Massage - Cranial-Sacral Therapy Massage
Cranial-sacral Therapy, or CST, is a very subtle yet very powerful treatment that works with the body's craniosacral system. That includes the cranium or skull, the sacrum, the spine with all its components in-between, and the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord.
Many outside influences affect the craniosacral system, and it, in turn, affects other body systems. Not long ago the medical community believed the bones of the skull to be completely fused and immobile. It was only about 50 years ago that doctors proved that in fact the bones of the skull are mobile, and that it is vital for them to have freedom of motion in order for the craniosacral system to function optimally.
Part of cranial-sacral treatment involves taking the cranial bones through their range of motion (this is a very small amount of movement) in order to free them from any restrictions. Attached to the inside of these bones are membranes that support and divide the brain into its sections. Freeing up movement in the bones also removes tension in these membranes. This movement is accomplished by the practitioner gently using hand placement and focusing intent on the desired movement.
Another component of cranial-sacral work involves the 'craniosacral' pulse or wave.
The body has many systems that function independently in order for everything, working together, to keep us alive and healthy. We each can feel our pulse (heart rate) and our rate of respiration. But the body has another pulse that marks the rhythm of production, absorption and flow of cerebrospinal fluid. This is the craniosacral pulse or wave.
In a healthy person, the pulse is generally measured at 6 to 12 cycles per minute. As the pulse moves into one phase, the skull slightly widens from side to side, the sacrum moves downward, and the hands and feet rotate outward. As it moves to the second phase, the skull slightly extends or elongates, the sacrum shifts upward, and the hands and feet rotate inward.
All of this is so subtle it's only detectible with special training. Sometimes the system gets a bit off-track and this 2-phase pulse becomes out of synch and irregular. Using a very simple technique, the practitioner helps the client's body to re-set the system into a more normal rhythm. There is much more to a craniosacral session than this. It is really something that should be experienced rather than explained in detail here. The treatment is extremely relaxing and soothing.
Benefits of Cranial-Sacral Therapy:
CST can help with the pain relief of Headaches/migraines and TMJ dysfunction symptoms from car accidents. Other physical trauma and abuse can be improved by treatment and some visual disorders also by reducing tension on optic nerves.CST has been shown to reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder and has shown improvement in those with Dyslexia. May also help with symptoms of Bipolar Disorder ,Birth trauma and Stress.
Who should not have CST?
Recent stroke victims Those suffering from recent concussion Those suspect of having an aneurysm Anyone with bleeding in the brain or cranium.
What is Cranial Sacral treatment like?
I perform cranial-sacral work with no background noise other than a quiet, soothing water fountain. That's because of the amount of focus and concentration required to do this work. The client lies comfortably on the table, fully clothed. Most people fall asleep because it is so soothing and relaxing. An ultra-light touch is used and hand placements vary depending on what is being worked on. Some of the work may be done inside the mouth (such as TMJ work). Treatment can take about an hour, although sometimes a session can go longer than that, depending on the needs of the client's body that day. I often use segments of cranial-sacral treatment during regular massage. It helps the body to facilitate the greatest amount of positive change possible and allows me to provide the best over-all care for my clients. It is especially helpful to my clients who come in flustered and stressed-out! It soothes and calms their nerves almost immediately. My goal is to provide the best possible care to each individual client. I have found that craniosacral work is some of the most touching, caring and profound work I have ever experienced.