CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY (CST)

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct, Craniosacral Therapy is able to alleviate a wide variety of dysfunctions, including Temporomandibular disorders (TMD).

It’s thought that through the gentle manipulation of the bones in the skull, spine, and pelvis, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the central nervous system can be normalized. This removes “blockages” from the normal flow, which enhances the body’s ability to heal.

Many massage therapists, physical therapists, osteopaths, and chiropractors are able to perform cranial sacral therapy. At About Face, It can be part of an already-scheduled treatment visit or the sole purpose for your appointment.

CST can help relieve compression in the head, neck, and back. This can soothe pain and release both emotional and physical stress and tension. It also helps restore cranial mobility and ease or release restrictions of the head, neck, and nerves.


Cranial sacral therapy can be used for people of all ages and conditions: 

  • Migraines and headaches

  • Constipation

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

  • Disturbed sleep cycles and insomnia

  • Scoliosis

  • Sinus infections

  • Neck pain

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Recurrent ear infections or colic in infants

  • TMJ

  • Trauma recovery, including trauma from whiplash

  • Mood disorders like anxiety or depression

Stimulating a deeply relaxed state, Craniosacral Therapy causes the parasympathetic nervous system (the body’s “rest and digest” response) to turn on. Being in this state is highly beneficial to desensitizing the body to pain. Craniosacral is also unique for working with the connective tissue (fascia) matrix that is intrinsic to the central nervous system. Traumatic events (such as car accidents, sports injuries, chronic conditions, abuse) can remain stored in the body through the chronic holding patterns we use to compensate for the injury and protect ourselves.

Over time, these mechanical habits reframe our emotional landscape. This psychosomatic (mind-body) baggage can stick around for months, years, and even decades if we do not address the root cause. Because the Craniosacral system is so deeply embedded in our nervous system, it is a deep access-point to releasing patterns that your body has not learned to let go of.

What is it?  

Craniosacral therapy emerged from Osteopathic medicine as a gentle, effective way to support the body’s function via the structure and mobility of the cranium and sacrum, which are connected by the spine. The defining characteristic of Craniosacral is its focus on and support of the central nervous system (composed of the brain and spinal cord), which is embedded in the dura mater, a deep part of the body’s connective tissue matrix that serves as scaffolding for the entire system.

Craniosacral therapists use light, precise holds that assess the state of this entire system and bring it into more easy movement by mobilizing the junctions of bones and freeing restrictions in the connective tissue (fascia) web. These techniques also stimulate the healthy production and drainage of cerebrospinal fluid, which surrounds and supports the brain and spinal cord and is a key component in the central nervous system’s ability to function.


The nervous system is important to support because it is the juncture at which chronic patterns and traumas are formed, and therefore the point from which they can be most effectively released. Craniosacral is one of the most effective therapies to receive for emotional and traumatic holding patterns, immune and endocrine dysfunction, as well as chronic pain and stress.

Central to the principles of Craniosacral is that the body holds the intelligence with which to heal itself — a therapist can intervene to help the body express its best health. This notion is experienced while receiving the therapy, which incorporates a series of static holds that are profoundly relaxing and allow the patient to feel grounded and re-set.

Who is Craniosacral Therapy Beneficial for?

Patients with stress, emotional and physical trauma, endocrine and immune system dysfunction (chronic illness), chronic fatigue and pain, TMJ syndrome.

What You Can Do to Prepare for a Craniosacral Session

  • Come well-hydrated but preferably not having chugged a glass of water just prior to a session

Post-Treatment

  • I recommend not scheduling any high-energy activities after a session. The body takes time to integrate, and most of these therapies will leave you relaxed and somewhat subdued.

  • After a session, you may feel: a reduction in pain or anxiety, a sense of feeling grounded, an increase in range of motion, sleepiness.

  • Recommended ways to sustain results and assist your body’s balancing: re-hydrating with water and electrolytes, walking, swimming, taking a bath, other calm activities that allow you to integrate the session.

CST is a great treatment when combined with massage, orofacial myology, and breath-work. 

 

Craniosacral Therapy