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About CranioSacral Therapy
What is it ?
CST is an exceptionally gentle, yet extremely powerful, hands-on healing method that evaluates and enhances the functioning of the physiological body system, called the craniosacral system. This system is comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid (liquor cerebrospinalis) that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.
When was CST developed ?
CST was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger in 1970, based on the research of the work of Dr. William Sutherland, the father of cranial osteopathy. After extensive scientific studies as Professor of Biomechanics at Michigan State University, Upledger‘s continued work in the field ultimately resulted in his development of CranioSacral Therapy. The practice of CST is now widespread in the US, Canada, the UK and other western European countries, and is an integral part of alternative health care.
How does CST work ?
CranioSacral Therapy works by helping the body‘s natural healing mechanisms dissipate the negative effects of stress on the central nervous system.
This is achieved through gentle manipulations of the craniosacral system, which maintains the environment in which the central nervous system functions. It includes the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord, extending from the bones of the skull, face and mouth (which make up the cranium) down to the tailbone area (or sacrum). From within this tadpole shaped system, a craniosacral "rhythm" is generated.
Like the pulse of the cardiovascular system, the craniosacral rhythm can be felt throughout the body. The role of this system in the development and performance of the brain and spinal cord is so vital, that an imbalance or dysfunction in it can cause sensory, motor and/or neurological disabilities.
Using a touch generally no heavier than 5 grams, skilled practitioners are able to pick up the source of an obstruction or stress, which is felt as a subtle pattern of motion - rhythm, tension and pulsation – emanating from deep within the core structures of the body. These movements reflect the craniosacral motions that are expressed in all tissues throughout the body. Once a source of disturbance has been determined, the practitioner assists the natural movement of the fluid and related soft tissue to help the body self-correct. This simple action is often all it takes to remove a restriction.
CST requires no medical aid, other than the hands of the practitioner (no needles, chemicals, etc), but may be combined with other complementary therapies.
What conditions can CST help ?
CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure, because it complements the body’s natural healing processes and bolsters the body’s resistance to disease. While traditional medicine concentrates on treating the symptoms of illness, CST explores the causes and treats them at their source.
CST is effective for a wide
range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction. Each
treatment is tailored to a patient‘s individual needs. The largest
group of patients using CST suffer from chronic symptoms which have
not been aided by other approaches.
CST is safe for children, infants and newborns as application involves an extremely light touch. The timely identification and release of restrictions in the craniosacral system within young patients can prevent future difficulties:
· birth trauma
The skull bones and the spine serve as "access points" to the nervous system, which innervates every single organ, muscle and bone of the body.
By working on the craniosacral "rhythm", possible dysfunctions can be detected and corrected. With a successful treatment, pain and symptoms can be eased or disappear completely.
Is there any condition for which CST shouldn't be used ?
There are a few situations where the application of CST would not be recommended. These include conditions where a variation and/or a slight increase in intracranial pressure would cause instability. Recent skull fracture, acuteaneurysm, cerebral haemorrhage or other pre-existing severe bleeding disorders are examples of conditions that could be affected by small intracranial pressure changes. If you are in doubt about the status of your health, please consult your physician.
How many treatments do I need ?
Response to CST varies from individual to individual, and condition to condition. Your response is uniquely your own and can‘t be compared to anyone else‘s — even those cases that may appear to be similar to your own. The number of sessions needed varies widely — from just one single treatment, to up to three or more a week over the course of several weeks. Most likely, you will know after the first treatment whether CST is making a difference for you.
“Discover your body’s full potential”
© Gentle Forces - 2006
An important function of the craniosacral system is the production, circulation and re-absorption of cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid is produced inside that system and maintains the physiological environment in which the brain and nervous system develop, live and function.
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