You may have heard about "cranio-sacral" or have even received a treatment in the past, but you may still be wondering what craniosacral is. I've heard many different opinions on it, from it being witchcraft and voodoo that cures all ailments, to "they did nothing at all, just held my head for an hour!" So what exactly is craniosacral?
Well, without getting too far into the esoteric claims that some craniosacral therapists swear by, I'm going to try and explain it all science-like.
Craniosacral deals with the cranium (your noggin), the sacrum (lowest flat part of your back) and the spinal column in between. Our brains our housed within a dural tube, witch encloses and protects our brain and spinal cord, which stretches from our head down to just above our tailbone. Like all tissue in the body, it is designed to move, and like all tissues in the body, it is subject to stresses and tension which inhibit said movement. The basics of craniosacral therapy is to free up anything that is restricting the dural tube, our brains and our spinal cord, as well as the nerves (which exit the spine).
Restrictions can happen anywhere throughout the spine, sacrum, neck, and even your cranial bones. An osteopath or a cransiosacral therapist can very gently mobilize your cranial bones, sacrum, and spinal column, to ease off any restrictions, and allow proper movement to recur.
The techniques an osteopath uses are very gentle because the body is extremely good at protecting itself from outside forces. As you may guess, the body is extra protective of its own brain and spinal cord, so any outside force is automatically resisted. That's why we use such a gentle touch in order to manipulate the cranial bones and dural tube, as anything more intense will be resisted by the body. So the osteopath must first listen to the body's natural movement (feeling the rhythm with their hands), and then gently guide the spinal cord back to it's center, so it may be balanced.
Why should you care if your craniosacral rhythm is out of balance?
I'm glad you asked! Your brain and spinal cord control every process of our bodies, so any imbalance, even a very minor one, can lead to all sorts of problems. From insomnia, headaches, digestive issues, nausea and dizziness, back pain, the list goes on. So as manual osteopathic therapists, we aim to restore balance in the body, so that it may right/heal itself!
Many clients report a sense of lightness and ease after a craniosacral treatment.
I hope this has shed some light on what craniosacral is and what it does, but if you have more questions I would love to hear from you. Just drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours & Health and Wellness,
Manual Osteopath, RMT