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Craniosacral Therapy

007ACranioSacral Therapy was developed by Osteopathic Physician, John E. Upledger starting in the 1970’s. It is a light touch hands-on method of working with the patient’s Central Nervous System specifically Cerebro-Spinal Fluid (CSF) produced by the brain. CSF functions to control and maintain the Homeostasis and well-being of the Central Nervous System.

We have measurable pulsations and rhythms throughout our bodies. Heart rate, pulse, breathing rate… The un-talked about rhythm is that of the Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord) called, Cranial Sacral Rhythm (CSR). It is a wave like rhythm that can be felt throughout the body by a trained therapist, most detectable on the sides of the head and base of the neck. This rhythm is of the CSF which is produced in the ventricles of brain. The same fluid that encases our brain and spinal cord which is responsible for homeostasis of human function.

The Craniosacral Therapy practitioner works with the patient to assist the body’s self-correcting mechanisms. With a very light touch on the body, the therapist evaluates the body’s CSR impulse system. This system plays a vital role of maintaining the environment in which the central nervous system functions. It consists of the membranes and fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord as well as the attached bones – including the skull, face and mouth, which make up the cranium, and the tailbone area, or sacrum. Since the brain and spinal cord are contained within the central nervous system, it is easy to understand that the craniosacral system has powerful influence over a wide variety of bodily functions.

003ACST has been shown to alleviate a wide range of conditions, including traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, motor-coordination impairments, chronic neck and back pain, scoliosis, central nervous system disorders, temporal-mandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), post-concussion syndrome, stress and tension-related problems, and orthopedic conditions. While the focus of CST is to uncover the source of the problem, symptom relief is also achieved.

How does it work…? By stimulating CSF with specific and controlled light touch from the Craniosacral Therapis, the CST practitioner essentially helps the body release restrictions which it has been unable to overcome on its own, un-inhibiting the body’s normal, self-correcting mechanisms. Rather than deciding how these changes should be made during the session, the therapist follows cues from the body on how to proceed. When the therapist follows this gentle approach, the method is extremely safe and effective and improved range of cranial motion and optimal flow of CSF throughout the body is achieved. This allows the highest capacity functioning of the Central Nervous System.

CSF is a living, moving fluid that is the life force of human existence. This fluid has been called Chi, Energy, Chakra, Healing Powers, etc… It is simply put… a real, measurable, unconscious, and subtly dynamic physiologic human function.

Craniosacral Therapy works with this Life Force to remove restrictions of the body in order to allow the mind, body and spirit the most optimal interaction. And due to its gentleness and effectiveness, many people include CST as a component in their personal wellness lifestyles. They report better night-time sleeping, being sick less and having more energy and the feeling of fulfillment.

Ultimately, Craniosacral Therapy is utilized for both pain symptom relief and as a wellness tool that elevates to the highest homeostatic potential of human existence the interaction of the mind, body and spirit.

FOUNDATIONS OF CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY

In the early part of this century, osteopathic physician Dr. William G. Sutherland put forth the original concepts for what is now known as the craniosacral system. As he was studying the cranial bones of a disarticulated skull belonging to the founder of Osteopathy, Dr. Andrew T. Still; Dr. Sutherland culminated a system of treatment known today as Cranial Osteopathy. He was the first to detect cranial and sacral mobility via the pumping action of Cerebrospinal fluid within the Dural-meningeal space. Another Osteopath, Dr. John Upledger, is credited with developing Craniosacral Therapy. While assisting during a surgery in 1970, Dr. Upledger observed a rhythmic movement of the dura mater, the membrane that encompasses the brain and spinal cord. Neither his colleagues nor medical texts could explain his observation. Dr. Upledger’s curiosity led him to the work of Dr. Sutherland, and later to develop his own scientific studies to confirm the existence of the craniosacral system. This work went on from 1975 to 1983, while he served as a clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics at Michigan State University. The findings of the research team he supervised first established the scientific basis for the craniosacral system.

Dr. Upledger’s continued work resulted in his development of CST. He formed The Upledger Institute in 1985 to educate the public and healthcare practitioners about the benefits of CST. To date, the Institute has trained more than 100,000 healthcare practitioners worldwide in the use of CST. Practitioners include Osteopathic Physicians, Medical Doctors, Doctors of Chiropractic, Doctors of Oriental Medicine, Naturopathic Physicians, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Dentists, Physical Therapists, Nurses, Acupuncturists, and Massage Therapists.

With a growing number of practitioners, CST provides a nice healthcare option – one that uses a gentle approach working with the body. By following the body’s lead, the CST practitioner can uncover the source of pain or dysfunction that opens the path to optimal wellness.

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