CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle hands-on therapy that views and treats the body as a whole and a complete organism. Anything that happens in one part of the body affects the entire body in some way. Using a skilled light touch, a CranioSacral Therapist tunes into the CranioSacral Rhythm to see how it is expressed throughout the body. They use this rhythm, as well as body responses and other subtle clues to guide the session and help the body release unnecessary tension and restore balance and ease. Because the touch is so light, the body does not feel threatened or respond defensively, allowing for areas of tension that are no longer necessary to release at the source, leading to healing.
The CranioSacral System is a physiologic system that provides the environment for the Central Nervous System. It contains the brain, spinal cord, nerve roots, blood vessels and Cerebrospinal Fluid. Everything the central Nervous System needs has to be allowed to enter and exit this key system. It has an involuntary rhythmic movement about ten times per minute producing and circulating the cerebrospinal fluid, bathing the brain and spinal cord in nutrients and removing waste products.
Any tension that is placed on the CranioSacral System impairs the expression of the CranioSacral Rhythm and is seen by our protective nervous system as a high-level threat to our safety. This, in turn, leads to the Sympathetic Nervous System response of Fight or Flight. In this state, the priority blood flow is to the large muscles of the body to support fighting or running away. The blood is diverted from anything not crucial to short-term survival like the digestive system and your thinking brain. Its view is that if we don’t survive the next few minutes, nutrition and algebra aren’t important. Recovery and healing are not important in this mode, either.
The Parasympathetic Nervous System is responsible for calming the fight or flight response and returning the body to a more relaxed state so we can rest and recover from the event. We refer to this system as the Rest and Digest, or the Feed and Breed System because, in this state, we can recover from stress and live our lives more fully. Our body is designed to be in the Rest and Digest mode with very few interruptions. This is where healing is possible. CranioSacral Therapy activates the parasympathetic nervous system by providing better homeostasis and allows the body to rest, recover and heal.