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Craniosacral Therapy

What is CranioSacral Therapy?

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a holistic, gentle-touch technique that is used to evaluate and correct restrictions and tensions in the body.  CST treatments may enhance body functioning, alleviate pain and discomfort, and increase resistance to disease.  By working with the body's craniosacral system, and its connections to the central nervous system, CST encourages your own natural healing mechanisms to effect positive changes in your body.

The CranioSacral System consists of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and the spinal cord.  It extends from the bones of the skull, face, and mouth, which make up the cranium, down to the sacrum, or tailbone area.  Since this vital system influences the development and performance of the brain and spinal cord (the Central Nervous System), an imbalance or restriction in it could potentially cause any number of sensory, motor or neurological disabilities.

Just as the circulatory system has a rhythm (the heart rate or pulse) and the respiratory system has a rhythm (the respiratory rate), the CranioSacral System has a CranioSacral Rhythm.  Using a light touch - usually no more than 5 grams (the weight of a nickel) - the practitioner monitors the rhythm of the CranioSacral System to detect potential restrictions and imbalances.  The therapist then uses delicate manual techniques to release those problem areas and relieve undue pressure on the brain and spinal cord.  The result is a nervous system free of restrictions and a body that’s able to return to its greatest levels of performance.

CranioSacral Therapy improves fluid movement throughout the body.  By doing this it enhances the supply of nutrients to cells, improves the removal of toxins and waste products from the tissues, and increases the circulation of immune cells.  As a result, the patient enjoys better overall health and develops an improved resistance to disease.

Within each person lies the information necessary to understand the underlying causes for health problems and what must be done to resolve them.  It is as though each person has an “inner physician” whose job it is to keep the individual functioning optimally.  The CranioSacral Therapy practitioner is present, loving, trusting and sincere.  His or her touch is perceived by the inner physician (inner wisdom of the body) as an opportunity for the facilitation of optimum health.  The therapist does not heal or cure; the healing is done by the patient using the help and facilitation of the therapist.


SomatoEmotional Release

Some CranioSacral Therapy sessions utilize the techniques of SomatoEmotional Release.  SomatoEmotional Release (SER) is a therapeutic process designed to rid the client's body of remnants of past injuries and painful or negative experiences or emotions.  Remnants of past trauma may be retained, suppressed, and isolated within the tissues of the body.  During the traumatic episode, the body, in its infinite wisdom and in the attempt to protect the body from harm, walls off the trauma.  The memory and emotions involved with that trauma may become trapped in specific body parts, regions, or systems.

As a CranioSacral Therapist, I am a nonjudgmental, impartial witness.  I am unconditionally present to listen to your body as well as  your conscious and nonconscious mind.  I create an atmosphere of safety and trust with my sincerity, openness, and dedication.  I offer a willingness to go where the process leads.  These skills are extremely important when facilitating a SomatoEmotional Release session.



1. Massage therapy - In CST we use slow, gentle pressure over time to facilitate subtle but profound change.

2. Physical therapy - Although strengthening muscles and improving range of motion may be one of the positive effects of CST, the focus on CST is on the craniosacral system and its relationship to the central nervous system which can impact any of the other systems in the body.

3. Chiropractic - Because the central nervous system includes the spinal cord, CST does sometimes focus on the spine, specifically on the dural membrane surrounding the spinal cord.  However, CST techniques are slow and gentle instead of quick and jerky.

4. Acupuncture - Although many CST practitioners use technqiues that have an effect on the acupuncture meridians in the body, CST utilizes no needles or tools other than the therapist's hands.

5. Reiki - Although CST does work with energy in and around the body, it is mostly a hands-on technique.

6. Psychotherapy - Many clients have remarked that CranioSacral Therapy and especially SomatoEmotional Release can and does address emotions, but most CranioSacral Therapists are not licensed mental health professionals.


What is a CranioSacral Therapy session like?

Sessions are usually done with the client resting comfortably on a massage table, fully clothed.  CranioSacral Therapy touch is very light and gentle, but is very profound.  Some clients feel all the changes that are happening; others feel very little, but notice the effects nontheless.  It is quite common for a client to relax so deeply that he/she actually falls asleep during a session.  This results from the calming effect of CST on the nervous system.

Sessions generally last about an hour, but some clients may wish to schedule sessions lasting 90 minutes or even 2 hours.