Craniosacral Therapy (often mispelled cranialsacral or cranial sacral) is a fairly new type of therapy that is used to correct misalignments and inconsistencies in the Craniosacral system. This physiological system pumps fluid through your spine, around the outside of your brain and encloses the spinal cord, brain, spinal column, nerves and Cerebrospinal Fluid or CSF. CSF is a clear watery fluid that is circulating in our Central Nervous Systems at all times. In addition, CSF surrounds, feeds and cleans our brain and spinal cord. Below is a visual explanation of the Craniosacral system.
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The pumping action that is generated in the Craniosacral system creates a pulse. This “pulse” was discovered by Dr. William Sutherland in 1899 and is now termed Cranial Rhythm. Craniosacral Therapy revolves around the practitioner’s ability to find this Cranial Rhythm. Although this rhythm is theoretical, I have physically felt it in many of my sessions. Once the rhythm is found, the therapist must concentrate to find any discrepancies in its movement.
“This therapy utilizes very gentle massage/manipulation of the brain, spinal cord, bones of the skull, sacrum and interconnected membranes.”
The Craniosacral Rhythm is the cycle of production and reabsorption of Cerebrospinal Fluid. When fluid is being produced, this is called Craniosacral Flexion. When the reabsorption occurs, it is referred to as Craniosacral Extension. Flexion resembles inhalation, and Extension, exhalation. This rhythm can be palpated or felt anywhere on the body – from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head.
This rhythm has certain characteristics, of course depending on how blocked and disarranged it is.
Symmetry – side to side movement. Flexion/Extension
Quality – a power scale ranging from 1-10. 1 being very weak and 10 being very strong. This movement can be rough, smooth, ratchety, thin etc..
Amplitude – width of travel. Bigger is better!
Rate – there will be 6-12 cycles per minute, just as we take 12-18 breaths per minute.
What you can Expect in a Session
So now that you know how it works, let me explain what a Craniosacral session consists of and just how this therapy is used to unlock your body’s ability to heal itself. This therapy utilizes very gentle touch/manipulation of the brain, spinal cord, bones of the skull, sacrum and interconnected membranes. There are several “listening station” that the practitioner can use initially to palpate the Cranial Rhythm. Once the rhythm is felt and evaluated, the therapist can pinpoint exactly where the work needs to be done based on where the rhythm can not be found in the body. That is where the work needs to be done, because that is where there is a blockage in the Craniosacral system.
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The therapist will move on to place their hands and hold several points of the body from the pelvis to the top of the head. These sessions can last from 30 minutes to 2 hours in my experience and it all depends on how misaligned your body is. Once the session is over, your Craniosacral system becomes unblocked and your body can potentially heal itself! I won’t put a list of ailments that can be treated by Craniosacral Therapy because it can theoretically help with any problem you may be having from emotional/mental disorders to physical pain like neck/upper back pain. I have especially had success with auto-immune disease like Fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, depression, insomnia and memory problems.
Once the session is finished, many of my clients explain a feeling of extreme relaxation and peace. Although most clients will stay awake for their session, many report that they felt as if they were dreaming. This therapy can unlock intense mental pain as well so do not be surprised if you are overwhelmed with emotions during or after a session. This is an excellent therapy to try if you feel that other therapies have failed you or that you’re not getting the results you want from something else. This could be just what your body needs to heal. Call today to make an appointment and if you schedule before October 10, I am offering 20 minutes of FREE Craniosacral work. Don’t miss out on this amazing bodywork experience.