The body is made up of a series of systems that each have their own inherent rhythm. The cardiovascular system has a rate, the respiratory system has a respiratory rate, and the craniosacral system also has a rhythmic rate of flexion and extension. Just as your heart rate and respiratory rate elevate during exercise or times or stress, your craniosacral rate is also influenced by internal and external stimuli such as stress and trauma. CranioSacral therapy evaluates and assists the body in correcting its craniosacral rate to allow for optimal function of all body systems.
What is the craniosacral system?
The craniosacral system is a semi-closed hydraulic system made up of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. An important function of the craniosacral system is the production, circulation, and re-absorption of cerebrospinal fluid. A rhythm is produced in the craniosacral system as the cerebrospinal fluid is produced and reabsorbed within the membrane As fluid is produced, the dura expands (the flexion part of the rhythm) and as the fluid is reabsorbed, the dura retracts (the extension part of the rhythm). This volumetric accommodation prevents pressure from building up within the system. If the body is unable to accommodate these pressure changes, the subsequent buildup of pressure can contribute to dysfunction and ill health.
What is CranioSacral therapy?
CranioSacral therapy is a noninvasive, light hands on technique that works with the connective tissues of the body, the bones of the head and sacrum, the membranes and fluid which surround the brain and spinal cord. The therapist seldom uses greater than 5 grams (the weight of a nickel) of pressure. Light touch allows the body to find a comfortable plane in which it can process the treatments in the most beneficial way. Therapists note characteristics of the craniosacral system such as the rate, amplitude, quality, and symmetry. Therapists work within the system to locate and release restrictions in the membranes that may be influencing the health of the central nervous system. Restricted motion can result in pressure over certain areas of the brain, possibly manifesting in a variety of neurological or motor coordination problems. Results may be seen in as few as 3 to 5 sessions, but the more involved individual may require a greater number of sessions before significant results can be seen.
What is done during a typical CranioSacral treatment session?
Craniosacral therapy consists of gentle manipulation of the cranial tissues to release the tension within the system. Specific palpation of the bones, acting as levers, release tension from the membranes within the system. Change of the membranes directs the cranial tissues into a position of greater ease and less stress. After manipulation, individual bones may feel more symmetrical and mobile in relation to the entire system. Craniosacral therapy may be combined with muscle exercises and lifestyle changes so that a maximum benefit may be obtained.
What is the goal of CranioSacral therapy?
CranioSacral therapy encourages an individual’s natural, self-corrective, physiological activities to improve the functioning of the brain and spinal cord. It may dissipate the negative effects of stress, enhance general health, and improve resistance to disease.
All The Therapy Village therapists who perform CranioSacral therapy have received training in CranioSacral techniques. For more information, please see www.upledger.com.