CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is becoming a popular method to treat chronic and short-term pain in the body. Whether you are experiencing emotional trauma or physical pain, CST can help you achieve the results you want in a way that traditional medicine can’t do alone.
Defined as a gentle, non-invasive massage technique that relieves pain and pressure, CST helps your body work from the inside out to self-correct what is causing you pain.
Using their hands, CranioSacral Therapists gently look for disturbances in the cranial sacral rhythm to pinpoint restrictions in the body. Once they identify the areas facing tension, they can come up with a plan to heal them.
People go through CST for many reasons including the following:
· “I’m experiencing pains in my body.”
· “I get migraines a few times per month.”
· “I recently went through a traumatic event and am not sure how to cope.”
If you agreed with any of the statements above, CST might be right for you, and you’re not alone. Patients from all age groups try CST every year to reduce pain or tension, whether they are a newborn or an adult aged 65+.
We know there is a lot of information about CST online, which can be confusing, so we are here to break it down for you.
History of CranioSacral Therapy
Osteopath William Sutherland developed the cranial osteopathy field in the 1930s. He noticed that when there were restrictions in the head or bones, there could be effects throughout the whole body. He went on to study at The American School of Osteopathy in the 1940s to broaden his research.
Dr. John E. Upledger took Sutherland’s discoveries further to see how they could help people. Upledger conducted a series of scientific studies between 1975 and 1983 at Michigan State University, where the well-known osteopathic physician worked as a clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics. As he studied the cranial osteopathy field and saw what it could do, he founded CranioSacral Therapy as we know it today.
Upledger took what Sutherland had discovered about cranial osteopathy’s connection to the body and dived into the mechanics, identifying this part of the body as the “craniosacral system.” He then focused on developing training for osteopaths, medical doctors, physical therapists, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and more to help their clients and patients.
With Upledger’s training, we now know more about how the body works to heal itself than ever before.
Benefits of Treatment
When you’re going through a CST session, the therapist’s goal is to release compression and restrictions in your body so it can work the right way. These restrictions are notably found in the craniosacral system, which consists of membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that protect the brain and spinal cord. These restrictions can inhibit the central nervous system, causing you pain or tension. However, when these restrictions are released, the central nervous system functions properly.
CST encourages the body to heal naturally and is therefore used as a preventative health measure for people facing pain or dysfunction. It eases tension in the body including nerve restrictions. Once the restrictions are released, the body is able to heal itself.
CST is found to treat a variety of health problems including but not limited to:
· Back and neck pain
· Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
· Chronic fatigue
· Stress and anxiety
· Muscle and joint pain
· Spinal cord injuries
With CST’s approach to freeing the central nervous system to perform its best, it naturally eliminates pain and stress, strengthens your resistance to disease, and enhances your health and overall wellbeing.
What a Typical Session Involves
A typical session will begin with a discussion of your health concerns with your therapist. Once a brief health history is established, you will talk about your goals with the session. Your therapist will check in to make sure you are comfortable at all times. You will be fully clothed throughout the session and may go from a chair to a massage table depending on the scope of work involved.
A session may last anywhere from thirty minutes to one and a half hours depending on your needs. To make sure the session is successful, be open with your therapist about your concerns and goals. Try to relax so your therapist can listen to your body more closely and really focus to make you feel better. During the session, the therapist will gently touch parts of your body that need attention, listening to bodily rhythms to decide on which parts need attention first.
After the session, your therapist will check in with you to see how you feel. Together you will decide how many more sessions are needed to help you achieve your desired results.
CST is designed to not only target key parts of the body experiencing pain but to encourage your body to self-correct for long-term results. No matter what your goals are, CranioSacral Therapy can help.
Have you tried CranioSacral Therapy before? Please share your experience in the comments below.
If you’re experiencing pains in your body, come visit the ONLY certified CranioSacral clinician in the Walla Walla. Call (831) 359-8395 today to book an appointment with Kristi Schreiner-Huffey, CST, LMP, MSW. You won’t regret it!