Who can benefit from CST? Everyone.
- Orthopedic Disorders/Acute & Chronic Pain
- Back and neck pain, headaches, TMJ (jaw pain), stomach/intestinal pain
(stress related), torticollis (twisting of neck to side).
- Neurological Disorders – CVA (stroke), TBI (head injury), spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, and/or peripheral nerve injury or compression (Erb’s Palsey, involving the arm/ Bell’s Palsey, involving the face).
- Pre/Postnatal Care – preferably started in early stages of pregnancy to assist the body’s adjustment to growth of the fetus, minimize the pain and discomfort during pregnancy, and enhancing a more natural, healthy, and smooth delivery.
- Sleep and anxiety disorders.
- Hyperactivity and learning disabilities.
- Sinus problems
- Tinnitus (ringing of the ear)
- Preventive healthcare, stress management, overall wellness.
- Psychosocial, emotional, and parapsychology challenges.
What is Craniosacral Therapy (CST)?
A gentle non-invasive manipulative technique, utilizing the craniosacral system (cranium is the head, sacrum is the bottom of the spine), which possesses the brain and spinal cord, the cerebral spinal fluid, and includes the fascia (a connective tissue that surrounds bone, muscle and organs). CST is utilized to evaluate and treat a variety of conditions, viewing the individual as an integrated totality. CST may influence the nervous, musculoskeletal, vascular, lymphatic, endocrine and respiratory systems. With CST one must view the body as a puzzle, with all areas influencing others, and therefore necessitating a comprehensive approach.
Where does CST come from? Who can perform CST?
CST was originally discovered in the early 1900’s and developed by osteopathic physicians. Since the 1970’s its practice has grown substantially worldwide. It is commonly practiced by CST trained physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other trained healthcare practitioners. Due to the intensity of CST at times, an adequate medical background is necessary.
How is it done? A typical CST session?
With CST, the practitioner begins a session by palpating the craniosacral rhythm, as well as feeling for any restricted areas throughout the body. The craniosacral motion (produced by the movement of the cerebral spinal fluid in the brain and spinal cord) is evaluated for rate, amplitude, symmetry, and quality. The body’s fascia is evaluated for loss of mobility as an aid to locating problem areas. Then gentle pressure is applied with the hands to the restricted area(s) or to the area(s) of maximum motion, to facilitate release. The therapist’s hands may be on bone, muscle, organ, and/or fascia tissue during treatment. As restricted areas release, becoming more open, and regions become more aligned, function in many areas of one’s being (physical and/or emotional) may improve. With CST, the therapist addresses the source of the problem(s) that in turn affect their symptoms. Because of this, in chronic conditions and in more involved diagnoses, the results may be slower, yet more beneficial in the long term. Furthermore, in involved areas, body tissues may store a residue of emotional/psychological issues, which at times
are explored and/or released during a session (termed somatoemotional release). The body is viewed as a whole considering a variety of factors that may be contributing to the patient’s problem(s). With CST the therapist works as a facilitator to the body in its healing. The therapist assists the body in its own natural self corrective activities within the craniosacral system. This process requires a cooperative relationship between client and therapist.
Contraindications of CST
It is the innate ability of the patient’s own system to correct itself that ensures the safety of CST. Because CST is gentle and non-invasive, there is little danger of adverse reaction. Since it affects the pressure of the fluid in the brain, its use is contraindicated for those with recent conditions of stroke, cerebral aneurysm, brain tumor, head injury,
and/or bleeding in the brain.