Craniosacral Therapy is a hands-on, light touch therapy used to
optimize the flow of cerebrospinal fluid,
unbind the movement of muscles and fascia throughout the body
and balance energy to ease pain and distress.
In the early 1900s, the osteopathic doctor William Sutherand developed a theory that the relationships and motions of the bones of the skull (cranium), of the fluid that flows through the brain and spinal column (cerebrospinal fluid), of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord (meninges), and of the bones of the lower back (sacrum) lie at the core of the body's functioning and vital energy. A series of techniques grew out of these concepts, which were further developed in the 1970s by John Upledger, also an osteopathic doctor. Dr. Upledger coined the term craniosacral therapy, which refers to a form of therapeutic manipulation that is oriented to tissue, fluid, membranes and energy.
Craniosacral therapy practitioners touch areas of the patient lightly to sense the cranial rhythm impulse of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), said to be similar to feeling the pulse of blood vessels. Practitioners then use subtle manipulations over the skull and other areas with the aim of restoring balance by removing restrictions to CSF movement, a process that is proposed to help the body heal itself and improve a wide range of conditions. Treatment sessions usually last between 30 and 60 minutes. There are numerous anecdotes about treatment benefits, although effectiveness and safety have not been thoroughly studied scientifically. Craniosacral therapy may be practiced by osteopathic doctors, chiropractors, naturopathic doctors or massage therapists. This technique is sometimes referred to as cranio-occipital technique or cranial osteopathy 2(when practiced by osteopathic doctors), although it is controversial whether there are subtle differences between these approaches.