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Dr Andrea Wiessner

T(GP), MD, MF Hom, CSAMH, RCST

Craniosacral Therapy

About Craniosacral Therapy

What is Craniosacral Therapy?

Craniosacral Therapy is a hands-on therapy which has evolved from Osteopathy. Around 100 years ago, an American osteopath discovered that all the tissues of the body express a rhythmic movement, which has been called craniosacral motion. The cerebrospinal fluid, which surrounds the brain and spinal cord, expresses this motion in a wave like flow. All other tissues of the body, including the bones, muscles and fascia express this motion in their own particular way.

Due to stresses and strains, illnesses or injuries, the body’s tissues often contract and the musculoskeletal system can become misaligned. Emotional imbalances can also occur. This is followed by a change in the craniosacral motion in these areas. The craniosacral therapist uses very gentle touch and listens via the hands to the body to find out where these contractions are. The aim is to help the body to release these tensions and contractions by gently amplifying the restrictions in the body, usually just by light pressure.

This is often followed by the improvement of specific symptoms, improved vitality and a greater sense of wellbeing.

What happens during a treatment?

German doctor Samuel Hahnemann

During a treatment, you will usually lie on your back on a treatment couch. However, in later stages of pregnancy, treatments can be done in the sitting position or lying on the side. Babies can be treated on their mother’s lap. Clothes do not need to be removed. I will use very gentle touch to find out where the body is holding tensions. We usually work with all areas between the cranium and the sacrum, which is the lower part of the spine. But often, the whole body is involved in the treatment.

Craniosacral Therapy for babies

Craniosacral Therapy and Cranial Osteopathy have become well known for dealing with babies, in particular after a difficult birth. During the birth process, different areas of the body might become compressed, in particular the bones of the head and the neck area. This might be followed by a restriction in the blood flow to and from the brain or a pressure on nerves traveling through these areas. It is thought that this, together with the stress of a difficult birth, can affect particular nerves and nerve centers responsible for the proper functioning of our internal organs, particularly the lungs and digestive system. This might be followed by colic, sucking problems, breathing difficulties, restlessness and irritability.

Craniosacral Therapy aims to help to release these tensions and compressions to allow the proper functioning of nerves and to allow free blood flow.

Patients and parents often seek help with the following problems

In Babies

  • Crying and unsettled babies
  • Colic, wind and digestive disturbances
  • Sleep problems
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Parents often just want their baby to be checked after birth to integrate the birth process and to release tensions before any symptoms arise.

In older children

  • Recurrent ear infections and sinus infections, glue ear
  • Asthma
  • Learning difficulties
  • Hyperactivity
  • Behavioral problems
  • Sleep disturbance, nightmares

In adults

  • Muscular aches and strains
  • Pregnancy related back pain and preparation for labor
  • Complaints arising after child birth
  • Problems arising after injuries
  • TMJ pain and disorders
  • Stress related conditions
  • Sinusitis
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue

Literature

  • John Wilks: “Understanding Craniosacral Therapy”. First Stone Publishing
  • John E. Upledger: “Your Inner Physician and You”. North Atlantic Books

Next: Your Appointment

“There is a point where in the mystery of existence contradictions meet; where movement is not all movement and stillness is not all stillness; where the idea and the form, the within and the without, are united; where infinite becomes finite, yet not.” Rabindranath Tagore