What is Craniosacral Therapy?
It is a ‘hands on’ therapy. For treatment, you will usually
lie on a treatment couch and experience the very light touch of the
therapist’s hands. You may feel a deep sense of relaxation,
and possibly become aware of heat, tingling, pulsations or other sensations.
This extremely gentle therapy uses no manipulation. The therapist
listens, via her hands, to what is going on in your body, and in this
way both identifies and relieves pains or tensions held in the body.
Craniosacral Therapy is client-led. Your body will set the pace of
work, so you will remain comfortable, in control and able to integrate
the changes that occur.
Since it is your body (rather than your mind) that sets the priorities,
you may find that the reason you came for treatment is not what changes
first. Also, some people find that it can take a few sessions to get
used to what they are feeling. For these reasons, you may need to
consider having a series of treatments to gain the full benefit of
Craniosacral Therapy and its cumulative effects.
Craniosacral Therapy is becoming much better known these days. It
is based on a number of findings about the body’s subtle physiology,
which were made by osteopaths in the USA nearly a hundred years ago.
These finding show that every cell in a healthy body expresses a
rhythmic movement, which is fundamental to life – and which
has been called craniosacral motion.
At the core of the body the cerebrospinal fluid, which bathes and
cushions the brain and spinal cord, expresses this motion in a tide-like
ebb and flow, while bones, organs and other structures in the body
each follow their own particular pattern of movement. This motion
is so subtle that it is barely measurable with instruments, but the
hands of a trained therapist are able to perceive it.
As the implications of these finding were realised, during the first
thirty years or so of the last century, Craniosacral Therapy gradually
developed. Since then the therapy has been refined and further developed
into the subtle, deep healing process which is available today.
How does Craniosacral Therapy work?
In response to physical knocks or emotional stress, the body’s
tissues contract. Sometimes, particularly when the shock is severe
or occurs within an emotional situation, the tissues stay contracted.
Any stresses, strains, tensions or traumas which have been ‘stored’
in the body in this way will restrict the body’s functioning
and may give rise to problems over the years. The effects may be both
physical (such as back pain, migraine or digestive disorders) and
emotional (such as anxiety or depression).
Restrictions in the body’s functioning show up in the way that
craniosacral motion is expressed. Craniosacral therapists are trained
to feel this subtle motion in the body, and can use it to identify
areas where there is congestion or restriction. In this way they can
identify the possible origin of a problem.
Then, using the hands to reflect back to the body the pattern it
is holding, the therapist provides an opportunity for the body to
let go of its restrictive pattern and return to an easier mode of
This happens at a deep, unconscious level within the body, but it
occurs in the same way as we might take other, more conscious decisions.
For example, if someone holds a mirror in front of you when you are
frowning, you suddenly become aware of your expression and may well
choose to relax your eyebrows. As well as releasing the body’s
tensions, this frees the energy which the body was previously using
to hold itself in contraction. So one of the benefits of the therapy
is an increase in the level of energy available.
Can Craniosacral Therapy help me?
Craniosacral Therapy is so gentle that it is safe and suitable for
people of all ages, from babies to the elderly, and also in fragile
or acutely painful conditions.
Indeed, it is often appropriate when other therapies may be unsafe,
such as during pregnancy, after an operation, accident, fall or injury,
and for young babies. As a whole body therapy, Craniosacral Therapy
may aid people with almost any condition, by raising the vitality
and enabling the body’s own self-healing processes to be utilised.
But you don’t have to be ill or have any particular symptoms
to benefit form Craniosacral Therapy. The alleviation of life’s
stresses, and the increased sense of vitality and well-being that
Craniosacral Therapy can bring are welcome to most of us at any time.
Craniosacral Therapy for Babies
One of the joys of treating babies is that they tend to respond so
well to treatment, and more quickly than adults. Many infant problems,
like colic, sucking problems, breathing difficulties, restlessness
and irritability, may result form craniosacral imbalances caused during
the birth process. Treatment of young infants may help to relieve