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The Essential Wellness Center
Frequently Asked Questions
body therapy

HOW DOES CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY (CST) WORK?
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY HELP?
IS THERE ANY CONDITION FOR WHICH CST SHOULDN'T BE USED?
HOW MANY CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY SESSIONS WILL I NEED?
WHEN WAS CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY DEVELOPED?

 

HOW DOES CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY (CST) WORK?

CranioSacral Therapy works by helping the body's natural healing mechanisms dissipate the negative effects of stress on the central nervous system.

This is accomplished through utilizing a physiological body system called the craniosacral system, which maintains the environment in which the central nervous system functions. It consists of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord, extending from the bones of the skull, face and mouth (which make up the cranium) down to the tailbone area (or sacrum). The role of this system in the development and performance of the brain and spinal cord is so vital that an imbalance or dysfunction in it can cause sensory, motor and/or neurological disabilities.

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WHAT CONDITIONS CAN CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY HELP?

Because of its influence on the functioning of the central nervous system, CranioSacral Therapy can benefit the body in a number of ways -- from bolstering overall health and resistance to disease, to alleviating a wide range of specific medical conditions.

Among CST's largest patient groups are those suffering chronic symptoms that haven't been aided by other approaches. In particular, CST is beneficial to those with head, neck or back injuries resulting from an accident -- be it from a car, sports or work mishap, or from a fall. The extremely light touch involved in the application of CST makes it a safe approach for children, infants and newborns with early traumas, including birth trauma. They especially can benefit from the timely identification and release of restrictions in the craniosacral system, thereby preventing future difficulties, such as learning disabilities or hyperactivity.

Another area of principal effectiveness is with stress-related dysfunctions such as Insomnia, fatigue, headaches, poor digestion, anxiety and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction are just a few examples. CranioSacral Therapy works to reverse the debilitating effects of stress by providing the conditions in which the nervous system can rest and rejuvenate. In fact, it's this capacity to reduce stress that's leading an increasing number of people to include CST as part of their wellness routines. Other conditions for which CranioSacral Therapy has shown to be effective are various sensory disorders. Among these are eye-motor coordination problems, autism, dyslexia; loss of taste or smell, tinnitus, vertigo, and neuralgias such as sciatica and tic douloureux.

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IS THERE ANY CONDITION FOR WHICH CST SHOULDN'T BE USED?

There are certain situations where application of CST would not be recommended. These include conditions where a variation and/or slight increase in intra cranial pressure would cause instability; such as acute aneurysm, cerebral hemorrhage or other preexisting severe bleeding disorders. The small intra cranial pressure changes could cause negative effects with these conditions.

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HOW MANY CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY SESSIONS WILL I NEED?

Response to CST varies from individual to individual and condition to condition. Your response is uniquely your own and can't be compared to anyone else's -- even those cases that may appear to be similar to your own. The number of sessions needed varies widely -- from just one up to three or more a week over the course of several weeks.

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WHEN WAS CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY DEVELOPED?

It was in 1970, during a neck surgery in which he was assisting, that osteopathic physician John E. Upledger first observed the rhythmic movement of what would soon be identified as the crainosacral system. None of his colleagues nor any of the medical texts at the time could explain this discovery.

His curiosity piqued, Dr. Upledger began searching for the answer. He started with the research of Dr. William Sutherland the father of cranial osteopathy. For some 20 years beginning in the early 1900s, Sutherland had explored the concept that the bones of the skull were structured to allow for movement. For decades after, this theory remained at odds with the beliefs of the scientific and medical communities. Dr. Upledger believed, however, that if Sutherland's theory of cranial movement was in fact true, this would help explain, and make feasible, the existence of the rhythm he had encountered in surgery.

It was at this point that Dr. Upledger set out to scientifically confirm the existence of cranial bone motion. From 1975 until 1983 he served as clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics at Michigan State University, where he supervised a team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists and bioengineers in research and testing. The results not only confirmed Sutherland's theory, but led to clarification of the mechanisms behind this motion -- the craniosacral system. Dr. Upledger's continued work in the field ultimately resulted in his development of CranioSacral Therapy.

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