Benefits of Craniosacral Therapy
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy can relieve compression in the head, neck and back. This can soothe pain and release both emotional and physical stress and tension. It can also restore cranial mobility and ease or release restrictions in the head, neck, and nerves.
The benefits of Craniosacral therapy include:
Relief from migraines and headaches
Reduced neck pain
Trauma recovery, including trauma from whiplash
Decreased anxiety and depression
Craniosacral therapy is a light touch manual therapy that works with the body’s self-correction mechanism to affect multiple structural and physiological systems in attaining greater health and well-being. Craniosacral therapy can be a stand-alone session or can easily be combined with other bodywork modalities. Craniosacral therapy is suitable for everyone from children to seniors. Many people who prefer a light touch are drawn to this work. During a session, you will lay on the table and remain clothed. Most people find the experience uniquely relaxing, and afterward, many report feeling their nervous system has been restored to a more natural state.
History of Craniosacral Therapy
Craniosacral therapy is born out of the osteopathic medical tradition. Osteopathy was developed by Andrew Taylor Still, MD, a Civil War surgeon. At the end of the Civil War, Still lost three of his children to spinal meningitis. This lead him to devote the remainder of his life to the study of the human body and developing alternative means of treatment for disease and dysfunction. His philosophy of treatment became known as osteopathy.
Dr. Still based his approach on three principles. First, structure and function are interrelated. When a structure is compressed, overstretched, or otherwise misaligned, function becomes impaired, creating, pain, dysfunction, and even disease. Second, the body is a unit. All systems are connected to one another. The circulatory system serves all the other systems of the body. The nervous system receives information throughout the body and send regulatory signals adjusting physiological systems based on this sensory input. Fascia or connective tissue matrix is continuous throughout the body and invests every other structure. Treatment methods based in osteopathy are often successful because of the ability of the practitioner to locate the origin of the problem, which can be distant from the symptoms of the patient. Lastly, the body is a self-correcting mechanism. There is an innate ability of the human body to heal itself. The osteopathic approach involved facilitating or enhancing the body’s own natural capacity when traumatic or disease processes become overwhelming for the system.
The work was continued on by William Sutherland, D.O. who attended Still’s American School of Osteopathy. Sutherland was attracted to the unique shape of the cranial bones and their relationship with each other. He was the first to perceive a subtle movement at the cranium and later to identify this same rhythm throughout the body. He named this the primary respiratory mechanism. Sutherland developed techniques for treating restrictions between the cranial bones in order to facilitate motion at the sutures.
The concept of cranial bone movement was further developed in the 1970s through the research performed by John Upledger, D.O. and associates at the University of Michigan. Another contribution by Upledger was the focus on the dura mater lining in the interior of the cranium and the subsequent formation of the intracranial membrane within the actual brain structure. He developed specific techniques not only to promote the release of sutural restrictions but to release restrictions within the actual dura and intracranial membrane. Since the dura mater is a type of connective tissue or fascia and is continuous with the remainder of the connective tissue matrix, release of these restrictions can effect the function of distant parts of the body.
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy
The Biodynamic form of Craniosacral Therapy has been developed primarily by Franklyn Sills. Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy has as its foundation the concept of the Breath of Life as the foundational ordering principle of all life, including human life. The Breath of Life expresses itself in form as motion. All our tissues breathe or are breathed by this Breath. The inspiration and expiration of the Breath of Life produces three different physiological rhythms, all of which
are palpable by the therapist.
In the Biodynamic approach of Craniosacral work the subtle rhythms produced by the Breath of Life are regarded as expressions of health that carry an essential ordering principle, a true blueprint for health, which is carried and distributed throughout our bodies by our fluids, especially by our cerebrospinal fluid.
In Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy we seek to free obstructions to this blueprint in order to restore health and function as well as freedom of purpose and well-being. The free expression of this blueprint, conveyed through the fluids via the Breath of Life, naturally carries the patient to restored balance and harmony.