A friend of mine and I met the other day at an EVP Coffee®. We were joking about similar circumstances we are both facing in our lives while her 18 month-old played with his food. I’ve always admired her for her sense of humor, unique insight and strength, all of which make her not only a great friend but, an excellent mom. While commenting on our frustrations, at one point she turned the conversation and asked, “So, tell me about CranioSacral. What is it exactly?”
I had just finished a 4-day course through the Upledger Institute®. “I push your bones around and make you feel better,” I say with a smile. “Seriously, it’s using cranio-fluid within your body – the stuff that lubes your spine, for instance – to help release places where your joints or bones are ‘stuck.’” I emphasis it is a simple, gentle movement that is almost imperceptible.
Osteopathic Physician, John E. Upledger, pioneered CranioSacral therapy (cranial osteopathy, cranial therapy). Upledger served as Professor of Biomechanics at Michigan State University where he tested and researched what the cranio-fluid does within the body. Through his evaluation he developed this gentle-touch therapy, which releases tension and relieves pain through the process. “The pressure,” I add, “is about ‘this much.’” To demonstrate I lightly touch the top of her hand with the “weight of a nickel.” Clients go through a range of sensations from not feeling anything (which usually means they are not in tune with their body yet) to actually feeling the bones move as they release.
“What does it help with?,” she prompts. Here is where my memory freezes and I trip over trying to remember all the incredible things it helps with. “Memory. It could help with my memory if I got a treatment…” We start laughing. “Oh!” I say. “Now I remember: It can help with a range of symptoms from chronic neck pain, brain or spinal cord injuries, ADD, Learning Disorders…” and several other physical or mental issues. Almost anyone can be treated from babies to the elderly, minus those with contraindicated symptoms.
I describe the student in our class who had a shoulder injury from, which she was not able to lift her arm up above shoulder height. The teacher, Michael Morgan, CST-D, asked her to come to the front of the class to demonstrate. She told him it had been that way for several years. Morgan worked on her for about 5-8 minutes then asked her to sit down after, which we broke for lunch. Upon returning Morgan invited the student back up to the front of the class and asked her to raise both arms. When she did she was able to raise her bad arm above her head to almost full height.
Dr. Andrew Weil, a well-known physician and author, supports the work of cranio therapy as well. “Dr. Weil… recommend[s] cranial osteopathy therapy for many conditions including colic in babies, earaches and hyperactivity in children, for infants who are not sucking well during breast feeding, … [and] migraine headaches, disturbed sleep cycles, asthma, neck pain, sinus infections, TMJ syndrome, Ménière’s disease and ear problems in adults.”2
CranioSacral Therapy, though around since the late 70’s to early 80’s, is just now beginning to come into mainstream society. Medical Doctors, Pediatricians, Physical Therapists and Chiropractors are a just a few of those learning this valuable healing modality. If you haven’t tried it, take the advice of another friend who said, “What have I got to lose but some aches and pains?” ‘Zactly.
Kathy Bryant contracts with Renu Massage, Energy and Body Work. She helps clients develop the best healing “prescription” through the use of CranioSacral Therapy, Reiki, Acupressure and Crystal Therapy. For more information go to http://renumadison.com or call (608) 438-5342 .
- Upledger Institute International: CST FAQ’s. http://www.upledger.com/therapies/faq.php
- WEIL™, Wellness Therapies:Cranial Osteopathy http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03223/Cranial-Osteopathy-Craniosacral-Therapy.html