I sometimes incorporate elements of Craniosacral Therapy into my Therapeutic Massage, but it is best experienced as a standalone session.
Here is how it works and how it can help:
The craniosacral system (the membranes and fluid that surround, protect, and nourish the brain and spinal cord) has a direct impact on the musculoskeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory, and endocrine systems and therefore plays an integral role in the overall functioning and homeostasis of the body.
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) induces a deep state of relaxation through gentle manipulation of the craniosacral system.
The level of relaxation you experience during a CST session is indescribable: "floating, melting, softening, being neither awake nor asleep" are the words I hear from my clients.
As cerebrospinal fluid gets produced in the ventricles (cavities) of the brain, it circulates within the enclosed space between the brain and the meninges, down the spinal cord and then back again, to be reabsorbed into the venous system. This produces a subtle rhythmical motion that radiates through connective tissue known as fascia, and can be felt anywhere in the body. The therapist uses this rhythmical motion as a diagnostic tool to assess where there are restrictions, adhesions, and blockages in the body. These may be due to inflammation, lesions, scar tissue, surgery, physical or emotional trauma, and stress.
The body is responsive to gentle manipulation and self-restoration while in a deep state of relaxation or under parasympathetic nervous system influence, whereas crude manipulation may bring about a bracing effect of the muscles and tissues due to activation of the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system governs relaxation activities such as digestion, peristalsis, and sleep. Blood is directed to internal organs for proper functioning of digestion, metabolism, and elimination.
Here are some of the conditions that CST addresses:
Migraines and headaches
Chronic neck and back pain
Stress and tension-related disorders
And many other conditions
Apart from its many health benefits, CST allows a chance to receive bodywork for people who are uncomfortable taking their clothes off for massage.