CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. I use CST in my Sebastopol clinic in conjunction with acupuncture to treat a variety of conditions, including:
WHAT IS CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY
CST was developed by Osteopathic Physician John Upledger after years of clinical testing and research at Michigan State University. The craniosacral system includes the membranes and fluid that surround, protect and nourish the brain and spinal cord - which make up the central nervous system. The central nervous system has a great deal of influence over the body's functions and is heavily influenced by the craniosacral system.
Every day your body goes through stresses and strains and your body works very hard to compensate for these impacts. Unfortunately, these changes often cause your body’s tissues to tighten, distorting the craniosacral system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord resulting in restrictions. These restrictions create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with.
Fortunately, such restrictions can be detected and corrected using simple methods of touch. I evaluate the craniosacral system by gentle contact with various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord. After evaluation, soft-touch techniques are used to release restrictions and normalize the environment around the brain and spinal cord, enhancing the body's ability to self-correct.
ACUPUNCTURE AND CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY TOGETHER
I have found that using acupuncture in tandem with CranioSacral therapy to be highly effective in supporting my patient’s bodies to find healing more quickly than acupuncture alone, and the treatment effectiveness has a more lasting impact. I will typically insert the acupuncture needles then use CranioSacral Therapy while the needles remain inserted. My experience is that this technique opens the energy on more levels simultaneously, and the specific impact of the CST on the nervous system amplifies the impact of the needles on the meridian systems of the body. Simply put, the CST intensifies the effect of the acupuncture because it is unwinding tensions in your body and allowing the qi and blood to move more freely and enables healing to happen simultaneously on multiple levels of the body system.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING AND AFTER A SESSION?
Each person will have their own unique experience with CST – you may feel deeply relaxed, and you might even fall asleep. Some people can feel gentle movements such as an unwinding sensation in their body. Some people have emergent memories or images occur, if this happens its perfectly normal and supports your body in reversing any possible dysfunction it has experienced and restores optimal levels of mobility.
After your treatment, you may leave in such a relaxed state that you feel like sleeping for hours. I have had other people leave the treatment room feeling invigorated and clear headed, ready for play and adventure. Most patients feel a decrease in pain or an increase in function and mobility immediately after their session – sometimes the effects develop gradually over the following days as the body recalibrates and continues unwinding. Since CST helps the body initiate its natural healing processes, it's common for your healing to continue weeks after the session.
If you have questions, I would be more than happy to answer them. If you have been looking for CranioSacral Therapy in Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, Occidental, Forestville, Bodega, Guerneville, Rohnert Park or surrounding areas, I recommend you try CST integrated with acupuncture for a powerful combined modality at my Sebastopol clinic.
Chase L. Desso, LAc