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Complementary Healthcare Information Service - UK

Craniosacral Therapy

 

What is it?

Cranio-Sacral Therapy is a gentle form of holistic therapy developed from cranial osteopathy and oriental approach to bodywork. It uses touch to evaluate and affect the cranio-sacral system, i.e. the cranium (skull), the spinal column and the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. It is believed that changes in the cerebrospinal fluid will in turn affect every cell in the body via the connective tissue.

Dr John E Upledger, an American osteopath, developed cranio-sacral therapy from the cranial osteopathy work of Dr William Garner Sutherland. The key differences in Upledger's development of the therapy was to focus the treatment on the soft tissues, fluid and membrane of the cranio-sacral system rather than the bones, and that the rhythm of the cranio-sacral fluid was independent to the heart and respiration rates.

Treatment usually takes place on a couch with the client wearing light clothing. The practitioner will gently palpate areas of the body (usually the sacrum at the base of the spine and the head), using a very light touch to feel the cranial rhythmic impulse (CRI) of the cerebrospinal fluid. The treatment aim is to restore balance by allowing the removal of restrictions to the movement of the CRI to facilitate the body's own self-healing. A Cranio-Sacral session will normally last between 30 and 60 minutes and is suitable for everyone, including babies, children and the elderly.

Cranio-Sacral Therapy may help many conditions as it can affect all aspects of the body by enhancing general health, reducing stress and improving brain and spinal cord function. It is commonly used to treat conditions such as chronic pain, scoliosis, coordination problems, post-operative care, sports injuries, depression, birth trauma, hyperactivity and hormonal imbalances.

 

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