By: Melinda Roland MA, PT, LAc, OMD, Dipl-Ac, CST-D
Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, “hands-on” therapeutic modality shown clinically to have a profoundly positive effect upon brain and spinal cord function. Benefiting a myriad of conditions, Craniosacral Therapy has been used quite successfully in the treatment of neurodevelopmental issues, ADD, ADHD and other learning difficulties since 1975. My mentor, Dr. John Upledger D.O.,O.M.M., developed Craniosacral Therapy after extensively researching and documenting the scientific basis, and has authored the definitive texts on the subject. Much of Dr Upledger’s original research was with Autism, illustrating the positive therapeutic effects possible with this gentle but profound therapy.
Structural restrictions in the body, especially in the bones and membrane layers that surround the brain and spinal cord, may be a primary factor in a significant number of neurodevelopmental cases. Restrictions can interfere with normal movement of fluids, vital nutrients, and waste products in and out of the brain necessary for proper function. The brain is housed in compartments made of specialized tissue called dura through which cranial nerves must traverse. These specialized nerves are critical for visual and vestibular function, speech, hearing and swallowing, among other important functions. Strain patterns can reflect from external dysfunction into those tissues and others, impacting specific cranial nerve and brain function, often with resultant neurologic, behavioral, and emotional disturbances as well. ADD, ADHD, Autism, and learning differences such as dyslexia are a few of the myriad diagnoses that respond very positively to CST. Integrated pathways and multiple sites within the brain must work in synchrony during each task an individual undertakes. Stress from resultant abnormal vein pressure due to strain patterns can lead to abnormal pressure on cells and congestion, intracranial toxicity, and diminished blood flow to the brain. Because of the injurious condition, the brain cells may then respond to the strain by becoming hyperactive or hypoactive. Resulting clinical conditions may include headaches, motor planning challenges, speech difficulties, hyperactivity, attention and focus issues and impulsivity.
Treatment with Craniosacral Therapy utilizes a light, non-intrusive touch, usually less than 5 grams or “a nickel’s worth” of pressure. The practitioner, using well-developed palpatory skills and guided by the patient’s body, helps the body make the biomechanical and energetic corrections necessary to improve function on all levels. Miracles really can happen.