Understanding Craniosacral Therapy

In the early 1920’s, an osteopathic student named William Sutherland discovered that the bones in the cranium actually have minimal movement despite the fact that it was widely believe that the skull bones lose movement after adolescence. Without this movement symptoms of pain in the head, pelvis and body may arise.

Craniosacral therapy is a very gentle therapy that works with these inherent movements in our cranium, pelvis and the membranes and tissues throughout our body to make sure that they are all moving correctly and efficiently. The freedom in movement enhances the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and other body fluids which thus enhances the body’s natural healing process

To understand further how and why this works, we delve into the workings of the cranium. Within our brains lie four cavities, also known as ventricles, which produce cerebrospinal fluid to circulate around the brain and spinal cord. The fluid’s function is to nourish and protect, and fluctuates in waves about 8-10 times a minute. Around the cranium and spinal cord lies another protective layer, your dura. This is an inelastic membrane attached to the cranium, a few vertebrae in the spine and to your sacrum. As the cerebrospinal fluid amount increases, the pressure within the cranium increases. In order for your brain to not get damaged by this increase in pressure, something needs to give so the pressure is released – enter the movement of the cranial bones. As the cranial bones move to allow for more space, the vertebrae move, followed by the sacrum, and so on and so forth throughout all the bones, muscles and fascias through our whole system. Craniosacral techniques are one of the many techniques that osteopathy utilises.

Written by Kierra Hautala, Registered Massage Therapist and Osteopathy Student

If you’re interested in incorporating Craniosacral Therapy into your treatment, book an appointment with Kierra.