Sunday, February 13, 2011

What is CranioSacral Therapy?

First you may be asking...What is CranioSacral Therapy?  

In a nutshell CranioSacral Therapy assists the body with a non-invasive touch, using no more than five grams of pressure, roughly the wight of a nickel to evaluate and detect imbalances and restrictions in the body.  It releases these restrictions deep in the central nervous system so that every other system in the body can relax and self-correct.  It helps you naturally free yourself of physical and emotional pain, stress, and discomfort and strengthens your resistance to disease and enhances your health and wellbeing.  

CST came about from the Osteopathic profession.  The Founder of Cranial Osteopathy, William Sutherland came to the conclusion in the early 1900's that the bones of the skull had movement.  He did further studies and came to prove this.  Then later came along Dr. John Upledger, he coined the term CranioSacral Therapy and was a true pioneer in this field.  The discovery of the Dural Pulse by Dr. John E. Upledger was the foundation for the groundbreaking work that he would later coin as CranioSacral Therapy.  He was assisting in a surgery and was asked to hold the dural tube.  However the dural tube was very hard to hold still and seemed as if there was a rhythm about it.  From there he looked more into this.  From 1975 to 1983, Dr. Upledger was a professor of biomechanics at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University. While he was there he led a team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists and bioengineers who performed and published the clinical research that formed the basis for CranioSacral Therapy.

The CranioSacral system has a pulse just like that of your circulatory system and your respiratory system.  The CranioSacral Systems pulse is 6-12 beats per minute.  This rhythm can be felt anywhere on the body by using a very sensitive touch. 

An important function of this system is the production, circulation, and re-absorption of Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF).  This fluid provides essential nourishment for the central nervous system, helping it to maintain a consistent balance even when other conditions of the body are changing.  All of the critical functions that are mediated by the Central Nervous System are dependent upon supply of this fluid.  The Cerebral Spinal Fluid is contained within the Dura and surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord.  It nourishes the brain and spinal cord and is very information rich, it tells a lot about the health of someone.

The CranioSacral System also consists of the membrane system which is the the membrane that lines the cranium and the dural tube that surrounds the spinal cord.  It also consists of the sacrum and the 22 bones of the skull.

The Autonomic Nervous System is greatly influenced with CST.  The ANS consists of the Parasympathetics and the Sympathetics.  Especially in today's society we are always go go go and dealing with stress.  So our Sympathetics are in overdrive.  With CST we can calm your Sympathetics down and kick in your Parasympathetics to create a more normal internal environment so that the cells of the body will continue to live and function properly.  Each cell will benefit from being in a state of homeostasis which means balance.  But, if one or more functional systems lose their ability to contribute, we will see breakdown of homeostasis.  Now all cells suffer, moderate dysfunction will lead to sickness, and if there is extreme dysfunction this can lead to death, if left alone. 

One of the primary tenants of the work is that everything in the body is connected to everything else.  So it's not possible to influence one part of the body with out influencing all of it.  

Fascia is a specialized system of the body that has an appearance similar to a spiders web or a loose knit sweater.  You can also look at it as the part you need to cut through when separating the skin of a chicken from the meant.  It is that saran-like covering that encases every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord.  The fascia system is not just a system of separate coverings.  It is actually one continuous structure that exists from your head to your toe without interruption.  

So you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater.  Trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgical procedures create Myofascial restrictions.  The fascial will become tight and restricted, which will then restrict the blood, nerves or energy meridians within that muscle or organ.  Long-term restrictions may result in thick fibrous areas within the fascia that will cause dysfunction and eventually dis-ease within the systems of the body.  CST helps the fascia get back to its normal healthy state, and help it become relaxed and way in configuration.       

Structure and function are inseparable, alterations in one, to some degree, will modify the other.  CranioSacral Therapy can help optimize brain structure which often improves function.  

What can CranioSacral Therapy help?

By complementing the body's natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction including:

-Migraines and headaches
-Chronic pain
-Motor-coordination impairments
-Central Nervous System disorders
-Orthopedic problems
-Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord injuries
-Learning disabilities
-Chronic fatigue
-Emotional difficulties
-Stress and tension related problems
-Fibromyalgia and other connective-tissue disorders
-Post-traumatic stress disorder
-Post-surgical dysfunction
-Pregnancy difficulties
-And so much more

CranioSacral Therapy is great for all ages!  Newborns to adults!

What is a session like?

You will then lie down comfortably-fully clothed.  I will also have you take your shoes off.  I do recommend that you wear loose, comfortable clothing.

The session is usually performed with you lying on a comfortable massage table, occasionally I may have you seated or standing.  I will begin by using a light touch at the feet-to assess where restrictions and other related problems exist in your body.  I will then continue to work through other parts of your body. 

What about during the session?

Experiences during a CranioSacral session are as individual as the clients themselves.  They also may differ from session to session.  Sometimes, you may deeply relax or even fall asleep, at other times you may talk a great deal, recalling hidden memories or expressing emotions.  You may even remain still during the entire session, hardly noticing my evaluation and treatment.  While others will experience sensations within the body as the evaluation process is continued. 
At various times throughout our session, I will support your limbs and spine while facilitating a release of accumulated tension.  This process is called energy cyst release or Myofascial release.  During this release, you may occasionally recall circumstances surrounding a past shock, trauma, or injury.  Releasing and re-experiencing past hurts assists the body in reversing dysfunction and restoring the previous level of mobility.  You can re-create those past hurts or dysfunction, this process has been named SomotoEmotional Release (SER)®
During a CranioSacral session it could be necessary to do some related work in the mouth ( Maxilla, Vomer, Mandible...) along with some of the face muscles, because these bones are closely related with the Sphenoid bone.  If not in balance they may be the root cause of the dysfunction.  

What about following a session?

Just as your session can very from another individuals session greatly, the immediate results from person to person can be just as diverse.  This relaxed state may cause some people to sleep for many hours after a session, while others may experience a big increase in energy.  Reduction of pain or an increase in function may occur immediately after the session, or it may develop gradually over the next few days.  Because CranioSacral Therapy helps the body resume its natural healing processes, it isn't unusual for improvement to continue well after the session.  Meanwhile, for some here may be a reorganization and integration phase as the body adapts to the release of previously held patterns. 

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