At Deep Physiotherapy the practitioners are regularly taking courses to expand their knowledge and skills. In April our registered massage therapist had the opportunity to take a level one craniosacral course. For those of you who are not familiar with this approach, please continue reading to find out more about the treatment, how it works and who it may be helpful for.
Craniosacral therapy was founded and developed by an osteopath and medical surgeon, Dr. John E. Upledger. From the studies and work of Dr. Upledger, it is known that the craniosacral system within the body is composed of:
Being that our brain and spinal cord, and the fascia surrounding these structures are integral for the nervous system development and functioning, the cerebrospinal fluid produced in the craniosacral system maintains a delicate physiological environment. Our whole being is innervated by the nervous system so any disruption of the production or reabsorption of the cerebrospinal fluid can contribute to dysfunction to the many functions within the body.
The cerebrospinal fluid is an integral part of this system. This clear fluid bathes the brain and spinal cord, providing nutrients to these structures before delivering this fluid back to the blood for removal of waste products. The cerebrospinal fluid also protects the brain and spinal cord and provides a cushioning between the delicate fascial layers of the vertebrae and skull bones. This system has a rhythm similar to that of a cardiac or respiratory rhythm. Through the fascial system, the craniosacral rhythm is translated and may be felt through our whole body.
Restrictions within this system may occur from impact injuries, concussions, whiplash, muscular and fascial compensations, soft tissue limitations from surgeries, postural imbalances, and emotional trauma to give a few examples. These memories or traumatic events are stored in the body and can create widespread limitations of the cerebrospinal system by way of the fascia. Restrictions in the peripheral body, the dural tube within the spinal column and the bones of the skull can lead to a reduced optimal flow of the cerebrospinal fluid. The sutures that connect the skull bones together allow the skull bones to move a very slight amount. This movement is crucial to the efficiency of the system and the health of the brain, spinal cord and relating membranes. Fascial or soft tissue restrictions preventing full mobility and expansion of the skull bones can be caused by whiplash, concussions, blows to the head, surgery, forceps birth, to name a few. Migraines and headaches, jaw problems, head pressure, sinus congestion, depression and many other systems can then occur as a result of these restrictions. Craniosacral therapy is used to release this tension and promote full movement to the sutures of the skull. This allows for optimal flow of the cerebrospinal fluid to deliver nutrients to the brain, as well as the nerves and nervous system originating within the brain.
With five grams of pressure, similar to that of the weight of a nickel, a full body assessment is performed to determine the symmetry and quality of the craniosacral rhythm at different points of the body. After this evaluation, treatment is performed with the same light pressure to resolve restrictions and release dysfunctions and tension patterns throughout the body. Though this technique is light to the touch, it is the pressure that is effective to engage to the depth of the craniosacral system and connecting fascia. The body is intelligent and recognizes the areas that need to be released while the treating therapist is there to support the natural process of the body.
Below is a list, although not exhaustive, of the many conditions that craniosacral therapy may help with and has been found effective in treating.
Please feel free to contact your practitioner or Deep Physiotherapy if you have any questions regarding craniosacral therapy or to find out if it may be an appropriate treatment for you.
By deep physio