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CranioSacral Therapy: What It Is and How It Can Help

CranioSacral therapy is a form of massage that focuses on the skull, spine, and sacrum. It is said to be very gentle and can help relieve tension headaches, neck pain, anxiety, and stress. CST is also said to improve sleep quality and boost the immune system. If you are looking for a relaxing massage that can provide relief from a variety of issues, CranioSacral therapy may be right for you!

What is CranioSacral Therapy

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 to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.

CST believes in the body’s ability to self-heal and can be effective for both children and adults. By using a hands-on light touch on bodily membranes, CST can aid the body’s healing and regulation by releasing muscular tension, and pain, and setting the nervous system to equilibrium.

Everything in your body is connected through fascia, or connective tissue.

The fascia acts like spider web-like connections throughout the body that allow for stability, mobility, and attachment points for muscles.

Over time, fascia changes and can get restricted by misuse, disuse, overuse, disease, stress, trauma, or even genetics.

To counteract the effects of these fascia changes, CST believes that a gentle hands-on approach to this restricted tissue can lead to softening, lengthening, less pain, and improved overall function.

What is Conditions Can Cranial Sacral Therapy Help?

By complementing the body’s natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction, including:

What can I expect from a Craniosacral therapy (CST) session?

When you arrive for your appointment, your practitioner will ask you about your symptoms and any preexisting conditions that you have.

You’ll typically remain fully clothed during the treatment, so wear comfortable clothing to your appointment.

Your session will last about an hour, and you’ll likely begin by lying down on your back on the massage table.

The practitioner may begin at your head, feet, or near the middle of your body.

Using five grams of pressure (which is about the weight of a nickel), the provider will gently hold your feet, head, or sacrum to listen to their subtle rhythms.

If they detect it’s needed, they may gently press or reposition you to normalize the flow of the cerebrospinal fluids. They may use tissue-release methods while supporting one of your limbs.

During the treatment, some people experience different sensations. These may include:

  • feeling deep relaxation
  • falling asleep, and later recalling memories or seeing colors
  • sensing pulsations
  • having a “pins and needles” (numbing) sensation
  • having a hot or cold sensation

Side effects and risks

While the benefits of Craniosacral therapy are vast and numerous, it is not for everyone. Patients with the following should NOT receive CST:

  • Increased intracranial pressure
  • Acute stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Hemorrhage
  • CSF leak
  • Spina bifida
  • Arnold Chiari Malformation
  • Skull fracture
  • As always, talk to your physician or general practitioner if you are interested in CST or if you are not sure if Craniosacral therapy is right for you.

Book An Appointment

If you’re looking for a CST practitioner, we can help. Our team of expert practitioners offer Craniosacral therapy sessions that can help you feel your best. To book an appointment, please call us at 204-294-9890 or book online

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) Liz Jones

Wrap Up

If you’re looking for a new way to relax or seeking relief from pain or other chronic conditions, Cranial Sacral therapy may be right for you! This gentle, hands-on treatment is increasingly being used as a preventive measure to bolster resistance to disease and as an effective treatment for a wide range of medical problems. Talk to your doctor or a licensed CST practitioner to see if it’s right for you.