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CST: craniosacral therapy

It is difficult to explain this form of therapy. One simple way of describing CST is like an inner stretch; a treatment of the nervous system. We are more familiar with muscle treatments such as massage therapy and ‘bone crunching’ as carried out by chiropractors or osteopaths. CST is something different.

CST is suitable for all types of tension and pains, muscle pain, heachaches, fibromyalgia, stress-related problems, etc. You really have to experience CST to get an impression of how it works. Below is a classic description of CST.

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle way to treat all the bones of the skull and face in relation to the vertebral column of the back all the way down to the coccyx (tailbone). The essence of this therapy is the bones and the vertebrae in relation to the outer membrane of the brain, dura mater.

In the craniosacral system, there is a rhythmical motion, the craniosacral rhythm. It is thought to be caused by the production and re-absorption of cerebrospinal fluid. The frequency of this rhythm in a healthy adult is approximately 6-12 cycles per minute.

The craniosacral system is one of the distribution systems in the body which is affected by and affects other systems. Among others, it interacts with the endocrine system, the nervous system, the cardiovascular system and the internal organs. Thanks to these interactions, there is a long list of symptoms and illnesses that can be treated with craniosacral therapy.

In order for this form of therapy to work efficiently, the bones that the membrane is attached to must be in the right position. If, for example, the bones in the cranium have become misaligned or if the tailbone is misaligned with the pelvis, there will be tension in the system which can lead to a variety of ailments. In the same way, tensions in the membrane an detrimentally influence the bones and their alignment. Craniosacral herapy is used to release these tensions and to allow the system to become realigned correctly.

However, it is important to remember that craniosacral therapy is not just about the craniosacral system. This system can be adversely affected by imbalances in any of the body’s systems. For example, inflammation of the abdomen can lead to stiffness in the abdominal fascia, which in turn influences not just adjacent organs but also the spinal cord at the dura mater membrane. Tension in this membrane can lead to irritation in the nerves of the spinal cord which can cause chronic pain.

There is also a risk that the tension spreads up the spine to the cranial membrane where it can affect the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve plays a key role in the functioning of the abdomen. In this way, a vicious circle is set in motion that adversely affects the abdomen. It is unlikely that we are able to break this vicious circle until the fascia, connective tissue and membrane ave been treated correctly.

For more information, please see www.upledger.com (This is the website of the institute where I was trained in craniosacral therapy.)