Life has a way of moving our bodies out of homeostasis. Homeostasis is the body's ability to self correct and heal itself. Car accidents, skiing accidents, landing on your head, getting bucked off of a horse, boxing, slipping on ice, falling off a bicycle or any of the many other life traumas we experience all contributions to cellular damage.
The body keeps a perfect score card. Untreated damage continues to create problems in other areas as the body compensates for the damage. Slow encroachment onto other tissues leads to such problems as Scoliosis, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Compartment Syndrome, Frozen Shoulder, low back pain, stiff necks, loss of range of motion, Trigger Points (knots), headaches, migraines, and hormonal and organ dysfunctions. Damage stays trapped in the body until help arrives. There are several forms of bodywork that asserts the body in recovery.
Cranial Sacral Therapy is one such modality. Cranial Sacral Therapy, CST, is a gentle manipulation of the soft and hard tissues of the body. There are several different manipulations within CST that releases tensions, restrictions and tightness within the body.
CST utilizes tissue unwinding, pelvic releases, SI joint releases, still point, neck releases and cranial suture releases.This results in more range of motion, reduced tightness within the tissues and restores proper space between the various bones in the skull. Adequate space between the cranial bones allows the proper flow and drainage of cranial sacral fluid, lymph and blood while ensuring normal nerve conduction. Pinched nerves in the brain caused by compression of cranial bones can and does affect the whole body including migraine headaches.
Sinus drain can also build up in the sinus cavities due to compressed facial and cranial bones which is one of the leading causes of sinus headaches. Cranial Sacral Therapy directly impacts cranial spaces within the bones of the skull during decompression as it creates space and frees delicate impinged nerves. Restoring proper nerve incidence directly affects relief of headaches and migraines and muscle function for the body as a whole. Let's take a closer look at this protocol.
CST is performed with the client fully clothed and lying on a massage table. The CST therapist listens for the flow of cranial sacral fluid by palpating at the feet, thighs, hips, ribs, shoulders and head. When the cranial sacral fluid flows uninhibited from the skull to the tailbone and back there is a rippling effect throughout the whole body. It is similar to throwing a stone into a lake and the ripples are seen spanning out like a fan.
Once the therapist determines where the restrictions are with an uneven unbalanced rhythm, the first step is to perform a tissue unwinding to release the tight fascia. Fascia is the membrane that wraps the cells, muscles and organs. Fascia acts as a guy wire to help hold the body upright. When it is too tight it does not allow the proper flow of cranial fluid, body fluids, nerve conduction and muscle movement.The body feels stuck and stiff.Tissue unwinding follows the flow of cranial fluid with gentle light touch and works with this flow to release the tensions in these tissues. The therapist follows the restrictions throughout the body. It is like getting an internal massage.
Once the unwinding is accomplished the therapist proceeds to unwind the neck and head. The client's head rests on the side of the therapists hands creating a still point where the cranial sacral fluid ceases to flow. A maximum of 5 minutes is recommended. Once this step is complete the neck and whole body is in such a deep state of relaxation and it is easier to release the tensions in the occipital base, the lower back edge of the skull.
Most of the back muscles attach to the base of the skull. The Occipital Base Release penetrates these muscles at this attachment site relaxing the muscles all the way down the back. The client's head rests comfortably on the finger tips of the therapist until the tissues release and the therapist can feel C1, the very top vertebrae. Gentle tractioning of the skull towards the therapist creates more space between the tight and stressed vertebrae. Nerves exit from the spine through the vertebrae on both sides. Creating space in tight compressed vertebrae frees up the nerves for improved nerve construction. This has a direct impact on muscle and organ function. Finally, the therapist movements the cranial bones.
The therapist just uses only 5 grams of pressure, the weight of a nickel, and transactions each cranial bone moving it back into its natural position. When the cranial bones are decompressed away from each other with proper space, the cranial nerves are freed to function normally. Space is restored in the cranial cavities such as sinus cavities so that sinuses can drain properly relieving pressure around the eyes. Cranial sacral fluid flows unimpaired through the brain and dural tube in the spine promoting health and homeostasis.
Nerves are the body's communication system. When nerves are impinging the whole body is compromised. Oxygen, blood, lymph, muscle and organ function are compromised. The body can not reach homeostasis, its ability to heal itself, without assistance. Cranial Sacral Therapy gently nudges the body back to its proper anatomical position where fluids flow naturally, nerves communicate to cells uninhibited, and the mind, body and soul is rejuvenated.