If you are suffering with migraine, frozen shoulder, back pain or gastric problems, you may want to consider craniosacral therapy. Ken Morgan gives an overview of what craniosacral therapy is, how it evolved and how it can help you.
What is cranioscral therapy?
Craniosacral therapy is a form of light-touch body therapy. The goal of craniosacral therapy is to evaluate any restrictions in the craniosacral system by palpating the cranial rhythm impulse and to restore balance to the system by using various light-touch adjustments. The client remains clothed and the experience is generally pleasant and very relaxing.
Craniosacral therapy is a subtle, non-invasive and non-intrusive therapy. It is more about listening to the body’s own wisdom or intelligence and facilitating the body in adjusting and healing itself. If you are used to more active therapies such as massage, it may seem like the therapist is not doing very much. Whilst being one of least invasive therapies, it may surprise you just how powerful this therapy can be.
What is the Craniosacral System?
The craniosacral system (CSS) includes the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), the cerebro-spinal fluid which surrounds the brain and spinal cord, the dural membranes which contain the fluid and the cranial and sacral bones to which these membranes attach. The cerebro-spinal fluid cushions the brain and spinal cord, nourishes them and removes waste products. It is important to note that the entire body is connected to the spinal cord via the nerves and fascia.
What is the Cranial Rhythm Impulse?
The production and reabsorption of the cerebro-spinal fluid produces a pulsation which can be felt anywhere in the body and is known as the cranial rhythm impulse or the primary respiratory mechanism. Tensions in the body, fascia and membranes can cause imbalances in the flow of cerebro-spinal fluid.
History Of Craniosacral Therapy
Craniosacral therapy has it origins in the system of osteopathic medicine of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still (1828-1917). Dr. Still founded the American School of Osteopathy from which Dr. William Garner Sutherland (1873-1954) graduated in 1900.
The theory of that time was that the 22 bones of the human skull fused together in adolescence and were incapable of movement. Dr. Sutherland did not believe this and designed experiments on himself to successfully prove that the cranial bones move in an adult. He later evolved cranial osteopathy based upon his findings.
One of Sutherland’s first students was Dr. Harold Ives Magoun who wrote “Osteopathy In The Cranial Field” which is considered the “bible” of Sutherland’s methods. A student of Magoun was Dr. John Upledger (1932-2012) who continued to research and develop cranial osteopathy. He simplified techniques so that it could be taught (without any need for prior osteopathic training) as an independent therapy which he called craniosacral therapy. He was professor of biomechanics at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University where he headed a research team which confirmed Sutherland’s findings that the cranial bones move. Upledger originated the theory that the craniosacral system is a hydraulic system.
Craniosacral Therapy Today
Various training schools of craniosacral therapy now exist:
- The original Upledger Institute International founded by Dr. John Upledger.
- Integrated craniosacral therapy as taught by Thomas Attlee and the College of Cranio-Sacral Therapy in London.
- The biodynamic craniosacral therapy developed by Franklyn Sills. There is a Body Intelligence Training, teaching biodynamic craniosacral therapy which has a school in Kuala Lumpur and several therapists in Malaysia.
- The visionary craniosacral therapy of Hugh Milne.
What Can Craniosacral Therapy Treat?
Craniosacral therapy has been found to help treat a variety of conditions. Among the most common are:
Where can I find a practitioner in Penang?
Mian Joo originally studied quantity surveying at Salford University, UK. She was introduced to craniosacral therapy by a friend and attended the College of Cranio-Sacral Therapy in London for two years, qualifying at the end of 2009. Originally from Sarawak, Mian Joo, her husband and family have settled in Penang.
Mian Joo has set up a treatment room at her home in Tanjung Bungah, although she can come to people’s homes. She charges RM100 for the first treatment and RM80 for follow-up treatments. She can be contacted on 017-200-8176 or via her Facebook page.