What is Cranio-Sacral Therapy?
When I first studied anatomy and dissection at University we would throw away the fascia as meaningless packing material. Over the years that I have been doing body work, the thinking around fascia has changed. It is now described as a system in its own right. In the last few months there has been a symposium on the fascia with lectures by doctors, physiotherapists, scientists and body workers and we now know that the fascial system in the body is extremely important. It helps to maintain our flexibility, keeps the body youthful and hydrated, it is likely to be where the acupuncture meridians run and it also responds to our emotional state of mind.
Cranio-Sacral Therapy addresses the bones in the body, especially the cranial bones, the pelvic and sacral bones and the fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) that bathes the brain and central nervous system. Cranio-Sacral Therapy also works on the fascial system, opening and releasing and rehydrating the body.
How does Cranio-Sacral Therapy work?
Cranio-Sacral Therapy works on the basis that the body is in constant motion: we breathe and the chest and diaphragm move in and out; the heart pumps and blood moves around the body, the lymph system moves waste products from the tissues into circulatory system. We also now know, due to the work of John Upledger, that the cranial bones and every part of the body has a rhythmic movement, which has a cycle of about 7-11 movements per minute. These movements are subtle, but a Cranio-Sacral Therapist has been trained to detect these and to be aware of which areas of the body are moving well and which ones are not.
Stress – emotional or physical, shock – emotional or physical, injury, and poor movement habits all contribute to areas of the body where the cranio-sacral system is not moving properly. This has the effect of creating stagnation in the body, or lack of movement of the lymph and also the circulatory system. This then leads to areas of dehydration and toxicity. Getting the cranio-sacral system moving freely in all areas of the body, has been described as feeling euphoric. It will certainly lead to feelings of relaxation, and ease of movement. It could speed up the healing of injuries and help with rehabilitation.
Cranio-Sacral Therapy works well with nutritional therapy, acupuncture, counselling , musculo-skeletal realignment and herbal medicine. It helps the body to become more efficient and to move more freely. It has been likened to getting a younger body at any age. Feeling good in your body, immediately lifts your mood and helps you to see life through new eyes.
Conditions that may benefit from Cranio-Sacral Therapy:
- Pain relief, muscular & skeletal pain, arthritis
- Post traumatic stress and shock in the body
- Back pain, lower back pain, stiff neck and shoulders
- Migraines & headaches
- Sleep problems
- Fertility support, including IVF support, pregnancy
- Painful periods, irregular periods, PMS
- Menopausal symptoms
- Tension, stress and feelings of anxiety
- Stress, anxiety, sadness, overthinking.
- Past or present injuries
- Rehabilitation after injury, surgery or being sedentary
- If you want to speed up your progress and recovery after athletic training
- Slow down the ageing process
- Birth trauma for mother and baby
How many sessions will I have?
This will depend on your symptoms. Generally, your therapist will suggest coming for 2-6 sessions to assess your body, how it responds to treatment and to encourage your body to learn to release itself. Some people have learned how to do a certain amount of Cranio-Sacral Therapy themselves and certainly I am happy to work with you to help you to do this.
It can be helpful to have sessions either weekly, biweekly or monthly to allow the body to make regular and consistent change. I have received regular Cranio-Sacral Therapy sessions on a monthly basis and felt tremendous benefit. You can chat to your Cranio-Sacral Therapist about your needs and adjust how you have sessions over time.