FAQ

 

What is CranioSacral Therapy?

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. It was pioneered and developed by Osteopathic Physician John E. Upledger after years of clinical testing and research at Michigan State University where he served as professor of biomechanics.

Using a soft touch which is generally no greater than 5 grams - about the weight of a nickel - practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and it's effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.

return to top

How does CranioSacral Therapy Work?

Few structures have as much influence over the body's ability to function properly as the brain and spinal cord that make up the central nervous system. And, the central nervous system is heavily influenced by the craniosacral system - the membranes and fluid that surround, protect and nourish the brain and spinal cord.

Every day your body endures stresses and strains that it must work to compensate for. Unfortunately, these changes often cause body tissues to tighten and distort the craniosacral system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord resulting in restrictions. This can create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with.

Fortunately, such restrictions can be detected and corrected using simple methods of touch. With a light touch, the CST practitioner uses his or her hands to evaluate the craniosacral system by gently feeling various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord. Soft-touch techniques are then used to release restrictions in any tissues influencing the craniosacral system.

By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body's ability to self-correct, CranioSacral Therapy is able to alleviate a wide variety of dysfunctions, from chronic pain and sports injuries to stroke and neurological impairment.

return to top

What conditions does CranioSacral Therapy address?

  • Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury 

  • Migraines and Headaches

  • Chronic Neck and Back Pain

  • Autism 

  • Stress and Tension-Related Disorders

  • Motor-Coordination Impairments

  • Infant and Childhood Disorders

  • Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries

  • Chronic Fatigue

  • Fibromyalgia

  • TMJ Syndrome

  • Scoliosis

  • Central Nervous System Disorders

  • Learning Disabilities

  • ADD/ADHD

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Orthopedic Problems

  • And Many Other Conditions

return to top

Is there any condition for which CST shouldn't be used?

There are certain situations where application of CST would not be recommended. These include conditions where a variation and/or slight increase in intracranial pressure would cause instability. Acute aneurysm, cerebral hemorrhage or other pre-existing severe bleeding disorders are examples of conditions that could be affected by small intracranial pressure changes.

return to top

How many sessions will I need?

This depends on what your goals are, what symptoms you suffer from, and how readily your system responds to this therapy. As a general rule, three to ten sessions will have a significant impact on most people’s health, and in some cases only one session can make a dramatic difference. Often, clients receive regular sessions for longer periods of time, followed by an occasional tune-up to maintain health.

return to top

When was CranioSacral Therapy developed?

It was in 1970, during a neck surgery in which he was assisting, that osteopathic physician John E. Upledger first observed the rhythmic movement of what would soon be identified as the craniosacral system. None of his colleagues nor any of the medical texts at the time could explain this discovery, however.

His curiosity piqued, Dr. Upledger began searching for the answer. He started with the research of Dr. William Sutherland, the father of cranial osteopathy. For some 20 years beginning in the early 1900s, Sutherland had explored the concept that the bones of the skull were structured to allow for movement. For decades after, this theory remained at odds with the beliefs of the scientific and medical communities. Dr. Upledger believed, however, that if Sutherland's theory of cranial movement was in fact true, this would help explain, and make feasible, the existence of the rhythm he had encountered in surgery.

It was at this point that Dr. Upledger set out to scientifically confirm the existence of cranial bone motion. From 1975 to 1983 he served as clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics at Michigan State University, where he supervised a team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists and bioengineers in research and testing. The results not only confirmed Sutherland's theory, but led to clarification of the mechanisms behind this motion - the craniosacral system. Dr. Upledger's continued work in the field ultimately resulted in his development of CranioSacral Therapy.

return to top

What is a session like?

Appointments are scheduled every hour, with 35-45 minutes of treatment time. After an intake discussion, the fully-clothed client lies down on the table and the therapist applies gentle holds on the client’s body. While the work can be done in silence, sometimes the therapist will engage in verbal communication in order to provide the optimum container for the therapeutic process.

return to top

Do you accept insurance?

We do not accept insurance, however we can provide you with a billing statement.

return to top

Who can benefit from Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy?

Because of the gentle non-invasive nature of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST), there are few contraindications for treatment. Everyone can benefit, enjoyed by newborns. elders, the frail or ill. The improvement after a session may be subtle or dramatic. BCST encourages health in the brain and nervous system, has been known to be effective in assisting the prevention of chronic conditions.

In Addition, BCST can be useful in addressing injuries, including those to the bones and tissues. BCST is also an effective modality for exploring and resolving issues of the past including prenatal and birth trauma. Early trauma can create an unconscious belief system that is not relevant in the adult.  BCST allows the acknowledgement of out-modeled beliefs and shifting to real or appropriate beliefs.

How many of us have experience a head or tailbone injury, accidents, minor or major surgeries, and dental work?  Life experiences can create emotional trauma, physical strains and anesthesia residues. The biodynamic approach strengthens the whole system, creating a safe environment for the body can gain new perspectives, a healthy   resolution of issues. The Biodynamic Craniosacral practitioner is a facilitator for resolution. Our innate inner health is capable of repatterning toward health in an order of priorities initiated by the body, a titrated shift to prevent overwhelm. It is not necessary  remember, re-experience or relive trauma in order for resolution.

return to top

Is Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy safe for children?

