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What is Craniosacral Therapy (and why you need to try it)

Updated: Jul 4, 2022

When I tell people what I do, most people say, "Oh you know my doctor was just recommending it. But what is it? Do you massage my head or something?

While it's been gaining traction in the western medicine world and people are hearing about it, people are still confused about what it is, and how it works. Those who try it sometimes ask why it feels like the practitioner's fingers are barely doing anything yet it feels like so much is shifting in the body.

Is it like a massage? Chiropractic? Physical therapy? Reiki? Even my clients who come to me after trying multiple other practitioners, still don't quite get it. They love it. They see the effects of it. But they don't get it.

What is Craniosacral Therapy?

Look at it this way...

You have a cardiovascular system...

and a respiratory system...

You have a craniosacral system as well.

This rhythm has to do with how your cerebral spinal fluid is made and flows through your head and down your spine.

And your CSF is a big deal!

It protects, nourishes, and removes toxins from your brain. It bathes all your cranial and spinal nerves. Essentially, it is a huge part of how well your Central Nervous system works.

And your central nervous system affects all other systems of your body. So you need this working in tip-top shape.

But many people don't....

Maybe you were born with forceps. Maybe you fell off your bike as a kid. Maybe you have had a lot of dental work or were in a car accident. Maybe you sit at your desk every day.

Or maybe you experience chronic stress. Let's face it. We all have put physical stress on our bodies.

And maybe when you had some form of physical injury, you were going through something emotionally at the time. Most people have developed some form of restriction whether it be osseous (bone), fascial, membranous (like your dura mater), energetic, and/or emotional.

How it works.

Typically, you lay on a table, fully clothed, facing up. A Craniosacral Therapy practitioner uses light touch to listen to the client's body, non verbally asking it what it needs to facilitate self-healing. They check in with the Cranial Sacral Rhythm, where there might be restrictions, and trapped energy. The process is never rushed or forced. The Practitioner is trained to always approach the practice with neutral intention and honor the client's inner wisdom.

I find it to be a gorgeous modality that mixes both eastern and western medicine. Born from an osteopathic doctor and steeped in real science yet also resonates with people who understand the power of energy work and emotional releasing. Because I am always following the client's body, I might think I'm going to be starting with Fascia but soon enough I am facilitating an energy release while I'm also feeling the spine realign itself.

And because Craniosacral Therapy addresses many types of releasing, restoring, and rebalancing at the same time, it can be a missing link to one's healing if single-focused modalities weren't quit doing it.

The Power of Bodywork

If you struggle with chronic pain or mental health issues, it can feel nearly impossible to get the motivation and discipline to take the necessary actions to get to wellness. When you feel exhausted, how motivated are you to exercise? Even if your sedentary life is the reason you are always tired?

Getting Craniosacral work can possibly get your body and mind to a place where you feel empowered and motivated enough to take charge of your healing journey. Personally, I struggle with an up-regulated nervous system, anxiety, and brain fog. I started getting consistent Craniosacral work last year and it has done wonders for me. While I still love the occasional massage and chiropractic session, Craniosacral therapy to this day is the most powerful form of bodywork I get.

Client's Transformations

Through the process of removing restrictions and increasing the flow of Cerebral Spinal Fluid, radical improvements can be made to a person's wellness.

This can be a physical symptom improvement such as:

  • Migraine & headaches.

  • Chronic neck and back pain.

  • Chronic fatigue.

  • Autism.

  • TMJ joint syndrome.

  • Central Nervous System Disorders.


  • Orthopedic Problems

  • Motor-Coordination Impairments.

  • PTSD

  • Learning Disabilities

  • Neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Speech impairment.

  • Hearing Problems

  • Vertigo

It can also restore the body's ability to shift between fight/flight/freeze and rest/digest improving mental health. This is personally why I get regular Craniosacral sessions. It has been the only bodywork I have experienced (so far) that can downregulate me and keep me shockingly grounded for weeks.

For some, change happens in the first session and for many, it takes several sessions.

Whatever the journey might be, everyone agrees it's incredibly relaxing.

I have too much trauma. I'm not ready for any emotional release.

Some people have expressed to me apprehensions to try it because they have heard about the emotional release and aren't ready for that. There are three things to understand:

  1. Craniosacral Therapists cannot force any type of release that your body is not ready for.

  2. Your body will not release until it knows you (your conscious mind) can handle it.

  3. Resisting a release can possibly be what is preventing your chronic illness to heal.

Essentially, people who have a lot of trauma have expressed to me their assumption they will 100% have a meltdown but that is usually not the case in my experience. And often times the releasing/shifting happens slowly over weeks from a single session and typically inspires the client. And if your body is not ready, nothing may happen.

When and how often to get a session.

I like a few weekly or 2x a week sessions. This really allows you to feel what that modality can do for you. After 3-5 sessions, you will know how your body responds to treatment and you can schedule to what makes sense to you.

CST is such a beautiful and unique modality that can stand alone or compliment any type of bodywork that you are currently doing. In fact, I often recommend getting a Craniosacral session the day before any of the more invasive types of bodywork to help prepare your body and get more from your other sessions. It’s even great post-birth and dental work. And I really believe if all newborns got CST it would be revolutionary!

If you are in the Boise, Idaho area and would like 40% off your first session, you can schedule it below. If you are not, I recommend starting with an upledger-trained craniosacral therapist. This way you are guaranteed quality training from the leading institute for CST.

Have any questions? Write them in the comments below and I'll do my best to answer them all!

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