Osteopath Dr John Upledger discovered the craniosacral system whilst assisting during neck surgery of a patient in 1970. Dr Upledger’s job during this surgery was to hold the dura mater (the outer casing of the craniosacral system) still whilst a neurosurgeon scrapped off a plaque of calcium. Much to his embarrassment, he was unable to do this. This membrane had a movement that was unrelated to the patient’s heart or breathing rhythm that Dr Upledger could clearly see on the monitoring equipment. No one else in the operating theatre had an explanation for this, which was what piqued his curiosity and triggered a period of research. From 1975 to 1983 Dr Upledger served as clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics at Michigan State University, where he supervised a team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists and bioengineers in research and testing. The results led to clarification of the craniosacral system. Dr. Upledger’s continued work in the field ultimately resulted in his development of craniosacral therapy.
The craniosacral system has a powerful influence over the nervous, endocrine and immune systems. The pituitary and pineal glands are located within the craniosacral system. Any distortion within this area of the craniosacral system can impact the function of these two glands. There are 31 spinal nerves and 12 cranial nerves within your body. Your spinal nerves pass through the dura mater. If there is tension in the dura mater it can restrict nerve conduction or irritate your nerve(s). Given your nervous system plays a major role in controlling your muscles and organs this restriction could have a wide range of effects. Imagine a mouse nibbling on the wiring in your electric box on the outside of your house causing the light in your kitchen on the other side of the house to fail. You can change the bulb in that light as many times as you want but the light is still not going to work. Even the slightest distortion of the messages traveling through your nervous system to and from your brain can have major implications. Craniosacral therapy can help the body to re-establish unobstructed messages through the nervous system.
Stress & Trauma are held within our memory as well as the tissues of our body and in particular our nervous system. Over the last 18months as I have been studying and practicing craniosacral therapy (CST) I feel it is the release of this stress and trauma from the body’s nervous system that has created the greatest positive effect for the clients I have treated. CST gives the body the opportunity to acknowledge this stress and trauma and let go of all or part of it, whatever the body is ready to let go of. This is where my journey with CST will begin. Most of us, or likely all of us, have stress and trauma held in our bodies which our bodies, acknowledgement and treatment of which could bring significant benefits. An incident that may have been fairly minor at the time, and potentially rarely thought of again, can become a great burden for our body to hold over time. If the fight-or-flight instinct in our nervous system isn’t thoroughly brought back to rest-and-digest, we can be caught in a constant state of being alert and alarmed and never truly allow our bodies the time to relax and restore. In this perpetual state of fight or flight, our brain points the finger at our bodies for breaking down when, really, the brain should be taking the responsibility for losing connection with what the body has been desperately trying to communicate.
There are many ways over the millennia that humans have found to release the stress and trauma from their bodies. I truly believe that this is a critical in being able to have a body that feels comfortable to live in and, hence, why I have chosen to go down this particular path with my career and studies. My craniosacral studies will likely last many years, given the depth of this field of therapy, but for now it starts with helping clients who need support with either the down-regulating of their nervous system to assist with stress and anxiety or the regular occurrence of headaches and migraines.
Visit the testimonial page to read some feedback from a few of the clients I have been treating with craniosacral therapy. You are welcome to either book in for a full session of craniosacral therapy or a combined massage and craniosacral therapy treatment. If you’re unsure which suits your needs best we can discuss this at the beginning of your appointment. Craniosacral therapy is conducted with the client laying fully clothed on the massage treatment table. When craniosacral therapy is done during a remedial massage therapy treatment the two modalities are intertwined during the duration of the session.
It’s time to relax, re-set and restore. Book now