Children respond well to BCST because it is gentle, non-invasive, and effective in ways they can intuitively recognize. Even small children quickly get used to the work as they develop trust in their practitioner. Pre-verbal children may actually direct the practitioner’s hands to areas of discomfort.

Children easily show the dynamics of their experience through movement and sounds. Much subtle work can be done by the practitioner during “playtime” in which the child is observed and assisted in completing unresolved challenges. Parents are often astounded at the way a crabby, hyperactive, or miserable child will fall into deep relaxation or sleep during treatment.

The challenge, of course, is the busy toddler who won’t lie still. Here the parent can help out by holding the child as the practitioner makes even brief contacts on the spine, head, and sacrum. A little goes a long way with a child. Whatever can be resolved during infancy or childhood, often in only a few sessions, can potentially prevent decades of medical and psychological treatment later on. In addition, resolution of misaligned forces makes us less accident-prone, because we are not “off-balance”.

return to top

Is Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy safe during pregnancy?

BCST is not only safe but recommended during pregnancy, as it calms the nervous system of both mother and child.  It strengthens emotional bonding which has the potential of  being short-circuited due to pre-natal and birth stresses and trauma.

The Biodynamic approach can contact the Primal Midline of the infant’s delicate nervous system — the midline that holds our Originality, the state of perfection that enables us to be less affected by negative influences from our genetics.

Also, although the growing prenate is highly conscious, s/he does not know the difference between mother’s thoughts and feelings and its own, so when Mom’s system is soothed and balanced during pregnancy, the baby benefits as well. This therapy has been found to help with fertility issues as well.

return to top

Are there manipulations involved?

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is distinguished by its minimal reliance on manipulations of any kind. If the various Craniosacral methods could be characterized and compared based on this criterion, the Biodynamic style would be placed at the non-manipulative or yin end of the spectrum.

In the Biodynamic approach, the healing process comes from within the client, not from the outside by the practitioner, and the hand contacts are based on listening and following/reflecting the client’s process rather than pushing or manipulating the client towards a theoretical ideal state.

return to top

How can I benefit from Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy?

The therapy may surprise you with benefits you hadn’t known were possible, including resolution of symptoms that you had no idea were related to the cranial system or to each other. You may feel lighter, with a sense of more spaciousness within yourself. You may notice more ease in relationships or ability to focus.

You may stand straighter or breathe more easily and deeply. Pains may decrease and emotional boundaries may be easier to maintain. It is likely that you will feel deeply relaxed and centered. Because each person is unique, it is impossible for us to say exactly what benefit you will feel, or how long it will take you to feel it, but the above comments are quite common.

return to top

How does Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy work?

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy begins after a level of safety is created for the client. This is achieved in the communication between client and practitioner who together negotiate the space and contact between therm. Once contact is established, the practitioner listens deeply to the fluctuations of the cerebrospinal fluid within the craniosacral system.

The fluctuation of the cerebrospinal fluid creates a variety of tides within the system. As the practitioner — from a place of stillness — listens to these internal tides, the client’s system begins to access its own inner resources, little like finding keys to previously locked doors. The cerebrospinal fluid — as it bathes and protects the brain and spinal cord — carries an intelligence and potency (life force), which becomes mixed with other bodily fluids via the dural membranes. A Biodynamic Craniosacral therapist learns to listen deeply to the system, tapping into its inherent intelligence, while focusing on the system remembering its original blueprint of health.

The therapist encourages the client’s system to access its resources, offering new choices and possibilities for the system at every level. Training, then, includes deep perceptual and centering skills as well as extensive study of the anatomy, physiology, and inherent motion of the craniosacral system.

return to top

Which symptoms respond best to Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy?

Anecdotal evidence shows BCST may be helpful in addressing such situations as impingement of cranial nerves or spinal nerves, left-right imbalances, head injuries, confusion, feelings of compression or pressure, anxiety, depression, circulatory disorders, organ dysfunctions, learning difficulties, neuro-endocrine problems, TMJ and dental problems, and trauma of all kinds — birth, falls, accidents and other injuries, physical, sexual or emotional abuse, loss/grief, surgery, anesthesia, P.T.S.D., among others.

BCST is also excellent as a preventive therapy because it can facilitate the resolution of imbalances within a patient/client’s system that can later lead to illness or injury.

return to top

Why do I seem to “fall asleep” during my sessions?

It is common for people to doze off or appear to sleep during portions of a biodynamic craniosacral session. There are times when the client slips into a deep, meditative type state of consciousness. In this deep place, the mind relaxes and allows the possibility of illness or injury to reorganize and remember its innate  health. If the system is tired or exhausted, biodynamic craniosacral allows the system to relax and rest usually in a deep healing still-point or stillness.

return to top