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Craniosacral Massage


Differing from traditional massage, Craniosacral Therapy is a part of the subtle energy approach to bodywork. Instead of applying force, the practitioner's expertise lies in the advanced palpation skills he or she has developed with the hands, which are used as diagnostic or therapeutic tools to track the motion of the craniosacral system. In general, the craniosacral system is composed of the membranous coverings of the brain and spinal cord, the bones like the skull and spine to which the membranes are attached along with the cerebrospinal fluid, and all structures related to the production, containment and resorption of this fluid. The craniosacral system is a semi-closed hydraulic system with its own physiological rhythmic activity, also known as craniosacral motion, which bathes the brain, spinal cord and their membranous coverings. Functionally this system is related to, influences, and is influenced by the nervous system, the musculoskeletal system, the vascular system, the lymphatic system, the endocrine system and the respiratory system.

In this discipline injury and disease are perceived as waves of interference that superimpose themselves upon the normal body motion, and the therapist uses a highly developed sense of touch to feel for and locate asymmetries. In order to correct any asymmetries, the therapist shuts down the craniosacral motion, waiting for the motion to become perfectly still (known as a still point), during which time the craniosacral system will reset and everything relaxes, pain decreases, breathing becomes relaxed, and muscle tension seems to melt away.

The typical craniosacral session begins with the client resting fully clothed on his or her back on the massage table. The therapist sits or stands next to the client and with a relaxed, gentle, feather light touch, places hands symmetrically on the body, such as the mid-sacrum and the base of the head.  In all, ten stations are monitored for their physiological rhythms.  The effect for the client is one in which he or she slips into a deep meditation to eventually awake refreshed and relaxed. Craniosacral therapy is especially appropriate in conditions in which the use of movement or force is contra-indicated or poorly tolerated.  A few examples are: post surgery, emotional distress, trauma, acute conditions, hypersensitivity, chronic pain, and headaches.