What is Craniosacral Therapy?
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is focused on two anatomical features; the cranial bones of the skull and the sacral bone of the lower spine. Craniosacral is simply a anatomical term of Crani: Cranial; and Sacral: Sacrum. The “o” in Crani-o-sacral is referring to the connection between these two anatomical features. The cranial bones and sacrum work together to “pump” cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) through slight movements of both features. These slight movements can be restricted with tension of the connective tissue, Fascia. The connective tissue restrictions can create a host of seemingly unrelated symptoms, and can affect the Craniosacral System.
What is the Craniosacral System?
The Craninosacral System is comprised of the membrane lining layers, which are thin sheets of tissue or layers of cells acting as boundaries. These membranes surround the anatomical features and create a “sac” that Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) flows through. CSF fluid is a liquid that protects, nourishes, and cleanses the brain and spinal cord. It extends from the bones of the skull, face and mouth (which make up the cranium) down to the base of the spine (the sacrum), and it also is interconnected with the entire body through the Fascial Network.
What are Craniosacral Restrictions?
Craniosacral restrictions refer to the tension in, twisting of, and/or wound up connective tissue, fascia, around the cranial (skull) bones of the head and the sacrum (larger triangular bone at the base of the spine) and/or the connective tissue connecting these two features. The practitioner uses gentle techniques to help relieve these restrictions in the connective tissue to increase the balanced motion and slight “pumping” motion in these two areas that efficiently assist in the flow of Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF).
What is Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)?
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) is a clear fluid found surrounding the brain and spine. CSF fluid distribution can be seen in this image to the left; the CSF flow would be following the arrows, if you look closely.
CSF has many functions; it protects the brain from injury, maintains buoyancy for the brain to support its own weight, and has been shown to clean out metabolic toxins and waste from the brain.
CSF can facilitate the removal of waste and regulate the distribution of neuroendocrine (brain and hormone communication). This becomes an important factor in how facilitating a less restricted flow of CSF can affect hormonal and emotional symptoms such as anxiety.
The CSF amount is regulated in the body in order to decrease intracranial pressure and facilitate more blood flow to the brain when needed. Currently, there are more studies in progress that are looking into even further CSF functions. What is known now is that proper circulation of CSF fluid is vital to balanced health and healing. Learn more about Cerebrospinal Fluid here…
How Does Cranial Sacral Therapy (CST) Work?
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a hands-on, light-touch approach that releases restrictions throughout all levels of the tissues of the body, superficial to deep. In relating to tissue, “superfiscial” means more shallow or closer to the skin’s surface, whereas “deep” refers to the connective tissue in the center of muscle bodies, or those wrapped around bone, nerves, and/or organs.
In order to relieve pain and dysfunction, while improving whole-body health and performance, CST works to create fluid movement in tissue to reduce restriction and improve range of motion. This release of tension allows the entire body to relax and self-correct.
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) works by finding restrictions in the connective tissue. Following the fluid movements of the tissue will allow the practitioner to compare and relate areas of good facial movement to areas that have becomes restricted, twisted, or wound up through trauma or other causes. The gentle techniques during a CST session can help the body increase balanced motion in the cranial bones and the sacrum, and can assist in balancing the Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow.
What type of CST is offered?
There are a number of types of craniosacral therapies and thus a wide variety in the techniques that are used to release fascial restrictions in the Craniosacral System. Melynda Gilberg is certified in the craniosacral technique developed by Dr. Carol Philips: Dynamic Body Balancing. Dynamic Body Balancing is a full body technique with awesome benefits for trauma, pregnancy, and children.