Craniosacral Therapy is a very gentle and relaxing form of hands-on therapy in which particular attention is paid to tension within the dura mater, the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. This membrane attaches to the inside of the skull (cranium) and to the tailbone(or sacrum), hence the name. The craniosacral system(the dura mater, the bones to which it is attached, and the cerebral spinal fluid inside) controls the internal environment in which the brain and spinal cord operate and thus exerts a powerful influence upon the functioning of the entire body. Practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system so the patients can self-correct thus improving the functioning of the nervous system. CST has been found to be useful in treating a wide variety of conditions in newborns to adults.
Craniosacral Therapy sessions for adults take place while lying fully clothed on a comfortable padded treatment table. Most people find the session very relaxing and fall asleep as their tensions release. The practitioner monitors the craniosacral rhythm (CSR) to assess restrictions and detect potential imbalances. Then gentle techniques are used to release restrictions and allow the body to begin its healing work. Typically a 60 minute session lasts 50 min leaving time to ask questions.
A pediatric CST session is often shorter (30 min) for babies and children after the initial (75 min) session. The touch is light and gentle. Moving your baby in careful, gentle ways, while listening to their body, the practitioner will focus on areas of tight fascial strain patterns until they relax. Infants are able to receive CST while awake, nursing or sleeping. The head and sacrum are listened to through gentle palpation, the suck assessed, and all bones and body parts are felt gently. Restricted fascia patterns are allowed to unwind and babies often rest in a place of profound stillness and relaxation. Baby sessions can be done while they are in their mother's arms or children's sessions can be done while they are engaged in play. Sometimes children sit, lay, crawl, walk, stand, or play with toys on the floor during the treatment. They don't need to hold still. The practitioner adapts her techniques to the attention span and needs of the child. She monitors the craniosacral rhythm with her hands. The practitioner conducts other gentle assessments and corrects the sources of pain and dysfunction using gentle techniques that allows the infant or child to self-correct.
CST treatment sets the stage for the body to most efficiently use its own power to heal. The result is a body that has less restrictions and a body that is able to return to its greatest level of health and performance.
Babies often sleep longer stretches and have better bowel movements following a session, though some may be more awake or irritable as they integrate their CST session. Most children find the sessions to be deeply relaxing. Mothers often see changes in their children with improvements in eating, sleeping, attention span, social interaction, and functional abilities such as balance, eye-hand coordination and gait.
The session is also experienced by the parent(s) so the whole family may rest a bit better for a couple of days following the session. It's clearly healing to see our loved ones during a CST session.
The number of sessions needed varies depending on the body's current state of health and its healing response. After evaluation/treatment in your first session the practitioner can discuss more details about the responses of your body to achieve your full desired results.
Craniosacral Therapy www.upledger.com
International Association of Healthcare Practitioners (IAHP)
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