Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy is a hands-on therapeutic technique that involves the cranial sacral system in the body which encompasses the cranium, the skull area surrounding the brain and the sacrum which is the primary foundation bone at the base of the spine.  The objective of the technique is to restore equilibrium in this system and thus to facilitate healing and well-being.

Craniosacral Therapy has its beginnings with the work of osteopath Dr. William Sutherland who in the early 1900’s observed while studying cranial bones that they were designed to have subtle movements.  He went on to study this movement and demonstrated a connection with the interrelated network of the spine, spinal fluid, the central nervous system , the nerves surrounding it and the sacrum.  In the late 1970’s Dr. John Upledger, another osteopath and professor of biomechanics at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University continued  research work on the existence and influence of the craniosacral system.  Dr. Upledger developed Craniosacral Therapy and then in 1985 established the Upledger Institute.    In 1998, the Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America was established in Canada to support and educate practitioners.

The therapy is based on the premise that there is an inherent life force or rhythm in the body.  Dr. Sutherland called this motion “Breath of Life” which creates several very subtle rhythms or ‘tides’ in the body:  cranial tide, a slower mid-tide and a slower yet and deep impulse the “long tide’.  This cranial sacral rhythm can be interrupted or blocked due to trauma from physical or emotional sources.  The practitioner uses a very light touch primarily to the cranial bones and sacrum (tailbone area) but may involve as well as other areas of the body such as limbs or ribcage.   The practitioner is guided to those places where the rhythm has less amplitude or is not as apparent and then makes adjustments in these dynamics to release tensions and restore vitality.  As RMT Robert Harris comments “Physical restrictive elements of dysfunctions can release rapidly with craniosacral therapy. The body responds to the gentle, accurate hands-on work.”   Craniosacral therapy can be beneficial in but not limited to the following areas:  headaches, migraines, traumatic birth, falls, injuries, back and neck pain, sciatica, tinnitus, confusion, circulation disorders, anxiety, depression.

A typical session can last anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour.   Most clients feel very relaxed and some even fall asleep during the session.  There can be dialogue during and after the session about observations of changes and questions about these findings.

Specific Techniques