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What is Craniosacral therapy?

By Megan Hatto – Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist

Craniosacral therapy works to release restrictions in muscles, fascia and nerve tissue, using light touch. The cranial bones have a slight joint-like movement in their articulations with one another. This makes space for the pumping action of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). These bones can become compressed which can create congestion in the cerebrospinal fluid and blood flow which can in turn back up the venous sinus system. This system is a vein-like system just under the skull that filters used blood and CSF, as well as various chemicals used by the brain.

The cranial bones can also get out of alignment, which puts unnecessary pressure on cranial nerves. These compressions can also affect the function of the autonomic nervous system, creating a lot of stress within the body (physically but also mentally and emotionally). CST can help all of these problems associated with recurrent migraines. There are many reasons as to why we get headaches: from our skulls being squashed during birth, to tension and stress.

As with the sinuses in our face, we have several that surround the brain to help drain excess cerebrospinal fluid, something that we produce in what are called the ventricles in the centre of the skull. It’s important that our brains are washed with fluid to make sure there is no build up of toxins. It’s also critical that the fluid is able to flow freely so that we don’t end up with too much in our skulls. I often do a small procedure which consists of a number of different holds around the shoulders, neck, and head to help drainage from the skull.

Craniosacral therapy helps to relieve stress, allowing the body to relax and let go of tension. Craniosacral therapy(CST) is helpful for headaches as the therapist uses their hands to feel for and identify blockages within the Craniosacral system. In this case, this system includes the bones, membranes and cerebrospinal fluid of the head and spinal column. The cerebrospinal fluid has its own pulse, one that differs from that of the heart. CST helps to regulate this pulse and release blockages. It is produced in the centre of the brain in what are known as ventricles.

Stress is a common factor for headaches, whether it’s physical or psychological. CST helps to downregulate the nervous system, allowing the body to relax and let go of tension. Relieving tension in the central nervous system promotes a feeling of wellbeing by eliminating pain and discomfort.

Our bodies are an intricate network of fascia also known simply as connective tissue. This amazing web connects us from our toes to the tops of our heads. When fascia becomes tight or dry, it has less availability to move and restricts both movement and flow within our bodies. Headaches are sometimes caused by a series of pulls through the fascial network that don’t allow our bodies to function as they should.

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