CranioSacral Therapy (CST) was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger following extensive scientific studies from 1975 to 1983 at Michigan State University, where he served as a clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics.
CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system - comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.
Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system and throughout the body to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.
The most important aspect of CranioSacral Training is for the therapist to learn to set ego and expectations aside and listen to the body and energy of the person on the table each time. ‘TWYF’ is a common acronym used in the industry that stands for ‘treat what you find.’
A primary focus of CranioSacral Therapy is to gently lessen the body’s connective tissue strain and decrease meningeal stress. CranioSacral Therapy is based partly on the theory that certain light-touch manual techniques can help relieve cell stress and improve health by enhancing the form and balance of the connective tissue matrix, in particular connective tissue layers surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Enhanced brain form enables brain cells to work at their optimal level, which may improve molecular production, movement, use and clearance throughout the brain, leading to enhanced brain function and improved brain health. Because an emphasis of CranioSacral Therapy is on facilitating correction of the whole-body connective tissue matrix, it can be used for a wide range of conditions, including:
Chronic Neck and Back Pain
Central Nervous System Disorders
Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
Stress and Tension-Related Problems
Fibromyalgia and other Connective-Tissue Disorders
Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
Neurovascular or Immune Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
My personal training in CranioSacral Therapy has been primarily through the Upledger Institute. I have completed CranioSacral 1 and 2 where one utilizes gentle techniques to normalize the craniosacral system and allow the body to self-correct. By unraveling pain and dysfunction at the source, we naturally help eliminate stress, strengthen resistance to disease, and enhance health in every dimension. Somatic Emotional Release 1 and 2 the practitioner uses and expands on the principles of CranioSacral Therapy to help rid the mind and body of the residual effects of trauma both physical and emotional. And my favorite so far, Touching the Brain series is based on how the craniosacral system connects directly to the glial cell matrix of the brain and spinal cord. This connection is a powerful route by which CranioSacral Therapy glial technique can be used to improve nervous system structure, function, healing and health.