Home > Complementary Therapy > Soothing Tension with Craniosacral Therapy

Soothing Tension with Craniosacral Therapy

By: Corinna Underwood - Updated: 3 Jul 2013 | comments*Discuss
Craniosacral Therapy Health Regulating

Craniosacral therapy involves the manipulation areas of the head and neck to relieve discomfort and cure illness. The therapy was invented by an osteopath named William G. Sutherland in the early 1930s. The craniosacral therapy that we know today was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger, a clinical researcher and professor of Biomechanics at Michigan State University the early seventies.

The craniosacral system is comprised of the fluid and tissue that protects the brain, the cranium and also the spine. Craniosacral therapists manipulate the skull in order to feel and readjust the subtle rhythm they claim flows through the cranium, sacrum and cerebrospinal fluid. The balance of this energy is vital for good health. A trained therapist will use her hands to feel the energy and pick up any changes or blockages in the normal, healthy rhythm.

The three essential concepts of craniosacral therapy are:

  • Function is dependent of form and form is in constant movement
  • The body is potentially self-healing and self-regulating
  • The human system functions as a unified whole

How the Therapy Works

The craniosacral therapist works with the patient to activate the body's natural healing processes. The therapist uses about 5 grams of pressure (about the weight of a nickel), to evaluate the patient's craniosacral system by 'tuning in' to the patient's rhythms. The practitioner feels her way for the subtle pulse like energy with theism of locating any blockage or unusual fluctuation. She will then be able to discover which body area or function is being adversely affected, and will use gentle pressure to adjust the rhythm.

Professor Upledger claims that craniosacral therapy is effective in the treatment of the following health problems:

  • Migraine Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever
  • Disorders of the central nervous system
  • Joint Problems
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Scoliosis
  • Memory problems
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Stress
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Post operative pain


While there is some evidence for a craniosacral energy that is independent of other perceivable body rhythms, there is currently no proof that this can be accurately measured by craniosacral therapists or that is has any affect on overall health.

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