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Craniosacral (CST) Therapy

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How can Craniosacral Therapy benefit my well-being?​

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) was developed in the 1970s by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger is a light-touch modality used to locate, identify and treat any bodily restrictions. 

 

CST works with the craniosacral system, comprised of the cranium, spine, and sacrum. The dura mater connects the craniosacral system, a membrane of the body's deepest fascia. It is filled by the cerebral spinal fluid, creating 6 to 12 beats per minute. This pulse is referred to as the craniosacral rhythm.

 

It's rooted in the concept that movement equals health. A restriction is anything that makes it harder for us to move. So whenever some form of stress occurs to the body (physical, mental or emotional--the body can't differentiate the difference), it tries to help keep things moving by compensating for it. Doing so creates a shift in the whole body. When it gets to the point where the body can't compensate anymore, that's when people start experiencing the physical expressions of it, ranging from migraines to ringing in the ears, to sleep problems, and even to pain in an area of the body that's not related to the main site of stress/trauma.

So how is Craniosacral Therapy different from physical therapy, chiropractic and massage?

 

Craniosacral Therapy is a very light touch modality, using 5 grams of pressure or less (the weight of a penny on your finger). By using this light of touch, the body (which is already in a defensive mode to protect the site of trauma) can relax and, not seeing the treatment as a threat, allows the practitioner to go to the deeper layers of the body, where other modalities might not be able to reach.

Benefits of Craniosacral Therapy

  • Decreases stress

  • Relieves neck and back pain

  • Reduces anxiety

For those dealing with a lot of stress daily, CST can be beneficial. The benefits of craniosacral therapy can include immediate relief of accumulated stress, profound feelings of calmness and relaxation, and renewed body awareness. CST can also identify other areas of tension and imbalance through the craniosacral rhythm. Most people will doze off at some point in the session, and by treatment's end, there is usually a significant beneficial change to their initial symptoms and presenting condition. This is because the body can fully relax and feel safe. 

 

Conditions CST can help treat:

  • Stress

  • Acute and chronic headaches

  • PMS

  • Depression

  • Anxiety and mood disorders

  • Neck and head tension

  • Post-concussion syndrome

  • PTSD

  • Nerve damage

  • IBS

  • Acid reflux

  • Lymphedema

  • Autoimmune conditions

  • A variety of brain dysfunctions, including motor skills and degenerative disorders

  • TMJ

  • Deep-seated tension

 

Are there any contraindications?

 

Not many, but here are a few to watch out for:

  • recent cranial injury

  • fractures and open wounds in the craniosacral area

  • aneurysms

  • acute infection of the craniosacral membranes

  • herniation of the medulla oblongata

  • recent brain surgery. 

 

Anything I should know about during or after treatment?

 

It would be best to drink plenty of water before and after treatment. If you are groggy after your session, it signals that your body needs to rehydrate. Sometimes you may feel slightly light-headed after the treatment, which is expected as the restriction eases up and blood pressure drops from relaxation. 

 

It is common for clients to have a deep emotional release through crying, tension, or internal body noises. The unwinding can resurface emotions stored deep within the body and tissues. This is the desired effect. 

Disclaimer: Craniosacral Therapy is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease and is not a substitute for regular medical care. I am not a doctor, and the content of this site is not to be used, interpreted, or construed as Western medical advice in any capacity. 

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