The Therapuetic Value of CranioSacral Therapy
While the validity of the cardiovascular and respiratory rhythms are undisputed today, for eons the very existence of these systems sparked debates in the medical communities around the globe.
Now for nearly 45 years, osteopathic physicians and the researcher John E. Upledger, D.O.,O.M.M.,have been proponents of using rhythms of another body system – the craniosacral system – to enhance body functioning and help alleviate pain and discomfort.
The craniosacral system consists of membranes and cerebral spinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. It extends from the bones of the skull, face & mouth, which make up the cranium, down to the sacrum, or tail bone area.
Since this vital system influences the development and performance of the brain and spinal cord, an imbalance or restriction in it could potentially cause and number of sensory, motor or neurological disabilities. These problems could include chronic pain, eye difficulties, scoliosis, motor-coordination impairments, learning disabilities and other health challenges.
CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle method of detection & correction that encourages your own natural healing mechanisms to dissipate the negative effects of stress on your central nervous system. You also benefit from the better overall health & resistance to disease.
How is CranioSacral Therapy performed?
CranioSacral Therapy is performed on a fully clothed person as they lie supine on a massage table. Using a light touch – generally no more than 5 grams (the weight of a nickel) – the practitioner monitors the rhythm of the CranioSacral systems to detect potential restrictions & imbalances. The therapist then uses manual techniques to release any problem areas and relieve undue pressure on the brain and spinal cord.
A CranioSacral Therapy session can last from about 15 minutes to more than an hour, and the initial evaluation alone is often enough to correct a problem. The result? A central nervous system that is free of restrictions….and a body that is able to return to its greatest level of performance.
Who can perform CranioSacral Therapy?
Because of its positive effect on so many body functions, certification training for CranioSacral Therapy is practiced by a wide variety of healthcare professionals. They are osteopathic physicians, allopathic physician, chiropractors, doctors of oriental medicine, naturopathic physicians, nurses, psychiatric specialists, occupational therapists, speech & language pathologists, acupuncturists, massage therapists, reflexologist, reiki practitioners and other professional bodyworkers.
What conditions do CranioSacral Therapy address?
CranioSacral Therapy strengthens your body’s ability to take better care of you. It helps alleviate a range of illnesses, pain and dysfunction including:
Migraines & Headaches
Chronic Neck & Back Pain
Stress and Tension Related Problems
Traumatic Brain & Spinal Cord Injuries
Central Nervous System Disorders
Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
And Many Other Conditions
How did CranioSacral Therapy begin?
CranioSacral Therapy dates back to 1970 when osteopathic physician John E. Upledger first witnessed the rhythmic movement of the craniosacral system during a spinal surgery. Yet none of his colleagues nor medical texts could explain the phenomenon.
Two years later, Dr. Upledger attended a short course on cranial osteopathy developed by Dr. William Sutherland. The course focused on the bones of the skull and the fact – surprising at the time – that they weren’t fused as doctors has been taught in medical school. Instead Sutherland’s material demonstrated that skull bones continue to move throughout a person’s life.
Putting this new information together with the pulsing rhythm he had observed years before Dr. Upledger theorized that a hydraulic system of sorts was functioning inside the craniosacral system. He then set out to confirm his theories.
In 1975 he joined the Osteopathic College at Michigan State University as a clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics. There he led a team of anatomists, physiologist, biophysicist and bioengineers to test and document the influence of therapy on the craniosacral system. For the first time they were able to explain the function of the craniosacral system, and demonstrate how light-touch therapy could be used to evaluate and treat malfunctions involving the brain and spinal cord.
In 1985, Dr. Upledger went on to establish the Upledger Institute to teach the public and healthcare practitioners about the benefits of CranioSacral Therapy. To date, the Upledger Institute has trained more than 50,000 healthcare practitioners worldwide in the use of CranioSacral Therapy.
Learn more about Cranio Sacral Therapy