CranioSacral Therapy

by Beth Irvine Patient Expert

Undoing the Body

Personally and professionally, I have always loved science, nature and the realm of possibility. My passion has become my profession, spanning the past 25 years of nursing, writing and educating people in ways of health and healing. Five years ago my curiosities led me to explore a therapy known as CranioSacral therapy. What I discovered was a way to help others using a natural technique that generates their own self-healing.

The spark that ignites

I tend to take care of people who need "de-stressing." People who come to my office because they have physical or emotional problems or they just want preventive methods for keeping their body well. Teaching them how to let go of anxiety, stress, and tension also shows them how to bring their body into a safe, restful cocoon. It gives their body permission to heal itself and to function as it is designed and capable of functioning. My role as a facilitator is to be the spark that ignites what is already there.

What is CranioSacral Therapy?

CranioSacral therapy produces a non-invasive new pathway to helping on gain optimal health. This practice remains true to the most basic practice of medical law: "First, do no harm." CranioSacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the function of the CranioSacral system (cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord). Using a soft touch no greater than 5 grams (the weight of a nickel), there is a release of restrictions in the craniosacral system therefore improving the function of the central nervous system. It is similar to waiting and listening for any rhythm in the body, such as heart rate or breathing rate. It involves patience and trust. I listen with my hands and wait for the sensation to arrive, tuning into the internal matrix. I follow a ten-step protocol using a gentle light touch by placing my hands at ten specific positions on the body, mostly on the head. This allows a shifting or loosening within the fascia, releasing tightness and tension. Different hand positions on the skull's suture lines facilitate the body's innate ability to take over and come closer to its true state. This therapy complements the body's own ability to heal itself. When the body completely relaxes and moves into a state of balance, Mother Nature takes over. Perhaps there is a sensation of tingling or heat, tummy gurgling or deep yawning, all signs of the body responding, beginning to bring a state of balance.

The body healing itself

At this still point, a silence cradles a sense of true well being. The body has deeply relaxed, and the fascia, which before was tight and restrictive, has loosened and softened, allowing the CranioSacral system to come into equilibrium. The body has adjusted and balanced itself. A feeling of relaxation and lightness become apparent. There is a deeper intuitive knowing that the body has been healed and renewed.This treatment is used preventively for maintaining excellent health as well as an effective means of helping a wide variety of medical problems. CranioSacral therapy is becoming more widely known as people are searching for alternative methods that work. It is safe, non-invasive, effective and painless. It allows one to feel a centered calm sense of well being.

Who developed CST?

A pulsing ebb and flow rhythmic movement of what would soon be identified as the CranioSacral system (experienced while assisting in a spinal cord surgery) piqued Dr. John Upledger's curiosity. He began searching for the answer. He started with the research of Dr. William Sutherland, the father of cranial osteopathy. In the early 1900's Sutherland had explored the concept that the bones of the skull were structured to allow for movement. For decades after, this theory remained at odds with conventional belief. Dr. Upledger believed that if Sutherland's theory of cranial movement were true, this would help explain and make feasible the existence of the rhythm he had encountered in surgery. It was at this point that Dr. Upledger set out to confirm scientifically the existence of cranial bone motion. Dr. Upledger's continued work in the field ultimately resulted in his development of CranioSacral therapy, and the Upledger Institute was founded in 1985. Today there are more than 50,000 practitioners trained in CST.

Beth Irvine
Meet Our Writer
Beth Irvine

Beth wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Sleep Disorders.