What is Craniosacral Therapy?
Craniosacral therapy is an extremely gentle body therapy, working on a deep and powerful level with the anatomy and physiology of the body. Craniosacral Therapy supports ‘health’ in the body helping to increase physical vitality and structural change. Also treatments have much wider implications, working on the more subtle aspects of life emotionally and spiritually. The resulting increased sense of well-being can help with anything from strengthening the immune system to improving interpersonal relationships. Craniosacral Therapy works with the intelligence that is within your system. “be still and know”. W. G Sutherland D.O
Craniosacral therapy evolved from the work of an American Osteopath, Dr William Sutherland in the early 1900s. Sutherland, a student of Dr. A.T Still (founder of Osteopathy), undertook many years of detailed clinical research. Sutherland’s research revealed intrinsic movements of the cranial bones, which are “Bevelled like the gills of a fish, indicating respiratory motion for an articular mechanism.” Furthermore he discovered different rhythmic motion of tissues and fluids at the core of the body, including cerebrospinal fluid, the central nervous system, the membranes that surround and partition the central nervous system, the cranial bones and the sacrum. Sutherland realised that these rhythms in the body were a direct expression of health. These rhythmic impulses can be palpated (felt) by sensitive hands. Sutherland referred to this as the Breath of Life.
Sutherland considered the fluctuation of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to be like the: “sap in the tree something that contains the Breath of Life, not the breath of air something invisible.” Dr. A.T Still referred to the CSF as one of the “highest known elements in the human body”.
“One might say that through the understanding of CSF and its fluctuant patterns, one is dealing with the rechargeable battery of life and health in human physiology.” Rollin Becker DO
In response to physical knocks or emotional stress the body’s tissues contract. Sometimes when the shock is severe or occurs within an emotional situation the tissues stay contracted restricting the body’s functioning. Craniosacral Therapists are able to detect the subtle twists, pulls and restrictions in the body’s functioning and help the patient’s body return to an greater state of balance, stillness, health and well being.
Using sensitive hands to feel (palpate) Craniosacral Therapists facilitate change in areas of restriction, numbness, or were there is a sense of something missing. Gentle techniques encourage any blockages to release, allowing the fluid to flow more freely around the central nervous system.
“Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water. Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible, nothing can surpass it.
The soft overcomes the hard; the gentle overcomes the rigid.” Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching
Craniosacral Therapy penetrates to the deepest levels of the system and can often resolve problems that have not been helped by other therapies. It can treat almost any acute or chronic, long term or short term illness and is particularly effective at getting to the root of the most complex problems.
Craniosacral Therapy Treatment ~ what to expect
The treatment involves lying fully clothed on a professional couch. A treatment session lasts approximately 45 to 60 minutes. The initial treatment takes a little longer allowing time for consultation and discussion. At your first appointment you will be asked questions about your health and lifestyle. This in an important aspect of the treatment as it is beneficial for the therapist to have an understanding of all factors that may be affecting your health, including how you feel physically and emotionally.
The first thing you will probably notice is a sense of deep relaxation, which will generally last throughout the session. You may feel heat, cold, tingling, internal movement or pulsating. Other times you may not feel a thing, as the therapy works beneath the threshold of sensitivity. Sometimes it may take a few days for the effects to come into your awareness. With subsequent treatments this release of tension often extends into everyday life. The work can address physical aches and pains, acute and chronic disease, emotional or psychological disturbances, or simply help to develop well-being.
Craniosacral therapy is not a quick fix. It is a process of opening up, and getting in touch with the core patterns within your system, and allowing them to release over a period of time. Although symptoms can go immediately, deeper patterns of discomfort may take longer to clear. This depends on how firmly your system is holding on to them. Craniosacral therapy is client-led, with the body setting the priorities. Your body will set the pace of the work, so you remain comfortable, in control and able to integrate the changes that occur. Sometimes the benefits are not immediately noticeable but become obvious on returning to a familiar environment. The work can involve resolution of past events and is often profoundly relaxing, deeply moving and exhilarating.
Treatments work on all levels easing physical, emotional and mental issues with long-term benefits of an improved immune system, greater health, energy and vitality.
How many Treatments?
This varies from person to person, often some effects are felt after just one treatment but a series of treatments may be needed to make a significant change in the condition. Your body sets the priorities and you may find the reason you came for a treatment is not what changes first. Also some people find that it can take a few sessions to get used to what they are feeling. For these reasons, you may need to consider having a series of treatments to gain the full benefit of Craniosacral Therapy and its cumulative affects.