What is CranioSacral Therapy?

By Tammy, Winkelman, RN, LMT

I am happy to report I have just completed the first level of CranioSacral therapy training and am ready to see patients using this amazing technique.  CranioSacral Therapy (CST) was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger, DO, OMM, following research studies that began in 1975 at Michigan State University where he worked as a clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics.  Personally, I find that CST is a natural extension to my training as a nurse and massage therapist.

CST is a gentle, manual therapy that seeks to locate and remove restrictions throughout the complete physiological body system.  The restrictions are released through light touch (pressure likened to the weight of a nickel), time, energy, and intention. There is a rhythm in the body called the craniosacral rhythm, which is separate and distinct from the breathing rate and the heart rate.  The therapist can feel for this rhythm by gently placing their hands on the client’s body while they are fully clothed lying on the massage table. The therapist is feeling for “lack” or “restrictions “of this rhythm and then places attention/treats those areas. CST focuses on treating the source of the problem rather than just the symptom.  

By complementing the body’s natural healing processes, CST is also 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.

Here’s a brief list of the types of medical conditions for which CST is beneficial:

  • Central Nervous System Disorders
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Chronic Neck and Back Pain
  • Colic
  • Fibromyalgia and other Connective-Tissue Disorders
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Neurovascular or Immune Disorders
  • Post-Surgical Dysfunction
  • Stress and Tension-Related Problems

In addition, CST helps to alleviate the aches, pains and strains of life; improving coping mechanisms to allow for better management of daily stressors.  It can also enhance the body’s ability for self-care which can produce profound, positive changes.

I encourage you to view this YouTube clip from the UK, where CST is considered part of routine medical care.  The clip is 5 minutes in length > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-mLstQUKQ0&feature=youtu.be

Through the Upledger Institute, I am registered to continue my training with two more courses (in Florida and Michigan), all of which are required to become fully certified in this therapy.  Until then, I am eager to be of service to our patients with basic CST. I’m offering special discounts on CST for the months of August & September, see the included notice.