Cranial Sacral Therapy
Conditions CST Can Help With:
CranioSacral Therapy has been found to be effective in helping alleviate such sensory, physical, motor, or intellectual dysfunctions as:
Single Session: $100 6 Sessions: $565 10 Sessions: $895 Add 30 minutes of Cranial Sacral Therapy to any massage for $30
Initial session 90 minutes: Includes in-depth consultation - Follow-up sessions 75-90 minutes
Cranial Sacral Therapy (CST) 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. The modality was 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.
Using a soft touch which is generally no greater than 5 grams – about the weight of a nickel – practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and it is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.
CST is a gentle, hands-on bodywork modality that works to enhance the function of your central nervous system, which in turn oversees every other system in your body. By addressing the central nervous system directly, CST enhances the body's natural healing processes. It improves the overall function of the central nervous system, dissipates negative effects of stress, enhances health and well-being, and strengthens resistance to disease.
Because of the gentle nature of this work, CST is ideal for babies, children, pregnant mothers, the elderly, and adults in fragile or acutely painful conditions.
What is the CranioSacral system?
Your craniosacral system comprises the bones of the skull and the membrane system surrounding your brain and spinal cord (i.e. your central nervous system). It is named for the cranium ("cranio") and the sacrum ("sacral"), which is the triangle-shaped bone at the base of the spine that attaches to the pelvis.
When you think of the three major organs we need to live, you think of the heart, lungs, and brain. The heart has a natural, rhythmic motion we can feel when we take our pulse. The lungs also have a natural rhythm we can feel when we place our hands on our ribs and feel them expand and contract in synch with our breath. So it makes sense that our body's other major organ, the brain, has a similar inherent rhythm, the craniosacral rhythm. This soft, subtle motion is felt in the head in response to the production and re-absorption of the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding your brain and spinal cord. This rhythm can be felt body-wide via the connective tissue network (fascia).
The craniosacral rhythm can be a direct expression of your physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual health. A strong rhythm may indicate a robust central nervous system that is able to oversee the function of all body systems easily. A shallower rhythm may indicate that the body is not able to function at its highest level of health or maintain homeostasis.
Within the body motion is health, so everything vital to our existence - organs, blood flow, the skeleton, etc. has a certain intrinsic motion much like the heart, lungs, and brain do. In order for the body to remain strong and healthy, all structures must maintain their natural movements. When things stop moving or movement is restricted, that's when pain or disease sets in. It's like the old adage, "Use it or lose it."
How CST Works
Injuries, traumatic events, muscle strain, and everyday stress can cause irregularities in the craniosacral rhythm, which in turn blocks the free-flow of cerebrospinal fluid in and out of the brain’s dura mater membrane. Such restrictions greatly inhibit the body’s ability for self-healing and may result in physical aches and pains, acute and chronic disease, and emotional or psychological disturbances.
The intrinsic movements of the skull bones enable the therapist to manipulate the rhythmic, hydraulic force inherent in the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord - the craniosacral rhythm. The quality of the flow of cerebral spinal fluid is an indicator for the health of your central nervous system. With CST, the bones of the skull and the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord are worked with to ensure that there are no restrictions within the system. Palpation of this hydraulic motion, soft tissue release work, and gentle manipulation of the cranium, spine, and sacrum enable Cranial Sacral Therapists to open restrictions to stimulate the self-healing process.
Restrictions anywhere in this area can adversely affect brain function, the cranial nerves (which operate your senses), or the spinal nerves (which oversee the organs and other body systems) giving rise to minor or major symptoms and dysfunction in the body and in emotional and mental health.
What to Expect in a CST session
You will lay fully clothed on the treatment table while the therapist applies light pressure and gentle joint manipulations to stimulate your body to self-correct and unwind tension patterns. Pillows, bolsters, and blankets are available to help you be as comfortable as possible.
How Often Should You Have Cranial Sacral Therapy?
Length of treatment depends on your goals for healing and the nature of the disorder being addressed:
I recommend trying four to 5 sessions initially and then we will re-assess. If you feel 100 percent better, that is wonderful and we're done! If you are 50 percent better, then we can proceed a with an updated protocol to get you to 100 percent. If you feel absolutely no change (and this is extremely rare), then we will adjust to a technique that is most effective to your needs. I also offer intensives, in which clients are seen for 1-2 hours each day 5 times in one week. Please call for rates and availability.
Trauma Touch Therapy (TTT) and Emotional Release
As a holistic modality, Cranial Sacral Therapy takes into consideration how one's emotional state may affect the physical body, and vice versa. Trauma Touch Therapy can be an effective adjunct to Cranial Sacral Therapy, when necessary, that allows you to explore the emotional, mental, or spiritual aspects of pain, disease, or dysfunction. If issues of that nature arise while receiving structural bodywork, TTT provides a means for handling them.
There is a saying in Cranial Sacral circles: "There can be issues in the tissues". The body retains memory not only in the cortex of the brain, but in every cell of the body. TTT may involve emotional release for the resolution of past or present "issues" to help rid your body of the residual effects of trauma, injury, or suffering that are preventing healing of an injury, pain or tension. It can also provide an amazing opportunity to achieve deeper levels of self-awareness.