Are you suffering from lower back pain, neck pain, chronic tension, or headaches? Is your mind often exceedingly busy? Do you experience anxiety or depression? Are you finding it difficult to sleep at night, enter into a state of calmness, or relax? Is your nervous system overworked? If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you may probably need Craniosacral Therapy (or Craniosacral Balancing) for your self-care. This therapy is a gentle yet powerful type of bodywork that involves subtle adjustments to eliminate restrictions to the vital albeit small movement of the bones of the sacrum, spinal column, and cranium that rhythmically float in flowing fluid of the cranio-sacral system. Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle but effective readjustment of the central nervous system and since the central nervous system is located in the cranio-sacral region, this therapy produces an enhanced sensation of well-being and peace along with improved body systems and brain functioning. The pituitary and pineal glands and the other glands benefit from Craniosacral Balancing. Lymph and blood are also increased through these techniques.
This field of treatment was developed through the work of Dr. John E. Upledger and Dr. William G. Sutherland and a host of other osteopaths. More and more massage therapists are learning and integrating Craniosacral Therapy into their practices mainly because of the efficacy and versatility of its technique. Some practitioners may find a variety of ways to integrate Craniosacral Therapy into their
Reiki, hypnotherapy, and massage sessions. Clients suffering from emotional/mental stress or severe muscle tension often visit these practitioners to request for these deep tissue techniques. Because these deep treatment methods benefit the soft tissues, they provide the client with an intense sensation that promotes the circulation of lymph and blood in their bodies. Some practitioners discover that Craniosacral Therapy techniques most of the time can be woven into the sessions that can actually help the client relax in a more efficient and profound way since these processes work from the inside out. This therapy is very helpful for clients who are in a frail or especially sensitive state since only a light touch is used, whereas pressure-applied massage therapy would be too much. The techniques used in Craniosacral Therapy can be used alongside other massage therapies within a session based on the needs of the client’s at that moment, adding another aspect, both physiological and energetic, to the massage therapy. As the treatment frees obstacles through the craniosacral movement, and the flow of fluids (lymph, blood, cranio-sacral) is increased, the circulation of Chi (also known as the body’s vital energy, in Traditional Chinese Medicine) is set flowing and is also freed of constriction, promoting balance and health.
Craniosacral therapy is often used to relieve hypertension, migraines, and headaches. It actually only took a few sessions of this healing method to reduce and relieve dramatically my chronic headaches. This is why I was totally blown away by the value of this therapy which is a very good way to relieve headaches, and as an extension, brain and mood functioning. While it’s often believed the cranium or skull is a single unit, the skull is actually composed of several bones that very slightly move while floating in cerebral-spinal fluid. Just as our breath and heart beat rhythmically contract and expand, so too does the cerebral-spinal fluid. The central nervous system, sacrum, spine, and brain all flow and move with the craniosacral tides. The cranio-sacral fluid’s density, interestingly, can be equated to that of the ocean, further pointing to the potential for this type of bodywork to restore balance and the natural rhythms, both energetic, chemical, and physical, as well as from without and within to the body and its various systems.
There are various causes of stuck stagnant tissues or “adhesions” in the cerebral-spinal column and cranium, and these adhesions are quite common. Decompressions can occur when adhesions are gently freed from the cranial bones literally resulting in the cerebro-spinal fluid’s ability to flow freely with the general craniosacral tide; enhanced flow of oxygen, lymph, and blood; and more space for the brain. All sorts of headaches can be ameliorated in this manner and different regions of the brain can better function after therapy. For instance, since the pituitary gland, which is the most important gland in the endocrine system, actually rests on the sphenoid, sphenoid bone adjustments can significantly boost the function of the pituitary gland. Since the sphenoid bone communicates with the optic nerve, adjustments to the craniosacral sphenoid can also improve vision. Eye strain-caused headaches may be reduced in this manner. Another example is the temporal bone. A host of symptoms can be resolved including epilepsy, TMJ inflammation, hearing and eye problems, dizziness, headaches, and even dyslexia when proper fluidity is restored to the temporal bones.
The techniques used in Craniosacral Balancing work extremely well for neck pain, more so when the first vertebrae (atlas) and the base of the skull (occiput) are misaligned or compressed. This typical pattern of restriction increases pressure on some cranial nerves, which impairs the function of the nervous system restricting the ability to relax, vitality, and focus.
Decompression by means of these methods can generate space between the vertebrae and occiput and espouse proper alignment. Restrictions and adhesions up and down the spinal column, can in fact be gently liberated via the process of unwinding and can promote realignment of the spine, resulting in the relief of back pain. The location of the base of the spine (the sacrum) can be also readjusted in craniosacral therapy, which contributes to the relief of lower back pain that resulted in misalignment which also impacts the hip or sacro-iliac joints. With craniosacral balancing, a direct relationship between the lower back, spine, and brain becomes clear. We are all aware that fluids and water conduct electricity (energy) and that electricity quickly moves through liquids. That energy can move up and down from the base of the spine with the same speed to the crown of the head, which in Vedic tradition, is known as the flow of Kundalini energy. With craniosacral treatments, blockages can be freed which is also serves to liberate Kundalini energy (as well as the energy centers or chakras of the body) whilst bolstering the physiological systems.
Craniosacral therapy has many approaches that can help relieve hypertension, anxiety, and depression. When adhesions are mobilized, oxygen and blood circulation are enhanced consequently changing the chemistry of the brain which has a beneficial and direct impact on emotion and mood. It widely known that the chemical composition of the brain is related directly to behavior and emotion. The brain’s chemistry rebalances and mood and emotion automatically shift as the central nervous system and brain use up nutrients from enhanced cerebrospinal fluid and blood flow. Craniosacral Therapy methods work with the cranial bones, sacrum, and the spine, and especially the deep bones in the cranium’s core, effectively resetting the nervous system by sending the craniosacral rhythm to a still point. Inducing this “stillpoint” temporarily to the craniosacral cycle of emptying and filling cerebrospinal fluid provides the nervous system a chance to rectify itself. Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, the nervous system reset results in a profound shift into a peaceful and calm state which is sometimes called a parasympathetic shift. Through this parasympathetic shift, anger, anxiety, depression, and tension can be transformed into more balanced and positive states of being whereby the unconscious mind shifts to a balanced state of well-being from a fight or flight mode. This process can lead to calm and peace from an otherwise overly-busy mind. As calm is established and the nerves are soothed, a positive climate well-suited to balance and healing is generated. Craniosacral work therapy can be very relaxing and work gently because, mostly, small micro-movements are being utilized and since the bone movements due to craniosacral emptying and filling are extremely small movements. While it may initially appear that from the receiving end, not much is happening, as the reset takes effect, the client often moves in an almost sleep-like, profound state.
Blue Mountain Acupuncture
2200 Melrose St Suite 9
Walla Walla, WA 99362
Phone: (509) 876-4597