A Gentle Kind of Pulse – Cranio Sacral Therapy or CST
A standout among the popular methods of natural health care treatments is Cranio Sacral therapy. This gentle yet powerful therapy works with the body, instead of forcefully imposing changes upon it.
A light-touch manual therapy, Cranio Sacral therapy (CST) enhances the body’s natural healing process. For nearly 30 years it has been shown to be effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and loss of function. CST is useful as both a primary treatment method and combined with other traditional or complementary techniques.
Cranio Sacral therapy uses a feather light-touch (about five grams of pressure or the equivalent of the weight of a nickel).
By using this light touch you can access a core rhythm in the body that is created by the system surrounding the brain and spinal cord. This pulse is communicated throughout the entire body so you can feel it any place on the body and not necessarily just the head or the spinal column. Where there are restrictions it will show up as a lack of motion or rhythm.
By addressing these areas of restriction, I am better able to treat the cause of problems rather than chase the symptoms.
CranioSacral therapy was founded in the 1970’s by Dr. John Upledger. During a spinal surgery Dr. Upledger noticed the strong pulse or rhythm in the three layered membrane system that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. After subsequent research at Michigan State University he determined this pulse was coming from the cerebral spinal fluid that bathes and protects the spinal cord. “All these membranes affect brain function,” he says, “and when they’re not moving properly, there can be harm.” Dr. Upledger teaches a series of techniques designed to help therapists facilitate the natural healing capabilities we inherently have in our bodies.
Our bodies are intelligent.
We are trained into thinking that our bodies are split into separate categories.
What we know on a gut level is that our bodies are connected through many layers of body, mind, spirit and soul.
In Cranio Sacral therapy we approach the body in this wholelistic way.
A layer of fascia or skin that protects our organs, muscles and skeletal structure covers us. This fascia or connective tissue contains a great deal of information that is stored either consciously or through our non-conscious in the form of tissue memories.
What happens during a Cranio Sacral session varies.
Sometimes the body remembers more than the conscious mind and will work to release stored past trauma. This stored trauma is released in the form of heat, coolness, numbness or softening of the tissues. These restrictions are easily released allowing the body’s own inherent wisdom to return to natural healthy functioning.
During a treatment session we’re allowing the person the space to open and express feelings and pain that have been held dormant within the body for years or decades.
Letting go of traumas whether they are recent or old, or psychic, emotional or physical in origin frees up the entire system. You’re working with the body’s own innate self-correcting mechanism. This gentle yet powerful form of therapy is ideal to relieve symptoms of injury or disease. The results are a sense of well being and increased awareness as well as physical relief and comfort.
CranioSacral therapy treatments have been used in many conditions such as: people with chronic headaches, migraines, TMJ, joint problems, low back pain, depression, vertigo, pain, swelling, numbness, stiffness and stress, and post-traumatic stress syndrome.
People get better from accidents and injuries even after being told they would not improve overall, they do.
Some people have benefited tremendously after receiving cranio sacral therapy sessions especially after traumatic accidents with significant injuries which do not seem to be able to heal completely with Western therapies.
Another person suffering with chronic headaches for the past 20 years expressed, “In the early years of experiencing headaches I went through the traditional battery of tests, scans, treatments and medicines (including Thorazine); all to no avail. Eventually, I learned to accept the headaches as a part of life. Taking ibuprofen became a daily routine, like brushing my teeth.
I was taking an average of 16 daily. Now, the headaches are simply gone.”
After six weeks of Cranio Sacral therapy, he is now headache free.
Cranio Sacral therapy also reaches into the psychological and spiritual plane as well. One patient says: “Cranio-sacral therapy has allowed me to reach and to heal parts of myself on a level far beyond intellectual understanding.
My pain was so great and my wounds were so deep that I had become numb and was operating from a false self – a self desperately seeking meaning and comfort but unable to find any lasting peace and unable to truly connect with anyone. I constantly pushed myself to do more, be more, have more in an attempt to find what I was looking for. Finally, after having children who showed me a depth of love I had never known, I made the choice to stop running and to face my fears. I began to experience an inner shift and for the first time experienced aspects of my spirit – quite a revelation for me since at the time, I didn’t even believe I had one.”
CST is a very useful tool in the treatment modality of children with a mental handicap like e.g. autism.
A skilled practitioner will be able to evaluate the Cranio Sacral rhythm through the use of their hands. The non-manipulative stretching of the restrictive dura mater by the use of Cranio Sacral therapy techniques has provided impressive improvement with autism. In autistic children this release of restrictive tissues leads to changes in sensory integration. When these compressions in the cranial vault are released it has often resulted in the child’s ability to demonstrate love and affection, improved socialization, improved speaking ability, improved ability to connect with another including increased eye contact.
In pediatric Cranio Sacral Therapy, great improvements in sensory and motor dysfunctioning children have been witnessed.
There is always a beneficial gain in a Cranio Sacral treatment session – sometimes subtle; sometimes dramatic. But always some self-correcting or self-healing takes place, allowing increased use and function of the body and a healthier approach to the living of life.
Having practiced and taught Reiki for the past 26 years, I felt that CST complements the Reiki hands-on sessions perfectly.
Therefore I quite naturally included this wonderful technique in all my Reiki sessions.
All sessions which are given to a fully clothed patient, last about one and a half hours.
I look forward to sharing this wonderful healing modilaty with you.
I gratefully extracted part of this text from Molly Grady-Tatgé’s website.
She is an Advanced Cranio Sacral therapist with 14 years experience. She is also a certified presenter, teacher and study group leader with the Upledger Institute.
You can contact her office in Atlanta or visit her website CranioSacral Therapy at www.craniosacralhealing.com