How can Craniosacral Therapy help you?
Craniosacral Therapy can work well for people suffering from stress, but it is also very much used for a range of acute and chronic physical issues.
Modern day stresses and hectic lifestyles mean that we burn ourselves out quickly and our emotional and physical health become compromised.
We may be triggered into a fight or flight stress response more often than we think. Parts of our bodies contract as we adopt defensive postures, our breathing gets quicker, and our digestive systems shut down. Our immune systems also become compromised and we struggle to think clearly when in 'survival mode'. CST can help us shift into a more relaxed state of being where we can start to function more optimally on every level.
Craniosacral Therapy is suitable for all ages, and it can be used for specific conditions or equally as a maintenance treatment to help keep the system oriented towards health.
What is Craniosacral Therapy and how did it emerge?
Craniosacral Therapy has its roots in the work of William Garner Sutherland, who in the early 1900s, observed the cranial bones had a very subtle motion and that the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes our brains and nervous systems has its own pulse, and is essential to maintaining our health. John Upledger went on to develop techniques for working with these pulses and coined the term ‘craniosacral system’.
Modern Craniosacral Therapists work with releasing stored tension, stresses and traumas from the client’s system as a whole.
What happens during a session?
During a treatment, a case history is taken and the therapist will usually treat you on a massage table or chair fully clothed. Gentle hand-holds are carried out on the body, and sensations such as heat, cold, tingling or gentle movements may be felt by the client as the body responds to the therapist's touch.
All therapists work differently, but they use a variety of light-touch handholds on the body and the skull. They may pick up tension, restrictions or distortions in the client's physical and emotional systems, all of which may be indicative of ill health or a lack of well-being. These restrictions are gently helped to release, allowing the body to find its way back to wholeness, balance and its potential for full health.
A course of treatments may be needed depending on the condition being sought relief for. Many people also choose to have regular sessions for maintenance or to avoid getting to the point of feeling overwhelmed and stressed in the first place.
Who is Craniosacral Therapy for?
Different people make use of Craniosacral Therapy in different ways.
Craniosacral Therapy is suitable for all ages from babies to the elderly due to its gentle nature and profound effects.
It’s used by all sorts of people: celebrities, lawyers, actors, bankers, NHS staff, athletes, children, babies and the elderly all enjoy the effects of Craniosacral Therapy.
What makes Craniosacral Therapy special?
Craniosacral Therapy is often referred to as the crème de la crème of therapies as it works on every level: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, and can enable the client to access very deep parts of themselves. It can be intuitive work and clients will often leave the session feeling ‘heard’ in ways it can be hard to achieve with other therapies.
What research is there about Craniosacral Therapy?
In association with Meningitis Now, the CSTA is conducting a study into the impact of Craniosacral Therapy as a complementary therapy for those experiencing the distressing after-effects of viral meningitis. Common after-effects of viral meningitis include exhaustion, headaches, memory loss, anxiety, depression and dizziness/ balance problems. As antibiotics are ineffective against viruses, treatment is limited to symptom relief.
Recent studies, along with research by Meningitis Now, suggest that Craniosacral Therapy could be beneficial to many people suffering the after-effects; research outcomes will be published in due course.
The CSTA have also collaborated with the University of Warwick to create a research tool that will be of public health interest.
Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown of the University of Warwick says: "It has been a pleasure to work with the CSTA to further our understanding of the ways in which CST benefits health and wellbeing, and to develop the Warwick Holistic Health Questionnaire (WHHQ). This scale will enable robust studies of the effectiveness of CST and other complementary and alternative approaches because it captures key outcomes other scales of health and wellbeing do not cover."
This is a very exciting time for Craniosacral therapists to have a tool to use to measure the effectiveness of CST with their patients. Lulu Ferrand, CSTA Chair, states: “complementary therapies have become a popular choice for people to use to enhance their wellbeing. It was therefore appropriate for the CSTA to invest in research to create a holistic wellbeing tool that will help to evaluate the benefits of CST.”