Craniosacral therapy can be a bit of a mouthful to say and understand. This week we’re breaking it down for you so that it makes more sense. The word craniosacral is made of two sub-parts: cranium and sacrum. Cranium refers to the skull and sacrum is the triangular shaped bone at the bottom of your spine that sits between each side of the pelvis. The skull and sacrum are at either end of the craniosacral system with the spine in the middle connecting them. The brain and spinal cord which control every movement of the body sit within the skull, spine and sacrum. These delicate structures are protected by membranes which contain fluid. The craniosacral fluid and how it flows within the craniosacral system is key to craniosacral therapy. Typically the fluid moves in a unique rhythmic pattern that is similar to your breathing or heart rate. It’s health is how craniosacral therapy was first developed.
Similar to a heart beating fast when under stress, the craniosacral fluid reacts in its own way to stress or injury. The disruption in its natural rhythmic pattern will result in a weaker or more irregular pattern. Clinically this may coincide with increased tightness and dysfunction within the muscles or connective tissue in that region or with the nerves that control that region. Craniosacral therapy works by restoring the craniosacral system to it’s regular pattern improving the flow and movement of nerve impulses and decreasing tissue tension.
A typical treatment session involves a full body (clothed) examination assessing the craniosacral rhythm. Craniosacral therapy requires a gentle touch to enable the therapist to feel the deeper tissues, which is quite different from a deep tissue massage. This treatment technique has been successfully used to address pain and dysfunction while restoring balance to the various connective tissue, fascia and muscles that were affected. Due to it’s gentle hands on approach craniosacral therapy can also reduce feelings of stress or anxiety.
Craniosacral therapy can be used to treat issues such as
- Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury
- Migraines and Headaches
- Chronic Neck and Back Pain
- Stress and Tension-Related Disorders
- Chronic Fatigue
- TMJ Syndrome
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- And Many Other Conditions
Craniosacral therapy is a specialized treatment technique that requires extra training beyond what is taught in your typical Physical Therapy program. At Body Harmony Physical Therapy we have a trained clinician who can incorporate craniosacral therapy techniques into your treatment session to improve relaxation and facilitate your body’s healing process.
For more information about Craniosacral therapy, visit the Upledger Institute’s website https://www.upledger.com/therapies/index.php