Cranio-Sacral Therapy (CST) explained


Case Story

3-year-old Teryn was having severe problems sleeping at night as well as suffering from recurring headaches. Her mother was recommended to see Cranio-Sacral therapist Sofie Rasmussen.

During the first treatment, Sofie gently laid her hands on Teryn’s sacrum, pelvis, solar plexus, chest and cranium, seemingly doing very little to the observing mother. The treatment lasted one hour. That there had been some effect from the first treatment was clear when Teryn told her dad on returning home that “The Doctor” was fixing her back. What is interesting is that Teryn had never complained of back problems previously. After one more treatment Teryn was sleeping right through the night.

Who will benefit from CST?

For the past decade in the USA and England, Cranio-Sacral Therapy (CST) has been renowned for its profound influence on treating problems arising from pregnancy, birth trauma and unresolved shock and alarm generally. The effects of which may range from colic, insomnia, constipation, cranial-facial abnormalities, learning difficulties, poor growth, hypo- or hyperactivity, a predisposition to ear, nose and throat infections and sometimes even epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

Teryn’s case was a good example of this. Essentially she revealed a rotated pelvis and some rotation of the cranial bones, which, can occur from a troubled womb position during pregnancy.

CST is suitable for all ages, though particularly valuable for babies and children since the establishment of healthy patterns at an early age sets patterns for the future of an individual, both in their health and abilities. CST is also well known for aiding the restoration of health after surgery, accidents and immune system suppression.

What is CST?

CST is uniquely developed from the knowledge of modern research on the physical compounds surrounding the central nervous system and includes monitoring the motions of the cranium and sacrum as well as balancing the fluid dynamics of its main fluid, the cerebrospinal fluid.

CST is a non-invasive therapeutic method that relies extensively on the therapist’s capability of using extraordinary sensitivity and intuition.

The history of CST

Cranio-Sacral Therapy was developed throughout the twentieth century, initially in the 1920’s by Osteopath Dr. William G Sutherland, who discovered that the cranium does not entirely ossify in adulthood. He developed Cranial Osteopathy.

Attention was then given to the cranial bones and their movement at the cranial sutures, which are the connections between the cranial bones. Areas of irregular cranial bone motion were corrected by manual techniques.

Following Dr. Sutherland’s discoveries, cranial manipulation was primarily performed by osteopaths and chiropractors. They also formed Societies to further investigate and teach cranial methods. These pioneers were at odds with the larger scientific community, and often with their own peers, over one central aspect of the cranial system: the movements of the cranial bones.

Conventional anatomical wisdom taught that cranial bones were moveable only in childhood and were thereafter solidly fused in adulthood.

In the 1970’s, the Osteopathic physician and surgeon Dr. Upledger observed during surgery of a patient’s neck that the membranes (Dura Mater) that surround the brain and spinal cord had a continuously rhythmical movement. None of his colleagues could explain this. Dr Upledger believed that a hydraulic system must exist within these membranes, which would create the movement.

Between 1975-83, Dr. Upledger led a team of researchers at The Michigan State University Osteopathic College that sought to resolve the controversy of the skull. The research team yielded precise measurements of the frequency and amplitude of cranial bone movement.

With the existence of cranial bone motion established, researching the mechanisms behind this motion became the next task of the team. It was here that the role of the Dura Mater and the cerebrospinal fluid were integrated into a comprehensive model of the cranio-sacral system. They called it the Pressurestat Model.

The team were also able to explain in scientific and practical terms how the cranio-sacral system could be used to evaluate and treat malfunctions involving the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms that manifest themselves as malfunctions include insomnia, learning disabilities, post-traumatic stress syndrome, various headaches, chronic pain problems, temporomandibular joint problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, and recurring infections.

How it works

The Cranio-Sacral therapist is able to determine the possible causes of any particular malfunction by evaluating the cranio-sacral system. Once identified, the therapy consists of a gentle, hands-on treatment method that focuses on alleviating restrictions to physiological motion of all bones of the skull and face, as well as the vertebral column, sacrum, coccyx and pelvis.

The Cranio-Sacral Therapist also focuses on normalising abnormal tensions and stresses in the meningeal membrane. Attention is focused on alleviating any obstacles to free movement by the cerebrospinal fluid within its membrane compartment and to normalising and balancing perceived related energy fields.

CST is a therapeutic system that acknowledges that fragmentation of the different body functions is an illusion and that the human body and mind function as a unified, integrated whole.

Danish Cranio-Sacral Therapist Sofie Rasmussen was trained CST/2001 in Denmark and have graduated as a facilitator in Cape Town 2010. She can be contacted at 072-6389952 and

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