Cranial sacral therapy (CST) is a type of bodywork that relieves compression in the bones of the head, sacrum (a triangular bone in the lower back), and spinal column.
CST is noninvasive. It uses gentle pressure on the head, neck, and back to relieve the stress and pain caused by compression. It’s thought that through the gentle manipulation of the bones in the skull, spine, and pelvis, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the central nervous system can be normalized. This removes blockages from the normal flow, which enhances the body’s ability to heal.
Benefits and uses
Cranial sacral therapy can soothe pain and release both emotional and physical stress and tension. It can also help restore cranial mobility and ease or release restrictions of the head, neck, and nerves.
Cranial sacral therapy can be used for people of all ages. It may be part of your treatment for conditions like:
- Migraines and headaches
- Anxiety & depression
- Disturbed sleep cycles and insomnia
- Sinus infections
- Neck pain and poor range of motion
- Fibromyalgia and back pain
- Recurrent ear infections or colic in infants
- Trauma recovery, including trauma from whiplash
- Mood disorders like anxiety or depression
- Difficult pregnancies
Procedure and technique
When you arrive for your appointment, I will ask you about your symptoms and any pre-existing conditions. 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. I 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), and I will gently hold your feet, head, or sacrum to listen to their subtle rhythms. If I detect it’s needed, I may gently press or reposition you to normalize the flow of the cerebrospinal fluids. 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
What to Expect After Treatment?
After a craniosacral therapy session, it is advisable to drink lots of water. As a result of relieving tension and pain, your body may release toxins into your bloodstream. With water, you can flush them out.
You may experience feelings of relaxation, relief, or drowsiness. I advise staying away from physically exhausting activities for a day or two after a session. This translates to getting adequate rest, which will help your body adjust to any physiological changes in your system.
Additionally, you may experience the release of trapped emotions. This is an excellent time to be patient with yourself and to get more in touch with your body.
Certain individuals should not use cranial sacral therapy. These include people who are suffering from:
- Diagnosed aneurysm
- Severe bleeding disorders
- Recent history of head injuries, which include skull fractures or cranial bleeding
30 minute session $45
60 minute session $80
90 minute session $115