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What is CranioSacral Therapy (CST) and who does it benefit?

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on technique that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain, decrease dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. It was pioneered and developed by Osteopathic Physician, John E. Upledger after years of clinical testing and research at Michigan State University where he served as professor of biomechanics.

The technique utilizes a soft touch which is generally no greater than 5 grams - about the weight of a nickel. I assess and release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system from the skull to the sacrum. I look for the any tension along the bones of the skull primarily the sphenoid bone. The sphenoid bone is special because there is a structure that pituitary gland sits on- its called the Sella Turcica (translates to turkish saddle). The Sella Turcica supports the pituitary gland which is responsible for the production of a variety of hormones including the growth hormone.

The sphenoid is the keystone bone of the skull as it touches every bone in the skull and moves with every breath. When it moves, it helps cerebral spinal fluid pump through your spinal cord. Essentially with every breath you take, your sphenoid is moving, and you are pumping cerebral spinal fluid through your central nervous system. Queue Phil Collins "Every Breath you Take".

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What conditions does CranioSacral Therapy address?

  • Infant and Childhood Disorders

  • Migraines and Headaches

  • Chronic Jaw, Neck and Back Pain

  • Stress and Tension-Related Disorders

  • Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries

  • Chronic Fatigue

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Orthopedic Problems

  • Autoimmune Disorders

  • And Many Other Conditions

Generally, people who require gentle contact to decrease the frequency of pain and flare ups benefit greatly from CST.

Is there any condition for which CST shouldn't be used?

There are certain situations where application of CST would not be recommended. These include conditions where a variation and/or slight increase in intracranial pressure would cause instability. Acute aneurysm, cerebral hemorrhage or other pre-existing severe bleeding disorders are examples of conditions that could be affected by small intracranial pressure changes.

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