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What Is Cranial Sacral Therapy?

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

cranial sacral

Do you stare at a computer screen for hours on end? Are you under heaps of stress brought on by an incredibly demanding job? Do you suffer from countless pounding headaches? Cranial sacral therapy can help.

A gentle, noninvasive form of bodywork, cranial sacral therapy works to restore balance throughout the body by directly accessing the central nervous system and the related connective tissue. The goal is to release compression in the bones of the head, spinal column, and sacrum to alleviate pain and stress.

Scientific Research Supports Cranial Sacral Therapy

Cranial sacral therapy can restore the bones’ natural position, decrease stress brought on by chronic injuries, and offer relief from a variety of ailments, including temporomandibular joint disorder (commonly known as TMJ), eye strain, neck and back pain, migraine headaches, some nervous conditions, and much more. There is a growing body of scientific research to back this up.

In a paper appearing in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, investigators discovered that subjects who received bodywork like cranial sacral therapy had fewer migraines and improved sleep quality over people who did not receive the therapy. It is also important to note the researchers found that these benefits continued for up to three weeks after the cranial sacral therapy ended.

How Cranial Sacral Therapy Works

The dural membrane system (also known as the craniosacral system) extends from inside the lining of the head to the lining of the spinal cord and sacrum—the large triangular bone at the spine base. Cerebral spinal fluid flows inside the lining of this system, and the motion of this fluid can be felt throughout the body.

The session length will vary depending on the areas receiving treatment. Patients lie down on their backs, and a certified practitioner gently examines the neck and head areas. The practitioner usually starts at the cranial base. This is located at the back of the skull where stress and blockage are commonly attributed to be the cause of migraines and other kinds of headaches. By targeting this area with very gentle hands-on manipulation, the practitioner opens up the tissues and alleviates pain.

With patients experiencing jaw pain, such as TMJ, there’s usually a lack of fluid in the area. Cranial sacral therapy on the jaw can loosen the joints and help more fluid to enter. This will lessen jaw tension and alleviate pain.

For people with general back pain and issues with their hips, cranial sacral therapy can target the sacrum. This will allow the cerebral spinal fluid to flow freely from the head and neck down the entire spine.

Cranial sacral therapy is one of the many services The Bodhi Clinic offers. Find out how we can restore balance throughout your body.


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