What is Cranio Sacral Therapy?
here is an excerpt from WIKIPEDIA
Craniosacral therapy (also called CST, also spelled Cranial Sacral bodywork or therapy) is an alternative medicine therapy used by osteopaths, massage therapists, naturopaths, and chiropractors. A craniosacral therapy session involves the therapist placing their hands on the patient, which they claim allows them to “tune into the craniosacral rhythm”. The practitioner gently works with the spine and the skull and its cranial sutures, diaphragms, and fascia. In this way, the restrictions of nerve passages are said to be eased, the movement of cerebrospinal fluid through the spinal cord is said to be optimized, and misaligned bones are said to be restored to their proper position. Craniosacral therapists use the therapy to treat mental stress, neck and back pain, migraines, TMJ Syndrome, and for chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia. Several studies have reported that there is little scientific support for the underlying theoretical model for which no properly randomized, blinded, and placebo-controlled outcome studies have ever been published.
Cranial Osteopathy was originated by physician William Sutherland, DO (1873-1954) in 1898-1900. While looking at a disarticulated skull, Sutherland was struck by the idea that the cranial sutures of the temporal bones where they meet the parietal bones were “beveled, like the gills of a fish, indicating articular mobility for a respiratory mechanism.”
Sutherland stated the dural membranes act as ‘guy-wires‘ for the movement of the cranial bones, holding tension for the opposite motion. He used the term reciprocal tension membrane system (RTM) to describe the three Cartesian axes held in reciprocal tension, or tensegrity, creating the cyclic movement of inhalation and exhalation of the cranium. The RTM as described by Sutherland includes the spinal dura, with an attachment to the sacrum. After his observation of the cranial mechanism, Sutherland stated that the sacrum moves synchronously with the cranial bones. Sutherland began to teach this work to other osteopaths from about the 1930s, and continued to do so until his death. His work was at first largely rejected by the mainstream osteopathic profession as it challenged some of the closely held beliefs among practitioners of the time.
In the 1940s the American School of Osteopathy started a post-graduate course called ‘Osteopathy in the Cranial Field’ directed by Sutherland, and was followed by other schools. This new branch of practice became known as “cranial osteopathy”. As knowledge of this form of treatment began to spread, Sutherland trained more teachers to meet the demand, notably Drs Viola Frymann, Edna Lay, Howard Lippincott, Anne Wales, Chester Handy and Rollin Becker.
The Cranial Academy was established in the US in 1947, and continues to teach DOs, MDs, and Dentists “an expansion of the general principles of osteopathy” including a special understanding of the central nervous system and primary respiration.
Towards the end of his life Sutherland believed that he began to sense a “power” which generated corrections from inside his patients’ bodies without the influence of external forces applied by him as the therapist. Similar to Qi and Prana, this contact with, what he perceived to be the Breath of Life changed his entire treatment focus to one of spiritual reverence and subtle touch. This spiritual approach to the work has come to be known as both ‘biodynamic’ craniosacral therapy and ‘biodynamic’ osteopathy, and has had further contributions from practitioners such as Becker and James Jealous (biodynamic osteopathy), and Franklyn Sills (biodynamic craniosacral therapy). The biodynamic approach recognizes that embryological forces direct the embryonic cells to create the shape of the body, and places importance on recognition of these formative patterns for maximum therapeutic benefit, as this enhances the ability of the patient to access their health as an expression of the original intention of their existence.
From 1975 to 1983, osteopathic physician John E. Upledger and neurophysiologist and histologist Ernest W. Retzlaff worked at Michigan State University as clinical researchers and professors. They set up a team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists, and bioengineers to investigate the pulse he had observed and study further Sutherland’s theory of cranial bone movement. Upledger and Retzlaff went on to publish their results, which they interpreted as support for both the concept of cranial bone movement and the concept of a cranial rhythm. Later reviews of these studies have concluded that their research is of insufficient quality to provide conclusive proof for the effectiveness of craniosacral therapy and the existence of cranial bone movement.
Upledger developed his own treatment style, and when he started to teach his work to a group of students who were not osteopaths he generated the term ‘CranioSacral therapy’, based on the corresponding movement between cranium and sacrum. He continues to teach this approach worldwide through the Upledger Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida. Craniosacral therapists often (although not exclusively) work more directly with the emotional and psychological aspects of the patient than osteopaths working in the cranial field.
WHAT I HAVE EXPERIENCED>>>>>>
I have had Cranio Sacral Therapy several times. it does leave a calming sensation to me. I see a lot of purple yellow and moving black hues with closed eyes as the treatment is applied. I really enjoy the weightless feeling of the head as its held in the therapists hands. it feels like a good calming end to a massage session.