Wednesday, September 30, 2009

CranioSacral Therapy

I just completed a CranioSacral Therapy (CST) course through the Upledger Institute. It was a fabulous class and I learned a lot. This type of therapy is congruent with the relationship based  program I am trained in and is helpful for people who have autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, headaches, neck and back pain, tension and many other conditions. Many people, including myself, use it for preventative and well-care as it is very relaxing.

CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle touch approach (about the weight of a nickel) used to facilitate the bodies natural healing capabilities and propensity towards wellness.

There are many rhythms in the body. Blood circulation and breathing are two of the most commonly known, easy to feel and see. Although more subtle, cerebral spinal fluid flows through us is a rhythmic manner of about 6-12 cycles per minute in adults and with some training and practice one can feel this rhythm as well.

One of the major things I like about CranioSacral therapy and why I see it as so congruent is the importance placed on the attitude, or intent of the therapist. The therapist takes a neutral, non-directive standpoint of listening and following the body rather than indulging in thoughts of trying to fix it. The body takes care of itself -- the therapist doesn't know what healing means to each specific person. The therapist is present with the person's process and offers a helping hand. Very often, being held within this attitudinal space, the body welcomes the assistance and then guides the therapist to do what is most helpful.

With a neutral intent and gentle touch the therapist's hands blend with the client's body and therefore do not activate the natural defense mechanism. CranioSacral therapy releases membranes restrictions and suture compressions in the craniosacral system due to everyday stresses and strains as well as from more serious traumas (e.g. car accidents, falls, birth complications etc.). These releases consequently help cerebral spinal fluid flow more smoothly.

John Upledger, the person who developed CranioSacral therapy, believes "somewhere inside you is the answer to every question that can be asked about you"(p. 117). He calls this part the Inner Physician and uses CST to access one's inner wisdom.

It has been found that people with autism tend to have tight dura maters (the membrane around the brain). In Upledger's work providing CranioSacral treatments to this population, he found that they became less self injurious and improved social behavior. After these children had felt the special touch, they sought out the therapist and lined up to receive more. One little boy I read about lay still for two hours while receiving his treatment.

There are simple techniques in CranioSacral therapy that can be learned by caregivers and parents to use on a daily basis to improve the health and well-being of their children.

Your Inner Physician and You: CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release
by John E. Upledger, 1997

1 comment:

  1. Sweet, Jeannene! One of my little friends sometimes starts banging with his head. When I offer him to squeeze his head instead of him banging it against something, he immediately comes over for some squeezes. So, I started to also offer him squeezes at other times when he seems a little "out of it". He clearly tells me Yes or No depending on his needs.

    I totally believe in the help that CranioSacral Therapy can give relieve to certain challenges by children with special needs and love you bringing it up in this article...


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