Cranio Sacral Therapy – also known as Cranial Sacral Therapy – is a versatile, gentle technique that works by freeing and healing the central nervous system. Because the central nervous system controls everything in the body and mind, and because this therapy typically causes no side effects, it can be used to treatment or complimentary therapy for all kinds of physical, emotional, and psychological conditions.
Healing Traumatic Brain Injury with Cranio-Sacral Therapy
The most obvious applications of Cranial work are traumatic injuries to the head or pelvis. My clients have had great success relieving pain, regaining their range of motion, and healing restrictions after car accidents, concussions, blows to the face, and childbirth. Some of these were recent, but even childhood injuries responded positively.
Similarly, long-term, non-traumatic stressors like running, sitting in office chairs, sinus infections and septum problems also improved or resolved with CST.
Cranio-Sacral Therapy feels different for everyone. For some, it’s like a supervised nap, and for others, a magic carpet ride. On the physical level, most of the contact is very light and very still – cranial practitioners practice our touch by feeling the surface of a cork floating in a bowl of water without sinking the cork at all.
A few of the maneuvers involve deeper pressure, held for a longer period of time (usually three to fifteen minutes, depending on how the body is responding,) which can feel a bit like a deep-tissue massage on pause. Internally, people often become deeply relaxed or enter a trance-like state with dreaming. Often sensations arise all over the body as it settles and re-orients.
Decompressing the bones in the cranium releases pressure and can create a feeling of freedom, expansion, and relief physically and emotionally. More so than with massage, there is a feeling that the receiver is sorting things out on their own, which is why I find the effects are often longer-lasting. My all-time favorite response was when a client opened her eyes after a cranial session and said, in an awestruck tone, “Wow! It’s like meditating…with a buddy.”
Cranio-sacral therapy recognizes what Italian and Chinese medicine have always taught: that the twenty-two bones of the head are flexible, distinct, and move in response to the pulsing circulation of cerebrospinal fluid. (The English classic Gray’s Anatomy, the basis of most anatomical understanding for centuries in the West, is based on studies of dead bodies, in which the cranial sutures are dried up and immobile.) These bones all need to do their own little dances, called motility, although their motions are so small – about forty microns – that they are easily overlooked.
By relieving pressure on nerves and the brain, the brain and nerves can “reach” places in the body that have been diseased or degenerating. What happens then is beyond prediction.