Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system. This system is comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. The therapy focuses on the role the musculoskeletal system plays in the functioning of the nervous system and compliments the natural healing processes of the body.
Craniosacral therapy is becoming an increasingly popular adjunct treatment for people suffering from fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals. Fibromyalgia is a very difficult condition to diagnose – doctors usually use imaging tests and other diagnostic measures to rule out other causes for pain.
How Does Craniosacral Therapy Work?
Using a soft touch which is generally no greater than 5 grams – about the weight of a nickel – CST practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system by using his or her hands to evaluate the craniosacral system by gently feeling various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord. Soft-touch techniques are then used to release restrictions in any tissues influencing the craniosacral system.
By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct, Craniosacral Therapy may be able to alleviate a wide variety of dysfunctions, from chronic pain and sports injuries to stroke and neurological impairment. Patient response to craniosacral therapy can vary based on patient characteristics and the severity of the condition. The number of sessions needed varies widely – from just one up to three or more a week over the course of several weeks.
Craniosacral Therapy: An Option for Other Conditions
CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and it’s effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction. Beyond fibromyalgia, CST can be effective for the following conditions:
- Migraine headaches
- Sinus problems
- TMJ (“Lockjaw”)
- Chronic neck and back pain
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Trauma of any kind
- Post-surgical recovery
- Chronic fatigue
- Central nervous system disorders