An in-depth look at CranioSacral therapy
What is CranioSacral therapy?
It is important to understand the central nervous system and to have somewhat of an understanding of how important it is in human functioning. Craniosacral therapy is much more than "energy work". Craniosacral therapy is a medicinal approach to wellbeing, and in many cases permanent healing occurs, by simply evaluating and suggesting a better movement of cerebrospinal fluid flow, using the client’s own central nervous system. No invasive medicines, needles, or surgeries, just the natural occurring central nervous system. The craniosacral system is made up of 3 parts, (1) The meninges, (a three layered membranous system), (2) Cerebrospinal fluid, which is encapsulated in the membrane system, (3) Structures within the membrane system, that control input and output of cerebrospinal fluid for the system.
The fluid input flows through the choroid plexus within the brain ventricles. The fluid is discharged via the arachnoid villi. We are constantly producing cerebrospinal fluid (about 500 cc’s in a 24 hour period) although, there is only 125cc's encapsulated at one time. This fluid is encapsulated in a pressure model inside our bodies, including our brains, spinal cord, pituitary and pineal glands, which causes the fluid to move through a phase of flexion and extension. We also have membranous tissue in our brain, called the falx cerebri, which has ocular motor nerves running through it. And finally we have many cranial bones that are sutured together, not to lock them in place, but to allow for expansion and contraction of the cerebrospinal fluid. Some of the bones move synchronistically with one another and some simply rest next to each other.
The main purpose of the fluid is to bathe and nourish the cerebrospinal nerves, although it also acts as a cushion, carries nutrients, and takes waste away. Through research at Michigan State University, Dr. John Upledger found that bones of the cranium must be in continual minute motion (about 1/300th of an inch), to accommodate the constant fluid pressure changes which occur within this semi-closed membrane system. The next area, which affects the central nervous system is the connective tissue, or fascia. Fascia rules, the muscles are the grunts to the fascia. So when a negative experience happens either physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually- it can cause a restriction in any one of these areas (fascia, muscles, bones). One example is a restriction that causes skull bones to lose their ability to move in response to changing pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid. When this happens, the central nervous system becomes compromised and symptoms arise. i.e. headaches, loss of coordination, mood change, etc.
A therapist trained in Craniosacral therapy knows how to locate restrictions, and suggest correction, to re-establish a normal and accurate motion specific to that client’s body, thereby, getting the client out of the crisis and returned to a healthy functioning state. Since the body is designed to heal itself, the improvement that you see with Craniosacral therapy is lasting, and the client will generally continue to self-correct for several days after a treatment. It is a wonderful approach to promote healing in just about any condition that may be causing dis-ease.