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CranioSacral Therapy - explained

Quiet, relaxing, restful - it’s been labelled mysterious: So what is CranioSacral Therapy?

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, non-intrusive therapy which through gentle touch releases restrictions, tension and pain in the body; complementing the body’s natural healing process and aiming to boost your health and well being.

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is an exceptionally gentle yet extremely powerful treatment. It is a healing treatment which can release the deeply held patterns of disease - both physical and psychological - which accumulate throughout life as a result of injury, illness and poor posture and become held in the body tissues, leading to ill-health and dysfunction.

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.

grass blowing seeds in the wind

What is CranioSacral Therapy?

It was pioneered and developed by Osteopathic Physician John E. Upledger after years of clinical testing and research at Michigan State University where he served as professor of biomechanics.

The CranioSacral System is a semi-closed hydraulic system held within a tough waterproof membrane (Dura Mater) which envelopes the brain and the spinal chord. Cerebrospinal fluid is produced and reabsorbed within the Dura Mater and produces a continuous rise and fall of fluid pressure within the CranioSacral System - producing a pulse which can be felt anywhere in the body.

It is this pulse which CranioSacral Therapist works with, just as a Cardiologist works with the pulse of the heart and circulatory system.

Cranio refers to the cranium, which houses the brain. Sacral refers to the sacrum, which is your tailbone and marks the end of your spinal column

Every cell, tissue, and organ needs to be able to move freely

in order to function correctly

How does CranioSacral Therapy work?

The therapists touch is non-intrusive, subtle and gentle, no greater than the weight of a 20p coin. This subtle touch allows the therapist to tune into and engage with the natural movements of their client's body.

Gentle hands - a babies hand held by and adults hands

The subtleness of the therapist's touch allows the body to relax and open up, allowing the client's body to respond by addressing and releasing any disturbances and restrictions: The therapists light touch is able to penetrate deeper levels of the body, accessing the areas of underlying health conditions and root causes of disease; areas which are not normally able to be accessed by more physical or invasive means such as massage or surgery.

These releases allow the body to become calmer and settled providing a state where the body can become balanced and functioning as it should.

The role the therapist is CST is not to forcibly correct the body, but rather to encourage the body to correct itself, which leads to a more fundamental change and often disappearance of chronic symptoms.

If the body is balanced - it can heal itself.

Who can benefit from CranioSacral Therapy?

Consequently, the applications of CST are very wide – from simple aches and pains to the most complex chronic or persistent issues. It can also be valuable in helping to resolve intransigent and persistent conditions that have not responded to other forms of treatment.

A family out on the beach with their dog

CST also has a significant part to play in addressing the consequences of physical or emotional trauma and shock, been able to engage with both the physical and psycho-emotional effects of trauma.

Here is a list of some conditions that CranioSacral Therapy can address:

  • Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Migraines and Headaches

  • Chronic Neck and Back Pain

  • Autism

  • Stress and Tension-Related Disorders

  • Motor-Coordination Impairments

  • Parkinsons

  • Infant and Childhood Disorders

  • Guillain-Barre syndrome

  • Chronic Fatigue

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Scoliosis

  • Bells Palsy

  • Central Nervous System Disorders

  • Learning disorders

  • Dyslexia

  • Hyperkinetic disorder


  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Orthopedic Problems

  • And Many Other Conditions

CST is suitable for newborns

the elderly and everyone in between

During a treatment

Initially the therapist will take your personal and medical details to ensure they are able to give you a treatment that is suitable for your current state of health. They will also ask you about your health concerns and discuss what the best course of treatment

lady having CranioSacral therapy on her head

would be for you.

A CST treatment is carried out with the client clothed, lying on a couch. If you cannot lie down then an alternative position can be found. (If the treatment is to include massage or other therapy you may need to be partly undressed.)

The treatment may be for an hour or longer and may include other therapies depending upon your chosen course of treatment.

Because of the direct connection with the brain and spinal cord, CST has an effect on the Autonomic Nervous System, often causing a feeling of deep calm or groundedness during and after the treatment. This enables the body to respond better to stress and other challenges which can help improve a client's energy level.

An effective treatment for prevention

to keep the body in balance

And afterwards ...

After your session, you will most likely feel more relaxed and comfortable than you have in some time. Your symptoms may have completely disappeared or feel slightly / much better. It is common that over the next few days you will experience changes and continue to improve. You may feel energized for days after a session or you may find that you need to sleep (the body is working to heal itself which can be tiring).

Think of your health concern as ball stuck at the top of a gentle slope, with a balanced body at the bottom. The treatment allows the ball to be released allowing it to gradually move down the hill on its own (body healing itself) towards balance. Sometimes the slope is steeper allowing for faster movement (bigger improvements/changes) but there are also pot holes and other obstacles to getting to the bottom (lack of progress or feeling worse) which can be overcome by lifestyle changes and further treatments.

Response to CST varies from individual to individual and condition to condition. Your response is uniquely your own and can't be compared to anyone else's - even those cases that may appear to be similar to your own.

The number of sessions needed varies widely - from just one single treatment up to three or more a week over the course of several weeks.

Contact me for more information or to make an appointment

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