What is Craniosacral Therapy?
Updated: Feb 16
As apart of Deep we are regularly taking course in order to expand our knowledge and skills. In April I had the opportunity to take a level one Craniosacral course. For those of of you who aren't familiar with this approach I am pleased to explain. Craniosacral therapy was founded and developed by an Osteopath and Medical Surgeon Dr. John E. Upledger.
From the studies and work of Dr. John E. Upledger, it is known that the Craniosacral system within the body is composed of
1. The meninges, particularly the dura mater which is a thick membrane surrounding the Spinal cord
2. The cerebrospinal fluid which is enclosed in this membrane system;
3. Structures within the membrane system of the brain that control the production and reassertion of the cerebrospinal fluid, as explained by Dr. John E. Pledger
Being that our brain, spinal cord and fascia surrounding these structures are integral for the nervous system development and functioning, the cerebrospinal fluid produced in the Craniosacral system maintains this delicate physiological environment. Our whole being in innervated by the nervous system so an disruption of the production or reabsorption of the cerebrospinal fluid can contribute to dysfunction to the many functions within the body.
The cerebrospinal fluid is an integral part of this system. This clear fluid bathes the brain and spinal cord, providing nutrients to these structures before delivering this fluid back to the blood, for the blood to carry away waste products. The cerebrospinal fluid also protects the brain and spinal cord and provides a cushioning between the delicate fascial layers of these structures, being the vertebrae and skull bones. This system has a rhythm similar to that of a cardiac or respiratory rhythm. Through the fascial system, which is a web of connective tissue intertwining all structures throughout the body, The Craniosacral rhythm
istranslated and may be felt through our whole body.
Restrictions within this system could occur from impact injuries, concussions, whiplash, muscular and fascial compensations, soft tissue limitations from surgeries, postural imbalances, and emotional trauma to give a few examples. These memories or trauma are stored in the body and can create widespread limitations of the cerebrospinal system by way of the fascia. Restrictions in the peripheral body, the dural tube within the spinal column, and very importantly the bones of the skull can lead to a reduced optimal flow of the cerebrospinal fluid. The sutures that connect the skull bones together allow the skull bones to move a very slight amount. However this movement is crucial to the efficiency of the system and the health of the brain, spinal cord and relating membranes. Fascial or soft tissue restrictions preventing full mobility and expansion of the skull bones can be caused by whiplash, concussions, blows to the head, surgery, forceps birth, to name a few. Migraines and headaches, jaw problems, head pressure, sinus congestion, depression and many other systems can then occur. Craniosacral Therapy is then used to release these tensions and promote full movement and fluid to the sutures of the skull. This allows for optimal flow of the cerebrospinal fluid that delivers nutrients and nourishes the brain as well as the nerves and nervous system originating within the brain.
With 5 grams of pressure (the weight of a nickel) a full body assessment is performed to determine the symmetry and quality of the Craniosacral rhythm at different point of the body. We don't chase symptoms but go to the root or cause of the problem. After this evaluation treatment is performed with the same light pressure to clear up restrictions, release dysfunctions and tension patterns throughout the body. Though this technique is light to the touch it is the pressure that is effective to engage to the depth of the Craniosacral system and connecting fascia. The body is intelligent and knows the areas that needs to be released. As a therapist I am there to support the natural process of the body.
I am very excited and passionate to use this therapy to add onto the therapies I use and in conjunction to the team of practitioners and physiotherapists at Deep in order to help patients achieve their goals to reach a high level of health.
Below is a list of the many things that Craniosacral Therapy can help with and be very effective to treat. This is not by any means an exhaustive list. Please call if you have any questions and I will be pleased to answer them or further explain this therapy.
supporting the changes of the body through pregnancy
trauma from accidents /injuries
chronic pain and disability
maintenance and support of the Craniosacral system
clearing up restrictions caused by surgery, casts, or other medical interventions
migraines and headaches
TMJ syndrome or jaw problems
encouraging whole body relaxation to support mental health
supporting brain abnormalities (cerebral palsy, autism, learning disabilities)
maintenance of good health