Craniosacral Massage Therapy
The purpose of Craniosacral Massage Therapy
Craniosacral Massage Therapy is a holistic healing practice that uses very light touching to balance the craniosacral system in the body, which includes the bones, nerves, fluids, and connective tissues of the cranium and spinal area.
According to Dr. John Upledger, craniosacral therapy is ideally suited for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, headaches, chronic middle ear infection, pain, and general health maintenance. It is recommended for autism, fibromyalgia, heart disease, osteoarthritis, pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic sinus infections, and gastroenteritis (inflammation of the lining of the stomach or small intestine). It is also used with other therapies to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, back pain, and menstrual irregularity. In addition, other craniosacral practitioners have reported benefits for eye dysfunction, dyslexia, depression, motor coordination difficulties, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), hyperactivity, colic, asthma in babies, floppy baby syndrome, whiplash, cerebral palsy, certain birth defects, and other central nervous system disorders.
The history of Craniosacral Massage Therapy
The first written reference to the movement of the spinal nerves and its importance in life, clarity, and “bringing quiet to the heart” is found in a 4,000-year-old text from China. Craniosacral work has been referred to as “the art of listening.” Bone setters in the middle ages also sensed the subtle movements of the body. They used these movements to help reset fractures and dislocations and to treat headaches.
In the early 1900s, the research of Dr. William Sutherland, an American osteopathic physician, detailed the movement of the cranium and pelvis. Before his research it was believed that the cranium was a solid immovable mass. Sutherland reported that the skull is actually made up of 22 separate and movable bones that are connected by layers of tissue. He called his work 'Cranial Osteopathy'. Nephi Cotton, an American chiropractor and contemporary of Sutherland, called this approach 'Craniology'. The graduates of these two disciplines have refined and enhanced these original approaches and renamed their work as sacro-occipital technique, cranial movement therapy, or Craniosacral Therapy. Sutherland noticed that cerebral spinal fluid rises and falls within the compartment of the dura mata. He called this movement the primary respiratory impulse; today it is known as the CranioSacral Rhythm (CSR).
Dr. John Upledger, an Osteopathic Physician, and others at the Department of Biomechanics at Michigan State University, College of Osteopathic Medicine learned of Sutherland’s research and developed it further. Upledger researched the clinical observations of various osteopathic physicians. This research provided the basis for Upledger’s work that he named Craniosacral Therapy. Known today as Craniosacral Massage, this form of massage addresses the craniosacral system. This system includes the cranium, spine, and sacrum that are connected by a continuous membrane of connective tissue deep inside the body, called the dura mater. The dura mater also encloses the brain and the central nervous system.
Craniosacral therapists can most easily feel the CSR in the body by lightly touching the base of the skull (sacrum). During a session, your massage therapist feels for disturbances in the rate, amplitude, symmetry, and quality of flow of the CSR. Your therapist will then use very gentle touch to balance the flow of the CSR. Once the cerebrospinal fluid moves freely, the body’s natural healing responses can function.
AG Massage - Licensed Massage Therapists
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