Craniosacral Therapy

Woman having head massage
Frederic Cirou / Getty Images

What is Craniosacral Therapy?

Craniosacral therapy was developed by osteopath John Upledger in the 1970s. It is based on an approach popularized by Dr. William Sutherland, an osteopath in the early 1900's.

The craniosacral system (cranio means head and sacral refers to the area at the base of the spine) includes the brain and spinal cord. They are bathed in a craniosacral fluid that has a rhythmic pulse, similar to blood pressure.

The craniosacral therapist senses the pulse and looks for any subtle restrictions in the flow of craniosacral fluid. According to proponents, restrictions are believed to be the cause of poor health, especially conditions related to the brain, spine, and nervous system.

Conditions Treated

Proponents claim that craniosacral therapy can aid in the following conditions:

  • Migraines and headaches
  • Chronic neck and back pain
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Scoliosis
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Stress and stress-related disorders
  • Fibromyalgia and other connective tissue disorders
  • Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome
  • Immune disorders

What a Typical Craniosacral Treatment is Like

You will be asked to lie clothed on the treatment table. The therapist applies subtle pressure with the hands to the head and the base of the spine.

If you're considering trying craniosacral therapy, be sure to consult your primary care provider before beginning treatment.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

Continue Reading