What is Cranio-sacral Therapy?

Cranio-sacral therapy is a 'hands on' therapy.  During a treatment the patient will lie on a treatment table and experience the very light touch of the therapist's hands.  It is very gentle and uses no manipulation.  You may feel a deep sense of relaxation and possibly become aware of heat, tingling, pulsations or other sensations.

Craniosacral therapy developed from the work of American osteopath, Dr William Sutherland in the early 1900s. He discovered intrinsic movements of the bones in the head and his further research revealed different rhythms in the body. He inferred, from further observation, and later went on to demonstrate to his satisfaction, that these movements are inextricably linked with mental and emotional health and that restriction of these movements corresponds to a reduction of the natural capacity to self-heal.

At the core of the body the cerebrospinal fluid, which bathes and cushions the brain and spinal cord, expresses itself in a tide-like ebb and flow (Cranio-sacral motion).  It is with this subtle motion that the therapist works.

How does Cranio-sacral therapy work?

In response to physical knocks or emotional stress, the body's tissues contract.  Sometimes, particularly when the shock is severe or occurs within an emotional situation, the tissues stay contracted.

Any stresses, strains, tensions or traumas which have been 'stored' in the body in this way will restrict the body's functioning and may give rise to problems over the years.  The effects may be emotional or physical.

Restrictions in the body's functioning show up in the way that the cranio-sacral motion is expressed.  The therapist feels this subtle motion and uses it to identify areas of congestion or restriction.

Then, using the  hands to reflect back to the body the pattern it is holding, the therapist provides an opportunity for the body to let go of its restrictive pattern and return to an easier mode of functioning.  As well as releasing the body's tensions, this frees the energy which the body was previously using to hold itself in contraction.