What is CranioSacral Therapy?
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, manual therapy developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger that facilitates release of held restrictions in the entire body, with particular attention to the craniosacral system. By improving mobility of this system and other tissues and fluids of the body, CST assists the body's natural ability to normalize itself and achieve greater health. It has it's roots in Osteopathic Medicine and the work of Andrew T. Stills and William Sutherland.
What is the craniosacral system?
The craniosacral system has great influence over, and is interconnected with, all other body
systems. This core system is comprised of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord and
contains the cerebrospinal fluid that nourishes and protects these critical structures.
The membranes line the inner surfaces of the bones that form the cranium, then extend as a tube
down through the spinal column to attach to the sacrum, thus allowing the bones to be used as
handles to affect the soft tissues of the system.
The circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid in the system produces a rhythmic motion that can be
palpated throughout the entire body, and is used for evaluation and treatment during a CST session.
What is a CranioSacral Therapist?
CranioSacral Therapists are licensed health professionals trained to palpate the subtle rhythms and movements of the craniosacral system, and other body systems, to locate areas where mobility is limited. By evaluating this way, the origin of dysfunction can be discovered. They use gentle CST techniques to mobilize the craniosacral system and facilitate release of identified physical, energetic and emotional restrictions in the body.
How can CST help me?
Because of its gentle nature and positive effects on all of the body systems, CST can be helpful in a large variety of conditions and situations and can be used for people of all ages. CST can be part of a wellness or preventative health care program and can be part of a medical treatment program.
Examples of conditions that have improved with the use of CST include, but are not limited to:
* Migraines and headaches
* Back and neck pain
* Neurological disorders
* Immune system disorders
* Learning disabilities
* Chronic pain conditions
* Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
* Pre-surgical preparation
* Post-surgical recovery
* Orthopedic trauma and dysfunction
* Stress related disorders
If your specific situation is not addressed above or if you want to know more about CST, please contact me and I will be happy to assist or even refer you to a therapist in your area.
What is Visceral Manipulation
Visceral Manipulation was developed by French Osteopath, Jean-Pierre Barral. At optimal health, the relationship between the organs (viscera) and structures of the body (muscles, membranes, fasciae and bones) remains stable despite the body’s endless varieties of motion. But when one organ can’t move in harmony with its surrounding viscera due to abnormal tone, adhesions or displacement, it works against all the body’s organs and structures. This disharmony creates fixed, abnormal points of tension that the body is forced to move around. That chronic irritation, in turn, paves the way for disease and dysfunction.
Visceral Manipulation (VM) is a gentle hands-on therapy that works through the body’s visceral system (the nerves, the heart, liver, intestines and other internal organs,) to locate and alleviate these abnormal points of tension throughout the body.
VM employs specifically placed manual forces that work to encourage the normal mobility, tone and motion of the viscera and their connective tissues. I use the rhythmic motions of the visceral system to evaluate how abnormal forces interplay, overlap and affect the normal body forces at work. These gentle manipulations can potentially improve the functioning of individual organs, the systems the organs function within, and the structural integrity of the entire body.
Your body is made up of many interrelated components such as bones, muscles, nerves, a thin connective tissue called fascia, as well as the internal organs (viscera). Your organs are in perpetual motion. When you breathe, walk and stretch, your organs move in your chest and abdomen. For example, when you take a breath, your kidneys move one inch; and with deep inhalation, they move 4 inches. In a day, they move a little over ½ mile. That's around 19,000 miles in a lifetime!
This movement of organs is transmitted through fascia to other structures of the body. When you are healthy, all the structures move with an interconnected fluidity. All of this movement is important as it influences activities throughout the body from the tiniest cellular pulsations to rhythmic contractions of the heart and blood flow. Optimum health relies on a harmonious relationship between the motions of the organs and other structures of the body.
There are many reasons for an organ to lose its mobility: physical traumas, surgeries, sedentary lifestyle, infections, pollution, bad diet, poor posture and pregnancy/delivery. When an organ is no longer freely mobile but is fixed to another structure, the body is forced to compensate. This disharmony creates fixed, abnormal points of tension and the chronic irritation gives way to functional and structural problems throughout the body – musculoskeletal, vascular, nervous, urinary, respiratory and digestive, to name a few.
Imagine scar tissue around the lungs. Because of the pull of the adhesion, with every breath, the movement patterns of the nearby structures would be altered. This could shift rib motion creating pulls on the spine. These restrictions might then show up as mid-back and neck pain, as well as limited motion in the shoulder. This scenario highlights just one of hundreds of possible ramifications of a small dysfunction - magnified by thousands of repetitions each day. This also explains how pain can often be far removed from the actual cause.
With Visceral Manipulation, movement and vitality can be restored and thereby not only increase the health of the tissues but the entire body.
Scalar Cold Laser Therapy
Scalar wave technology was developed by Tesla and is now being used in laser therapy. The laser uses red, infra red and violet light and is placed near or on the area to help relieve pain and inflammation and also to increase circulation and relax tissue.
Reconnecting to Health
My friend Kate has made a beautiful video for clients to see what CST is like.