Have you ever heard of Craniosacral Therapy?

  • Written by Health Moves
It’s a form of bodywork that is gaining in popularity. Why is that?

Craniosacral Therapy popularity is growing because it’s gentle, effective, and becoming more widely available. The word craniosacral refers to the skull (cranium) and tail bone (sacrum). Whereas the craniosacral system encompasses the entire connective tissue network of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and fluid contained within the connective tissue. The craniosacral system has a pulse of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). The spinal fluid is actually created and reabsorbed every few seconds. This ebb and flow of fluid creates a tangible pulse that a trained craniosacral therapist can just as easily as the common pulse of a heartbeat.

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a technique developed by Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). These CST treatments have been practiced for several hundred years and in the last few decades the techniques have been shared with other health care professionals. CST is practiced professionally by naturopathic doctors, osteopathic doctors, medical doctors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors and other trained practitioners.

The goal of CST is to create balance and alignment of the body which is achieved by assisting the tissue to release areas of tightness or restriction. The philosophy of CST is opposite of many forms of bodywork which is to use force to overcome tension. Often the force, during CST, is introduced to the direction of ease, this works with the body instead of against it. CST is similar to chiropractic care when the bones are used as levers to move soft tissue and ligaments, however CST is much gentler than an audible chiropractic adjustment. In fact the manual pressure during CST is equal to approximately 5 grams or the weight of a nickel.

During CST the patient is typically fully clothed and lying down on a treatment table with treatments generally lasting 30-60 minutes. The practitioner will assess the craniosacral pulse and diagnose restrictions in the bones, soft tissue, muscles, organs and nervous system. Light pressure is applied to adjust the areas of restriction. Each adjustment may take several minutes. Patients typically find CST to be quite relaxing and often fall asleep during the treatment. You may notice that you feel very relaxed. It’s even common to feel a bit "spacey," like your "brain finished a yoga class," or notice that joints are popping as they set back into place. Once a CST treatment is completed the body continues to integrate and rebalance the tissue for several days. A typical series may consist of 4-6 treatments that are a week or two apart. Patients often notice immediate improvements that occasionally continue for several days.

CST can be used to treat many common health problems: headaches, migraines, sinus problems, TMJ dysfunction, digestive disorders, acute pain, chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, to name a few. Patients often find that CST offers relief from frustrating health problems without drugs or unwanted side effects. Best of all, when practiced by a licensed health care professional it may be covered by medical insurance.

Naturopathic Physicians frequently practice CST because it aligns with many of our principles. CST is gentle and provides a framework for the first rule in medicine "Do No Harm," allowing us to "Treat The Whole Person." When Dr. John Bastyr was asked what his most important tool as a physician was, he offered "My hands."

There are several skilled Naturopathic Physicians practicing Craniosacral Therapy in Woodinville.

Health Moves PLLC in Woodinville, WA. He can be reached at 425.402.9999

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