Background and Benefits

CranioSacral Therapy was developed by Dr. John E. Upledger in the 1970’s. Dr. Upledger’s research and extensive clinical applications at Michigan State University and the Upledger Institute in Florida, have been confirmed by research and clinical work for more than 40 years.

Today, CST is an increasingly popular complementary holistic treatment, used worldwide by physical therapists, occupational therapists, medical doctors, and dentists. CST is an effective treatment for children and adults, and boosts the effectiveness of other therapies when used in an integrated treatment plan.

What Can I Expect in a Treatment? 

When you are treated with CST your therapist might begin by finding your craniosacral rhythm and you will be examined for restrictions. The practitioner gently and safely works with the whole body with a focus on your cranium, sacrum (tailbone), spine, diaphragms, and fascia (the connective tissue layer throughout your body). This is a gentle, often deeply intuitive technique and many people report a deep sense of relaxation during the session. Others experience memories, emotions or physical sensations that can often provide insight to help make positive life changes.

Some people report complete relief after their first session, while others require additional sessions over the course of several weeks. Clients with chronic conditions may require long-term therapy, although the frequency of sessions usually decreases over time.

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) and Myofascial Release (MFR) - A Powerful Duo

CST addresses a rhythmic system at the core of our physiology – the pulse of cerebrospinal fluid protecting our spinal cord and brain that flows between our head and pelvic area. So restrictions originating from this area can lead to a host of problems (some which were mentioned above), and if left untreated can actually "spread" the dysfunction into the rest of the body.  This dysfunction can move its way into further restriction by way of the vast network of connective tissue we all have throughout our bodies, the fascial system.  This can slowly affect our bodies more and more, possibly turning into other problem areas seemingly unrelated the original restriction.  This phenomenon can also work in reverse, if trauma originates from our fascial system it can eventually lead to misalignment in one or more of the components of the craniosacral system causing the gentle "pump" to not be able to do its job correctly.

Using CST and MFR together is a powerful approach to treating the true causes of pain.  Both the craniosacral and fascial systems rely on each other to operate efficiently so each can do its own job effectively.  We believe treating dysfunction and pain without assessing both systems could cause originating problem areas to be missed entirely.  The source of pain or loss of function isn’t always obvious and the body presents things in a particular order unique to each person.  Using CST and MFR together we can peel back the effects of the symptoms you are experiencing and correctly identify and treat the sources.  As these restrictions are released the body can most efficiently use its own power to heal.    

Problems arise in the craniosacral system when one or more of these "components" mentioned earlier become hindered or limited by restriction or blockages.  Think of the craniosacral system as a gentle pump that flows fresh and nutrient dense cerebrospinal fluid around the spinal cord and brain in a ever constant and rhythmic fashion.  This pump made up of the components within the craniosacral system creates a almost imperceptible pulse that can be felt throughout the whole body by a trained therapist.  This pulse or (craniosacral rhythm) presents at a normal consistent rate and is used to discern where dysfunction or restriction might be located within the craniosacral system and the rest of the body.  If the rate, strength, or balance of the pulse is deemed to be outside acceptable limits the therapist can hone in on the location of the restrictions and apply the proper techniques to release them.  Once the restrictions are released this gentle pumping action within the craniosacral system can be reset by the therapist and the pulse checked again for symmetry and balance as the body corrects itself.

Restrictions in the craniosacral system can cause dysfunction in the brain, spinal cord and spinal nerves.  CST helps release these restrictions in the tissues and structures of the body and central nervous, allowing the body to self -correct sensory, motor, and neurological problems.  

CranioSacral Therapy -Whats it All About?

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is an extremely gentle, non-invasive treatment that can create dramatic improvements in your life. Its a form of therapy consisting of exceedingly light finger and hand pressure upon the cranial bones and the sacrum, and upon the involuntary movements of these bones.  It is an effective form of treatment for a wide range of illnesses helping to create the optimal conditions for health, encouraging vitality and facilitating a sense of well-being. It is suitable for people of all ages including babies, children and the elderly, and can be effective in acute or chronic cases.

How Does It Help?

CST focuses on treating restrictions within the dura mater, the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.  This fragile membrane attaches to the inside of the skull (or cranium) and surrounds the spinal cord, attaches to the vertebral column, and extends down to the tailbone (or sacrum).  The dura mater is filled with a liquid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord called the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).  All of these these components together make up what is called the craniosacral system. This system controls the internal environment in which the brain and spinal cord operate and thus exerts a powerful influence upon the functioning of the entire body.

  • TMJ Syndrome (Jaw Pain)
  • Scoliosis
  • Central Nervous System Disorders
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Orthopedic Problems
  • Autism
  • Vertigo
  • And Many Other Conditions

CranioSacral Therapy helps to relieve a full spectrum of pain, illness and dysfunction, including:

  • Migraines and Headaches
  • Chronic neck and back pain
  • Stress and Tension-Related Disorders
  • Motor-Coordination Impairments
  • Infant and Childhood Disorders
  • Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Middle Ear Infections

For a full list of Conditions, Case Studies, Reports and Articles, please visit the International Alliance of Healthcare Educators website at and search for article topics please click here 

Our Craniosacral System