What's the Deal with Craniosacral Therapy?
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) was one of those mystical things I had only loosely heard about. What I had heard weren't necessarily good things. They were mostly about the quackery that CST brought to the table with not much backing, scientifically speaking. Because of this, it was never on my radar. Fast forward a few years later, CST was repeatedly mentioned from mentors I highly respected. I was even nudged to go take the course. I ultimately gave in after seeing an article saying something along the lines of how people that have experienced concussions were getting significant relief from CST. "Fine!" I thought. I'll do it! And so I did. What did I find out? Boy, was I wrong.
Last week, I was in a classroom all day from Thursday to Sunday learning the ins and outs of CST as presented by the Upledger Institute. I was pleasantly surprised with how in-depth the neuroanatomy review was. We were reminded of the miracle that is the nervous system. How the brain and spinal cord are surrounded by dura, which is where cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flows. CSF provides nutrients to the neural tissue and whisks away the junk to be processed in the lymphatic system. When life happens (physical or emotional trauma, injury, habits, stressful events), the nervous system goes through changes and the dural tube becomes less mobile. This means CSF has a harder time providing nutrients and taking junk away. After identifying this in fresh cadavers by Dr. Upledger, Craniosacral Therapy was born. Our bodies have a subtle craniosacral rhythm that mimics CSF being produced and CSF being reabsorbed, all happening in structures throughout the brain. With training, this rhythm can be detected throughout the entire body and can be evaluated to be weak or less robust in some areas. The goal of Craniosacral Therapy to restore the body to its natural rhythm, therefore improving CSF flow, lymphatic flow, and blood flow throughout the body. This process helps the body's natural tendency for healing.
After administering and receiving CST for 4 days, let me just say that I'm a believer. Nagging areas of my body that I have dealt with for the past few months were virtually gone. My stomach didn't hurt, my hip felt better, driving home was more comfortable, and I felt lighter. Everyone in the class was delighted with changes they detected. We were amazed that such wonderful changes could come from techniques that were so gentle. I thought of many patients that would benefit from this and I'm excited to bring it into the clinic! If you are interested in experiencing Craniosacral Therapy for yourself, please let me know.
If you have any questions about Craniosacral Therapy, you can go here:
Our teacher also recommended that we read "Molecules of Emotion" by Candace Pert to understand why our bodies are physically affected by emotion.
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