Craniosacral Therapy

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What is Craniosacral Therapy?

Craniosacral Therapy is also known as Cranial sacral therapy (CST). This therapy relieves compression in the bones of the head, sacrum (a triangular bone in the lower back), and spinal column. Craniosacral therapy uses gentle pressure on the head, neck, and back to relieve the stress and pain caused by compression. It can, as a result, help to treat a number of conditions.

In craniosacral therapy, gentle manipulation of the bones in the skull, spine, and pelvis removes the “blockages” from the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the central nervous system. This enhances the body’s ability to heal. Many massage therapists, physical therapists, osteopaths, and chiropractors are able to perform craniosacral therapy. It can be part of an already-scheduled treatment visit or the sole purpose of your appointment.

You usually benefit from Craniosacral therapy between 3 and 10 sessions. Depending on which treatment are you using, at Dr. Radhika’s Wellness Center, we help you with what’s right for you. Book an appointment with Dr. Radhika for the best Carniosacral treatment in Delhi.

Benefits and Use of Craniosacral Therapy

CST is thought to relieve compression in the head, neck, and back. This can soothe pain and release both emotional and physical stress and tension. It’s also thought to help restore cranial mobility and ease or release restrictions of the head, neck, and nerves.

Cranial sacral therapy can be used for people of all ages. It may be part of your treatment for conditions like:

  •      Migraines and Headaches
  •      Constipation
  •      Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  •      Disturbed sleep cycles
  •      Sinus infections
  •      Neck pain
  •      Fibromyalgia
  •      Recurrent ear infections
  •      Scoliosis
  •      TMJ
  •      Trauma recovery
  •      Anxiety or depression
  •      Difficult pregnancies

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that Craniosacral Therapy can relieve stress and tension, though some research suggests that it may only be effective for infants, toddlers, and children.

One such study in 2012 found that it was effective at reducing symptoms in those with severe migraines. Another study found that people with fibromyalgia experienced relief from symptoms (including pain and anxiety) thanks to Craniosacral Therapy.

Cranial sacral therapy can be used for people of all ages. It may be part of your treatment for conditions like:

Side Effects and Risks of Craniosacral Therapy

The most common side effect of Craniosacral Therapy is temporary mild discomfort following the treatment that shall eventually fade within 24 hours. There are certain individuals who shouldn’t use Craniosacral Therapy. These include people who have:

  •      Severe bleeding disorders
  •      A diagnosed aneurysm
  •      A history of recent traumatic head injuries, which may include cranial bleeding or skull fractures

Procedures and techniques of Craniosacral Therapy

When you arrive for your appointment, we will ask you about your symptoms and any pre-existing conditions that you have. You’ll typically remain fully clothed during the treatment, so wear comfortable clothing on your appointment with us. Your session will last about an hour, and you’ll likely begin by lying down on your back on the massage table. The CranioSacral Therapist may begin at your head, feet, or near the middle of your body.

Using five grams of pressure (which is about the weight of a nickel), we shall then gently hold your feet, head, or sacrum to listen to their subtle rhythms. If needed, we may gently press or reposition you to normalize the flow of the cerebrospinal fluids. They may use tissue-release methods while supporting one of your limbs. During the treatment, some people experience different sensations. These may include:

  •      Feeling deep relaxation
  •      Falling asleep, and later recalling memories or seeing colors
  •      Sensing pulsations
  •      Having a “pins and needles” (numbing) sensation
  •      Having a hot or cold sensation

FAQs about Cranio Sacral Therapy

How does Cranio Sacral 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 dysfunctions, from chronic pain and sports injuries to stroke and neurological impairment.

Is there any condition for which CST shouldn't be used?

There are certain situations where the application of CST would not be recommended. These include conditions where a variation and/or slight increase in intracranial pressure would cause instability. Acute aneurysm, cerebral hemorrhage or other preexisting severe bleeding disorders are examples of conditions that could be affected by small intracranial pressure changes.

How many Cranio Sacral Therapy sessions will I need?

Response to CST varies from individual to individual and condition to condition. Your response is uniquely your own and can’t be compared to anyone else’s – even those cases that may appear to be similar to your own. The number of sessions needed varies widely – from just one up to three or more a week over the course of several weeks.

When was Cranio Sacral Therapy developed?

It was in 1970, during a neck surgery in which he was assisting, that osteopathic physician John E. Upledger first observed the rhythmic movement of what would soon be identified as the craniosacral system. None of his colleagues nor any of the medical texts at the time could explain this discovery, however.

His curiosity piqued, Dr. Upledger began searching for the answer. He started with the research of Dr. William Sutherland, the father of cranial osteopathy. For some 20 years beginning in the early 1900s, 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 the beliefs of the scientific and medical communities. Dr. Upledger believed, however, that if Sutherland’s theory of cranial movement was in fact 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 scientifically confirm the existence of cranial bone motion. From 1975 to 1983 he served as clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics at Michigan State University, where he supervised a team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists and bioengineers in research and testing. The results not only confirmed Sutherland’s theory, but led to clarification of the mechanisms behind this motion – the craniosacral system. Dr. Upledger’s continued work in the field ultimately resulted in his development of CranioSacral Therapy.

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