Craniosacral therapy (aka cranial sacral therapy or CST) is a treatment primarily provided in a massage setting that requires the lightest of touches and some patience from the practitioner. The person receiving the treatment is laying on a table, fully clothed, maybe a blanket for comfort during the treatment. The idea behind craniosacral therapy is to work with the cerebrospinal fluid to help relieve various conditions such as:
Migraines and headaches
Trauma recovery (i.e. motor vehicle accident injuries)
Correct circadian rhythm (promote improve quality of sleep)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
The amount of pressure used during CST is the weight of a dime, the use of incredibly gentle and light pressure because the idea behind this therapy is to help improve the circulation and movement of the cerebrospinal fluid which does not require much force. There are various sites on the human body that are assessed during the session to feel the flow or current of the cerebrospinal fluid and when the current feels a little weak, that is when the practitioner may use either the unwinding our gentle pulling to move the structures and improve the circulation.
A great example of the light pressure being used is when treating conditions in the head. Through the course of our lives beginning at infancy, cartilage hardens into bone, and the two major bones in the crown of the head fuse together. Although most of these bones in the cranium remain stagnant there is still some movement and shifting that can occur. When patient enough, the release or movement of these bones is quite fascinating.
Post treatment, the individual should rehydrate and may feel a little drowsy because this is such a relaxing treatment. Don’t feel bad if you do slip off into a nap, because this is expected to happen and is one of the biggest differences between CST and deep tissue massage. Relax and enjoy!