CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. It was pioneered and developed by Osteopathic Physician John E. Upledger after years of clinical testing and research at Michigan State University where he served as professor of biomechanics.
Using a soft touch which is generally no greater than 5 grams – about the weight of a nickel – practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and it''s effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.
How does CranioSacral Therapy Work?
Few structures have as much influence over the body’s ability to function properly as the brain and spinal cord that make up the central nervous system. And, the central nervous system is heavily influenced by the craniosacral system – the membranes and fluid that surround, protect and nourish the brain and spinal cord.
Every day your body endures stresses and strains that it must work to compensate for. Unfortunately, these changes often cause body tissues to tighten and distort the craniosacral system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord resulting in restrictions. This can create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with.
Fortunately, such restrictions can be detected and corrected using simple methods of touch. With a light touch, the CST practitioner uses his or her hands to evaluate the craniosacral system by gently feeling various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord. Soft-touch techniques are then used to release restrictions in any tissues influencing the craniosacral system.
By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct, CranioSacral Therapy is able to alleviate a wide variety of dysfunction, from chronic pain and sports injuries to stroke and neurological impairment.
What causes the pulse in the cerebral spinal fluid?
The brain and spinal column are encased in a common membrane and the brain is enclosed in the skull bones. The pulse is created by this process:
Filtered blood inside the membrane creates pressure and it pushes the skull bones
This stretches the muscles surrounding the skull which generates electricity as muscles are piezoelectric.
That electricity signals the muscles around the arteries supplying blood to the brain to contract, reducing blood pressure to the brain and inside the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal column
The filtered blood surrounding the brain and spinal column filters into the lymphatic system
Skull bones are no longer pressurized and move inward releasing the tension on the skull muscles which in turn reduces the electrical signal to the muscles around arteries supplying blood to the brain and blood pressure increases.
The cycle continues and the pulse gets stronger when the body is reduces fight and flight response indicated by the triple heater meridian and associated muscles and increases the rest and repair response - indicated by the pericardium meridian and associated muscles.
What conditions does CranioSacral Therapy address?