Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy was developed by a Doctor William Sutherland in the early 1900s after he developed the theory that cranial bones were built to have a small degree of motion rather than being fixed as was held by most scientists of the day. Dr. Sutherland further theorized that if these bones could move, they could be affected by the rest of the body via the sap of the body, the craniosacral system and if that was the case, then positive things could be done to alleviate problems with the spine and skull.

He spent years developing a therapy that could take advantage of the craniosacral system and developed a form of therapy that would gently alleviate pressures and strains and thus alleviate symptoms of things like migraines, autism, fibromyalgia and other problems. He began to teach his techniques, but it was not widely accepted and upon his death in 1945, there were still only a few therapists who would use it. It was not until it was picked up and popularized by Doctor John Upledger in the 1970s that it became more widely taught and more accessible to the public. He coined the term craniosacral therapy so that any therapist could learn it instead of just osteopaths it had been before.

Craniosacral therapy is a very gentle, hands-on approach to dealing with problems in the craniosacral system, otherwise known as the membranes and fluids which surround the brain and spinal cord. This system of fluids and membranes runs from the one end of the spine to the other and any damage or strain to this area affects the central nervous system in adverse and often difficult to treat ways. Practitioners apply very gentle force, no more than five milligrams or the weight of a nickel to affected areas of the spine and skull to release craniosacral tensions that can cause things like migraines. It can also be used to relieve the symptoms of things like autism and colic. Its gentle approach means that it can be used on anyone safely, even babies.

Craniosacral therapy is meant to be used to augment the bodys natural ability to heal itself from strain and injuries, as well as in conjunction with other therapies such as myofascial release. It is gaining more popularity as an alternative expensive and often ineffectual medicines and traumatic surgeries. However, it is still unrecognized by many health associations in the world, leaving the professionals in this field to regulate themselves through professional associations. This also means that mainstream doctors do not tend to bring it up as an option unless a patient specifically asks for it, so many have to do their own research into this form of therapy before talking to a doctor about it.

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