Benefits of Craniosacral Therapy

Benefits of Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is not an oft-requested modality at Urban Oasis, but many of those who do ask for it report great relief. Pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger, CST is a gentle, soft-touch approach to releasing the body of restrictions in the tissues that surround the Central Nervous System.

A practitioner – usually a massage therapist, chiropractor, or osteopath – focuses on the wavelike, rhythmic pulse of the Cerebral Spinal Fluid, a pulse that can be felt throughout the entire body (not unlike the heart rate). The client lies supine (face up) and fully clothed, as the practitioner – using very little pressure – palpates selected points around the head, feet, and torso. This much gentler touch increases and regulates circulation of Cerebral Spinal Fluid. When this occurs, the client often experiences a reduction of pain and dysfunction, and an increase in whole body well being and performance.

CST has been used to address a variety of issues, including:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (non acute)
  • Migraines, Headaches, Sinusitis
  • Chronic Neck and Back Pain
  • Stress
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • TMJ Syndrome
  • Scoliosis
  • Orthopedic Problems
  • Motor Coordination
  • Premenstrual Syndrome and Perimenopausal symptoms

Research on CST is scant.  However, the few studies that have been conducted suggest that endorphins are released during CST, which provides the patient with deep relaxation and a sense of well being. Either way, many people have experienced dramatic improvement with their individual symptoms and have accepted CST’s efficacy in treating a myriad of disorders.

Recently I had a gentleman come in to the spa, seeking treatment for hearing loss. I was skeptical that CST could treat something like that.  After making sure my client was under the care of an audiologist and that he acknowledged that I wasn’t making any promises, we set out to work. Right after our first session together, he said he felt “different”; he reported a general sense of “clarity and well-being”. When he came back for his second visit two weeks later, he reported that he heard a crackling in one ear.

After our second session together, he was exultant. He could hear better out of both ears this time. He also reported that his chronic back pain, which he’s had for years, and for which he could never find lasting relief, had vanished. He kept asking me, “What did you do?” I just shrugged and said that I was simply holding space for his body to correct itself.

While this is just an example of anecdotal evidence, it is clear to me that Craniosacral Therapy is an effective, potentially powerful modality. While little is known about it, CST has proven beneficial to many of my clients for a variety of complaints, and I look forward to ongoing research and continued practice.

–  This article was written by Mary Mitchell, a certified massage therapist, who works Thursdays and Fridays at Urban Oasis Maple Street.

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