magoun’s and a member of the Cranial Academy and Sutherland Cranial Teaching Foundation, John Upledger, D.O., is recognised for re-invigorating interest in Dr. Sutherland’s cranial work and bringing craniosacral therapy to a wider audience of healthcare practitioners. CST is now available through many different organisations throughout the world. The layman will find that the so-called different schools of thought in craniosacral therapy like biomechanical, functional, and biodynamic are at their core all similar in their approach to Dr. Sutherland’s vision of craniosacral therapy.
WHO DOES CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY?
A wide variety of healthcare practitioners practice CST: osteopathic physicians, medical doctors, dentists, nurses, chiropractic physicians, acupuncturists, homeopathic and naturopathic physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists. Another large group practicing CST is composed of massage therapists and other professional bodyworkers. Many of these health care practitioners find craniosacral therapy fits easily into their practice and is beneficial and virtually risk free for people of all ages and most conditions.